Former world number one Ronnie O’Sullivan remains the 3/1 favourite to win the 2018 World Championship despite slipping to a quarter-final defeat at the Welsh Open. O’Sullivan came into the tournament on the back of an impressive victory at the World Grand Prix, having beaten China’s Ding Junhui in the final, and many were tipping the ‘The Rocket’ to win again
However, prior to the start of the event, the 42-year-old suggested an early exit could be a blessing in disguise as he didn’t feel he could maintain his current level of form for a second straight week. England’s number two whitewashed Graeme Dott, David Grace and Mike Dunn before being outclassed by John Higgins, who will take on Barry Hawkins in Sunday’s final, in the quarter-final, losing 5-1. O’Sullivan made too many mistakes during the loss and revealed after the match he wants Higgins to go on and lift the trophy for the fifth time, describing the Scot as “different class”. He said: “I would recommend anyone who is a snooker fan to come and watch John, because it doesn’t get any better than the way he plays. Hopefully, he’ll win the trophy because it’s great to see great players do great things.”
O’Sullivan has been in good form this season, winning four ranking titles, and despite failing to triumph in Wales he is still leading the market for the 2018 World Championship. Defending champion Mark Selby is 4/1 to defend his title whilst Judd Trump, number three in the world and 2011 finalist, is 8/1 to win the coveted tournament for the first time. Higgins will be going for a fifth world crown at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield and he is priced at 12/1.