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Rocket hoping to hang with Robertson

Ronnie O’Sullivan says he’ll try to ‘hang on to the coat tails’ of Neil Robertson in Sunday’s Players Championship Final in Preston.

The Rocket blasted past Mark Allen in the semi-final, crushing the Northern Irishman 6-0. O’Sullivan was not at his vintage best, making only a pair of half-century contributions, but it was more than enough to see off an out of sorts Allen.

Sunday’s Guild Hall decider will be a landmark for O’Sullivan, 43, as it represents the 50th ranking event final of his astonishing career.

It comes at the same venue as he played his first, when he defeated Stephen Hendry to claim the 1993 UK Championship crown.

Victory over Robertson would give O’Sullivan his 35th ranking success, thus putting him within one of Hendry’s record tally of 36.

The five-time world champion is looking forward to the decider, though he anticipates Robertson, who won the Welsh Open last month and is looking to record successive tournament wins himself, will be a tough nut to crack.

“I played pretty well,” said world number three O’Sullivan.

“I seemed to adapt to the conditions a bit better than Mark. I’m pleased to be in the final, I will enjoy it. I like this venue, I’ve been coming here since 1993 and I’ve had a few other finals. It’s a great venue, a great tournament and a knowledgeable crowd. The fans get into their snooker and they know the game.

“I’m expecting a tight match [against Neil], it could be tense. I’m going to have fun and try to hang on to his coat tails.”

O’Sullivan is favourite at 1.40 to win the Players Championship final, with Robertson priced at 2.80. The Rocket is 7.00 to win the match 10-7.

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