Ronnie O’Sullivan confirms German Masters withdrawal to ‘make health and wellbeing the priority’

Ronnie O’Sullivan is having a short break from tournaments (Picture: Getty Images)

Ronnie O’Sullivan has confirmed his expected withdrawal from the German Masters, saying: ‘I have to make my health and wellbeing the priority.’

The Rocket has been in sparkling form this season, winning the Shanghai Masters, UK Championship, Masters and World Grand Prix.

With so many victories to his name the world number one has had a busy schedule and he confirmed during his run to the World Grand Prix title that he was planning a short break from tournaments.

The German Masters begins on Monday in Berlin and on Friday afternoon O’Sullivan confirmed that he will not be involved.

‘Hi guys, I just want to let my fans in Germany know that sadly I’ve decided to withdraw from the German Masters next week,’ the Rocket posted on social media.

‘I love the event and fans in Germany but I have to make my health and wellbeing the priority. It’s been a tiring and challenging season for me so far, despite how it may seem with the tournament wins so hope you understand.

‘I’m sorry I won’t be there and I hope to see you all soon.’

Barry Pinches will take O’Sullivan’s place in the German Masters draw and play Julien Leclercq.

O’Sullivan beat Judd Trump to win the World Grand Prix on Sunday (Picture: Getty Images)

Speaking in Leicester at the Grand Prix, O’Sullivan said: ‘‘I’ll be missing quite a few tournaments now after this. I shouldn’t even really have come here to be honest with you, but I thought I’d earned me right here so I’d turn up, in hindsight I should have just bailed on this one as well. But I’m here now so I’m going to give it my best shot.

‘I’ll try and qualify for the China event because I like the China events and that will be me pretty much done until the next ITV event.

‘I’ll try and show up for that [the Players Championship] because that’s quite a decent tournament.’

The Rocket did indeed qualify for the World Open in Yushan, beating Alfie Burden in a qualifier in Barnsley on Tuesday, taking his season’s tally to 31 wins and just three defeats.

The 48-year-old has now won 15 matches on the spin and will likely next be in action at the Players Championship in Telford, starting on 19 February, expected to skip the Welsh Open the week prior to that in Llandudno.

Also out of the German Masters are Martin Gould, due to medical reasons, and Hossein Vafaei as a result of visa issues.

Gould was set to play John Higgins in round two and now Higgins will get a bye, while Vafaei was set to play Elliot Slessor at the same stage and Slessor will also receive a bye to the last 32.

The medical reasons have also seen Gould withdraw from the Welsh Open qualifiers, replaced by Sydney Wilson in that draw.

MORE : World Open qualifiers throw up shocks, controversy and a Ronnie O’Sullivan appearance

MORE : Is Ronnie O’Sullivan having the best season of his career at 48 years old?

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