Alexander Ursenbacher beat world No. 1 Ronnie O’Sullivan 4-1 in a huge upset victory in the first round of the British Open on Monday night.
World No. 63 Ursenbacher started fantastically as he worked the red and pink, with the black tied up for much of the opening frame.
A nice break of 69 helped the Swiss to go 1-0 ahead in front of his mother, who had come to watch her son play for the first time in his career.
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A scrappy start to the second frame saw Ursenbacher go 50-22 clear before O’Sullivan was let back in with a single red on the table, but an error from the world No.1 saw him hit the brown and give his opponent a free ball to restart, only to see him miss a green, which was then followed up by O’Sullivan then potting the white with hints of frustration showing.
That allowed Ursenbacher to move 2-0 clear and threaten an upset.
O’Sullivan made the most of his out-of-form efforts in the third and at 63-22, his rival conceded.
At 58-7 up in the fourth frame, Ursenbacher was given the chance to play out from behind the brown and a potentially deliberate double failed, allowing O’Sullivan back to the table in unfavourable circumstances, but he was unable to get back into the frame and was left one frame from defeat.
In the fourth frame the scores were tied at 24-24 when an O’Sullivan error allowed Ursenhacher to take to the table, again with the black out of reach against the bottom cushion, but he closed out the match with little difficulty, meaning he now has a 3-1 head-to-head record over O’Sullivan.
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