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Alexander Ursenbacher relishing chance to maintain winning Ronnie O’Sullivan record

2019 Northern Ireland Open - Day 7

Ronnie O’Sullivan takes on Alexander Ursenbacher on Sunday afternoon (Picture: VCG via Getty Images)

Alexander Ursenbacher is relishing another crack at Ronnie O’Sullivan at the UK Championship after he beat the Rocket in their only previous meeting on tour.

The Swiss star is set to take on the world champion in the second round in Milton Keynes after overcoming veteran Nigel Bond in his opening contest.

He now faces one of the toughest challenges in the sport as he takes on the Rocket, but it is a test he has overcome before.

The two men’s only previous meeting as professionals came at the 2019 Welsh Open and Ursenbacher came away with a 4-2 win.

The world number 66 admits to being intimidated by the presence of the world champion on that occasion, but he will not be when they meet in the UK Championship on Sunday afternoon.

‘Last time we played a best of seven in the Welsh I won 4-2, he missed a few, but this is a proper tournament so it’s really going to show me where my game is that,’ Ursenbacher told WST after beating Bond.

‘Because obviously last time I had no pressure on me whatsoever because I’d never played him and he needed to win.

‘He started twitching a little bit and I got a bit nervous in the end but it’s completely different this time.

‘I was intimidated last time, just because you know what Ronnie’s like, when he’s up for it you’re going to stay in your seat, but I fancy the challenge.

‘You’re playing the world champion, the greatest player to ever pick up a cue, so you’ve got to be up for it.’

Alexander Ursenbacher

Alexander Ursenbacher takes on the Rocket on Sunday afternoon (Picture: Getty Images)

Ursenbacher raced into a 5-1 lead over Bond in round one, but was pegged back before he got over the line with a 6-3 win, which he said was a lot trickier than the scoreline suggested.

‘It’s one of the toughest games I’ve ever had, to be honest,’ he said. ‘I was nearly throwing up out there, it was so tough, so I’m delighted to get over the line.’

O’Sullivan strolled to a 6-0 victory in his first round match against Leo Fernandez as he targets an eighth UK Championship title.

Ursenbacher will be hoping to register the biggest win of his career, having claimed that his first victory over the Rocket had taken that spot.

‘Yeah it is [my biggest win], I’ve only had one win against a top 16 player before which was Shaun Murphy, and now Ronnie,’ said the Swiss after downing O’Sullivan.

‘If you play well in practice you know you’re capable of beating players like this, you just need self-confidence.’


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