Ronnie O’Sullivan had a dodgy cushion to thank for avoiding a third successive opening round defeat at York in the Maplin UK Championship today.
The Rocket looked set to lose 9-7 to Ricky Walden but the world no.36 got a bad bounce off a side cushion leading 56-0 in the next frame.
O’Sullivan won the frame on the black and finished off with a 108 to win 9-8 – but admitted he had been lucky.
He said: “Ricky played a good brown, hit it right, but I looked at the cue ball and it came off the cushion at three times the speed it should have done,
“I knew he was out of position. I’m disappointed for him. I told him it was only a cushion that had cost him and that he deserved to win.
“It’s one of the worst tables I’ve played on. A bad table got me through to the next round, which isn’t the way you want to win.”
O'Sullivan was beaten 9-6 by Stephen Maguire in 2004 and 9-8 by Mark King at the same stage last year.