Ahead of the tournament, the Shanghai Daily has published this interview
O’Sullivan eyes fresh start at Masters
By Ma Yue | September 19, 2016, Monday | PRINT EDITION
RONNIE “The Rocket” O’Sullivan will be looking for a fresh start of the season at the 2016 Shanghai Masters, which starts at Shanghai Indoor Stadium today.
The Englishman has made the Shanghai tournament his first ranking competition of the new season.
“I want to play as many tournaments as possible this year, win the world championship, and be the best player of the world,” the 40-year-old said yesterday.
O’Sullivan won the Shanghai tournament back in 2008. He missed last year’s event, but decided not to miss the 10th edition of the tournament this year.
“It’s a great city, great tournament, great fans, good food… It’s a good sport to watch in China, with its talented players like Ding Junhui, Liang Wenbo, as well as a lot of young talents coming through… Soon China might have 4-5 players in the world top 20,” he predicted
O’Sullivan has been drawn into the same quarter as local favorite Ding. Ding, who just won the 6 Red Snooker World Championship in Thailand, takes on Scott Donaldson in the first round today. Tomorrow, O’Sullivan will start his campaign against the winner of a wildcard clash between Liang and Hu Hao.
No player has won the Shanghai Masters twice yet — it has had nine different champions in the past decade.
“Hope I can change that,” said O’Sullivan. “I haven’t really played since the world championships in April. Hope I get a good start here.”
The week-long Shanghai Masters brings together some of the world’s top players, including John Higgins, Mark Selby, Stuart Bingham, Neil Robertson, Judd Trump, and Shaun Murphy. They will be fighting for a total prize money of 465,200 pounds (US$605,000), with the winner pocketing 85,000 pounds.
Last year, Kyren Wilson was the shock winner when he edged fellow Englishman Trump 10-9 in a nail-biting final.