DEFENDING Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan will not defend his Champion of Champions crown when the popular tournament returns to the Ricoh Arena next month.
The biggest name in snooker has confirmed he has turned down this year’s invitation, having yet to play any event on the tour this season.
The five-time World Champion tweeted last week that he did not want fans buying tickets thinking he was playing in the event.
And this week World Snooker confirmed O’Sullivan will not be playing in Coventry, despite having won the event on the previous two occasions.
He will be the only notable absence in an otherwise top bill of snooker over six days, with the likes of Mark Selby, Neil Robertson and World Champion Stuart Bingham all looking to get their hands on the trophy for the first time.
O’Sullivan’s decision not to play in the Champion of Champions opens the door for Ruhr Open winner Rory McLeod, who will now be assured of an invite to play in the event.
Tickets for this year’s event are on sale and begin a just £10. Standard priced tickets for the weekend sessions are now sold out, but in anticipation of extra seats being released a waiting list has been set up.
For more information about the tournament or to buy ticket visit www.championofchampionssnooker.co.uk.