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British Open preview: Judd Trump heads competitive field

Ronnie O’Sullivan is one big name that won’t be present at the British Open after withdrawing on medical grounds, but a strong field remains for the ranking event in Cheltenham.

Judd Trump heads the market at 6/1 but there are plenty of obstacles in his way if he is to secure the Clive Everton Trophy.

WhatBritish Open 2023
WhereThe Centaur, Cheltenham
WhenMonday 25th September - Sunday 1st October
How to watchITV4
OddsJudd Trump 6/1, John Higgins 8/1, Mark Selby 10/1, Neil Robertson 11/1, Shaun Murphy 12/1, Mark Williams 18/1, Barry Hawkins 18/1

Format can bring upsets

The British Open has an FA Cup style random draw, leading to some of the biggest players in the world facing each other in the early stages of the tournament. 

In this year’s tournament, world champion Luca Brecel faces a tough test in the first round against Asia’s best ever player Ding Junhui. 

That may at least partly explain the slight surprise element to the last two editions, the first of the tournament held since 2004. 

In 2021, Mark Williams got the better of Gary Wilson to win the title before Ryan Day beat Mark Allen in the final last season.

O’Sullivan's absence could lead to new number one

Ronnie O’Sullivan has withdrawn from the British Open on medical grounds as he looks to rest an elbow injury that has hindered him recently. 

The world number one was due to take on Jimmy Robertson in the opening round, but instead he was replaced in the draw by Steven Hallworth. 

The world number one won the Shanghai Masters last time out with an impressive 11-9 win over Luca Brecel in the final. 

However the Rocket could lose his status as world number one to either Brecel or Mark Allen if either player win this tournament. 

O’Sullivan’s policy of picking and choosing his tournaments could make holding on to that position difficult.

Schedule and draw may scupper Brecel

Just a matter of days after a gruelling 11-9 defeat to O’Sullivan in Shanghai, Luca Brecel plays the opening game of the British Open against Ding Junhui. 

The difficulty of that draw and the quick turnaround are both factors as to why Brecel is a 20/1 shot to win the tournament despite his red-hot form in 2023.

Trump solid at front of market

Judd Trump has never won the British Open but is 6/1 favourite to add a new title to his considerable trophy cabinet this week. 

The Ace in the Pack was beaten by Mark Selby in the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Masters but had reached the final of the European Masters before that, being edged 9-6 by Barry Hawkins.

After a somewhat disappointing season last time out in which he won the Masters but failed in three other finals, he will be desperate to get off the mark this time around. 

Snooker at the top level is more competitive than ever and Trump will want to prove that he is still one of the dominant players in the sport. 

The Bristol-born 34-year-old got the better of his close friend and local lad Jack Lisowski in the Shanghai Masters, but the pair could benefit from home comforts given they are both based within close proximity of this venue. 

Trump begins his campaign against 18-year-old Anton Kazakov and should be able to see him off easily. 

The 6/1 about him taking home the crown for the first time is more than fair and he looks set to go well.

Fan could surprise

One of the most progressive players on the circuit, Fan Zhengyi, had a decent run at the Shanghai Masters and could be overpriced at 50/1 to win his second ranking title at the British Open.

The 22-year-old popped up to win the 2022 European Masters, beating O’Sullivan in the final and he clearly has the game to compete at the top level.

Fan got the better of Mark Allen and Gary Wilson in Shanghai before being beaten by Neil Robertson, who is an 11/1 shot for this tournament, in the quarter-finals. He is in decent nick and could outrun his considerable odds.

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