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2008 Maplins UK Championship

Ronnie O'Sullivan 5-9 Joe Perry

Defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan suffered a shock 9-5 defeat by Joe Perry to crash out of the UK Championship in round two on Tuesday.

John Higgins, Stephen Maguire and Shaun Murphy all won, but the title holder collapsed dramatically.

O'Sullivan scorched into a 5-3 lead overnight with three centuries, but his game fell apart in the second session.

Perry played superbly, but a series of errors from the world number one gifted frame after frame to his opponent.

Having seen Perry win the first three frames of the afternoon to trail 5-6, O'Sullivan conceded the 12th frame, the last before the mid-session interval, by deliberately flicking the white away with his cue when just 23-0 down.

"It is just a little 250 fine, a letter in the post," he told BBC Sport. "I have had a few of them before, and I will have a few more I suppose.

"I was quite happy I did it really. I just wanted to get out of there, have a cup of tea and come back again. But it still didn't make a difference really. It is no big deal."

O'Sullivan preferred to give credit to Perry, a World Championship semi-finalist earlier this year, who claimed the best win of his career.

"I just got outplayed on the day," O'Sullivan told BBC Sport.

"It might have looked like I lost my head or whatever, but I'm sure I'll bounce back somewhere along the line.

"He played great - I wasn't going to win today. His safety was great, he scored when he got in and didn't miss much. Sometimes you've just got to hold your hands up."

Even in the final frame, O'Sullivan had the chance to keep the match alive after Perry missed a simple red, but a missed black after a run of 41 allowed his opponent to wrap things up.

"It's been a good competition for me," said Perry, who reached the quarter-finals for the fifth time.

"I do enjoy the longer matches. I was 5-3 down overnight and that didn't seem that bad as Ronnie gave me a bit of snooker lesson on Monday.

"I knew I was still in it at 5-3 and that's how it turned out to be."

Ronnie O'Sullivan 9-6 Rory McLeod

Defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan survived a superb fightback from Rory McLeod to reach the second round of the UK Championship in Telford.

O'Sullivan rocketed into a 6-0 lead as he knocked in three centuries, but McLeod, the world number 44, produced breaks of 108 and 102 to trail 6-2.

He hit a third successive century, 131, on the resumption and won two more frames to reduce his deficit to 6-5.

But O'Sullivan won the 12th frame and a superb 70 clearance sealed a 9-6 win.

"I hate it when people say I'm a genius and I don't have to work hard at this game, because I do have to battle," said O'Sullivan, who is aiming for a fifth UK title.

"Any win for me at this stage of my career is a result. It was tough. Sometimes you just have to sit it out, and you feel as if it's not going to be your day. It would have been nice to win more easily.

Credit to Rory because at 6-0 down his head could have gone. In the end I could have been going home because it's all about form and his was stronger than mine."

The world champion will next meet Joe Perry, who had an easy passage into the second round after Mark Davis pulled out early in the second frame because of ill health.

Courtesy of BBC Sport
11.01.2009 - 18.01.2009
The Masters - Wembley, UK

16.02.2009 - 22.02.2009
Welsh Open, Newport, UK

30.03.2009 - 05.04.2009
China Open, Beijing, China

18.04.2009 - 04.05.2009
World Championship, Sheffield, UK

We regret that the exhibition matches in Bratislava and Warsaw have now been cancelled.

(c) 2008-9 Ronnie O'Sullivan.