Fan Zhengyi’s 10-9 win against six-time world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan ranks amongst the greatest shocks in the history of the game, according to Shoot Out winner Hossein Vafaei.
The 21-year-old emerged from a final-frame shootout against O’Sullivan on Sunday to claim his first ranking title and send shockwaves around the sport.
“That result last night was just, you know, so incredible. And I'm still in shock with it,” began Jimmy White, who was part of the Eurosport studio team for the Welsh Open alongside Vafaei.
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It prompted Casey – on hosting duties – to ask whether it was the biggest shock or upset the game has ever seen. Vafaei was resolute in his response, saying: “Absolutely. It was one of the biggest shocks in snooker history.
"I think last year [Fan] won two matches. And, all of a sudden, everything changed for him, and he won the tournament and beat Ronnie O’Sullivan in the final.”
O’Sullivan is due to return to the baize on Tuesday March 1, where he will face James Cahill at 13:00. Fan, however, will not be competing at the event at the Celtic Manor Resort after he fell to Cao Yupeng in qualifying.
Whether O'Sullivan will compete at the Welsh Open remains to be seen, with the 46-year-old previously telling reporters that his participation would be dependent on his mental health.
“I have talked about snooker depression and anxiety this week, but winning the title won’t help that, in fact it might make it worse," O'Sullivan told reporters. "And whatever happens, if mentally I don’t feel good about playing in Wales next week on Monday…that is hard.
"I like a smiley face, not a miserable face and if I think I’ll be miserable next week after getting to the final here then sometimes you have to do the right thing for yourself.
"I’ll wait and see on playing in that, if I am at a low ebb, I’ll have to make a decision.”
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