The five-time world champion was facing Oliver Lines in his opening match, but before battling to a 4-2 win, he opted to hit the white off two cushions when breaking in the first frame.

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“Every time I toss for a break, everyone just puts me into bat. The break is meant to be the chance to put your opponent in trouble,” he told Eurosport.

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“No one has said to me my break is useless, but basically that’s what they say by putting me into break.

“I do it left-handed, I try it right-handed, I hit it thick and the red goes over the middle leaving a shot to nothing, so I thought just roll it into the back of the pack.

I did it and left him a red in the middle! I give up… I’m a useless breaker, that’s it. I’m useless at breaking the balls.

O'Sullivan trailed Lines 2-1 before bouncing back with three frames in a row to advance.

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O’Sullivan’s biggest break was 87 in the fifth frame, and he admitted he felt fortunate to reach the second round having felt like he was “playing blindfolded”.

“I’m just happy to still be in this tournament. I thought I was going to get beat tonight.

“I was struggling with the table, the pace of it, I just overhit it. I played on a club table yesterday for about two hours and that was the worst thing I’ve done.

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“This felt like an ice skating rink, just trying to control the white, and then he started to get confident because I wasn’t punishing him.

“I gradually got a bit more used to it, you have to change the technique as you go along and it started to feel a little bit more normal towards the end out there… But it was like playing blindfolded.”

O’Sullivan, losing finalist in the Northern Ireland Open last year, faces Lei Peifan in the next round in Belfast.

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