Ronnie O’Sullivan has admitted he was a shade fortunate in his win over Thepchaiya Un-Nooh at the Northern Ireland Open.

The world champion booked his place in the last eight at Milton Keynes’ Marshall Arena, which is playing host to the event due to Covid-19 restrictions, with a 4-2 win.

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It was far from vintage snooker from the 44-year-old, who felt the run of the balls favoured him over his Thai opponent.

“I got some luck today,” O’Sullivan told Eurosport. “The first three matches I felt I was getting no run of the ball at all, and having to fight all the elements, but tonight I got the run of the ball.

“Not the balls he missed, that’s his own fault, but I missed a few balls and got safe and if I hadn’t he’d have probably cleared up.”

O’Sullivan says he is enjoying his snooker, and will continue to play for as long as he can compete with the players at the top of the game.

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He added: “Even though I didn’t feel great out there, I am enjoying it and it is nice to be out there hitting balls.

“I just take what is going, have fun and will not take it serious, but take it serious if that makes sense.

“I play this as a hobby. I do other stuff for my work and my business side of things.

“I practiced last week. I did about 20 hours, I’ve never done that since I was 17/18. I don’t really want to be playing snooker all day. I like hitting a few balls, and at my age you want to chill out and enjoy yourself.

“At some point when I can’t compete, I will be on the exhibition circuit and the seniors. I am like Jimmy [White], I just love playing, but don’t want to come here and get bashed up. I just love playing snooker.”

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