Ronnie O’Sullivan said he has been “inspired” by Zhao Xintong’s victory at the UK Championship.
Zhao, 24, beat Luca Brecel in the final in York on Sunday to become only the fourth non-British winner of the event.
He has been tipped as a future “superstar” of the sport while O’Sullivan called him snooker’s Roger Federer.
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Speaking after his opening-round win over Dominic Dale at the Scottish Open, O’Sullivan suggested that he thinks Zhao will win many more titles in his career.
“It will be interesting to see if he can go on and do what his potential suggests he can, let’s hope it’s not a flash in the pan.
“Let’s hope he keeps going because he is like a throwback player in some ways, a lot of the modern players have a lot of players and split balls open, whereas he was just picking balls off and there was some beautiful stuff out there, it was quite inspiring to watch.
“Luca made Kyren [Wilson] look second best [in the semi-finals] and Zhao made Luca look second best. It says a lot for Zhao but if he kicks on, let’s hope he does, then they are all in trouble.”

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O’Sullivan also said he thinks Zhao could be a future world No 1, if he improves his safety game.
“I think he will get better from the matches but in some ways you could fastrack him a bit. It just needs to learn to contain, not necessarily safe, watch a bit of Mark Selby for a bit. Don’t go as far as Selby but watch how he will put balls awkwardly and leave you horrible shots.
“He won’t change, you can’t change that, what he has got is beautiful. You keep that and all the good bits but add a few little bits. He will probably learn as he goes alone. He has to be dedicated and apply himself and if he does he could be No 1 in a few years, if he gets his head down.”
O’Sullivan was not at his very best as he beat Dale 4-2 to reach the second round of the Scottish Open.
Asked if was there for the taking, O’Sullivan said: “Probably, but he wasn’t able to put me away. It’s a bit of fun out there, pot a few balls, miss a few balls. Even though I didn’t get anything going I was still enjoying it.
“I just want to enjoy the week and see what happens.”
O’Sullivan faces Michael Georgiou in his next match.
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