Colourful Ronnie O’Sullivan caught the eye both on and off the table and says his Breast Cancer Awareness Month-inspired pink nails are here to stay, writes Will Jennings.
The reigning world champion avoided a potential scare against French amateur Brian Ochoiski in the English Open first round as he battled from two frames behind to triumph 4-2.
And it was difficult to miss the Rocket under the Marshall Arena lights, having painted his nails pink to show his support for breast cancer charity Future Dreams.
Potting and glamour went hand in hand and O’Sullivan, now a six-time world champion, says enhancing awareness for the cause is his number one priority.
“It’s just great to create awareness for such an important cause in women’s breast cancer,” said the 44-year-old.
“I actually really like it - I think this could be here to stay!
“Once breast cancer month’s gone I could see myself still wearing it. I’ll 100 per cent have it for the rest of the week - I’m on about it for the rest of my life!
“It’s just a friend of mine, Andrew and he said would you mind having a picture done but I said forget having a picture, I’ll play a match or a tournament in it if you like.
“I thought it’s better to play a match in it and give it a bit of TV exposure for such an important cause, so just hopefully all the guys get behind it and start showing a bit of bottle and putting a bit of pink in our lives.
“While I’m around in the tournament not’s 100 per cent staying, even when I’m doing my punditry for Eurosport. It’s for such a great cause and it’s more important than the game of snooker and it’s something good to get behind.
“You should get behind anytime positive like this and if you can create as much support and awareness for it it can only be a positive thing.”
Riding the crest of his World Championship wave, O’Sullivan was forced to do things the hard way at the behind closed doors tournament.
A brilliant break of 105 from amateur Ochoiski put him 2-0 up in no time at all, sparking talk of a stunning upset at the maiden Home Nations event of the season.
But O’Sullivan summoned all the class that’s seen him romp to 37 ranking event titles to enjoy visits of 113, 55, 52 and 51 and ease into the second round.
The Rocket will now return home to Essex before his last 64 match on Wednesday, where he will face either Ryan Day or Mark Lloyd.
He’s not a fan of the behind closed doors conditions - which have now been partially-eased - and blasted the circumstances that saw him withdraw from last week’s Championship League.
“I’ve got bad stomach problems so I have to be careful what I eat and I couldn’t get my own food,” he added.
“It’s more important to look after your health, so this is a lot easier - you can get your own food and stuff like that.
“I do everything on my terms - snooker is something I like and I enjoy but it’s not the main motivation in my life now.”