That's after 'The Rocket' was paired with fellow world No. 1 Reanne Evans—ex-partner of old rival Mark Allen —for the comeback event. The tournament will consist of four mixed pairs and runs from September 24 to September 25, the first doubles championship of its kind to be held since 1991.
Judd Trump, Mark Selby and Neil Robertson are the other men's professionals taking part, and they've been paired with Ng On Yee, Rebecca Kenna and Nutcharut Wongharuthai, respectively. However, it was O'Sullivan and Evans' union that got fans talking.
Twelve-time world champion Evans was in a relationship with Allen from 2005 until 2008. The pair share a daughter, who was born in 2006, but have not received a lot of positive coverage following their split 14 years ago.
It was around this time last year that Evans escaped punishment for refusing Allen's offer a fist bump when the two were matched against one another at the 2021 British Open. Evans was believed to have asked Allen for more money to help support their child at the time.
Earlier in 2021, another tense situation arose at the World Snooker Championship when it's alleged Allen asked Evans to vacate the practice room while she was working as a pundit. However, 'The Pistol' attempted to play down the controversy when it gathered some attention.
“There have been several cases of players asking for people to be removed when they’re practising ahead of a match,” said the Northern Irishman in defence of his actions. “I'm not sure why there is a fuss about this one.”
Fortunately for O'Sullivan, there's little chance of a repeat at the Marshall Arena considering Allen won't feature in any of the four doubles pairings. The reigning world champion will line up in Milton Keynes with an opportunity to claim an incredibly rare piece of silverware.
"Hey up @ronnieo147 you ready?? Should be fun," wrote Evans on Twitter. "Hope you’re practicing hard." Ng tweeted a similar tribute to her partner and said she "can't wait" to team up with Trump, who himself wrote "this will be fun."