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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Ben Parsons

Ronnie O'Sullivan tips shock Scottish Open finalist to become world champion in bold claim

Ronnie O'Sullivan claims Joe O'Connor's shock run to the Scottish Open final is strong evidence that he could become a future world champion.

World No 55 O'Connor stunned Australian star Neil Robertson to reach the final as the shock results continued on an incredible week of action in Edinburgh. O'Connor downed the on-song Robertson 6-3, despite the No 4 ranked player making three centuries, in undoubtedly the biggest result of his career.

O'Connor has now seen off a series of elite players, including Robertson, Zhao Xintong, Ding Junhui, Mark Williams and Ricky Walden on his inspired run to Sunday's showpiece.

And the unfancied O'Connor has now been given a marvellous opportunity to win a maiden title in his first ranking final against another surprise finalist in Gary Wilson.

Seven-time world champion O'Sullivan, who crashed out to O'Connor's opponent Wilson earlier in the tournament, has tipped the Leicester potter for huge things. O'Connor is a methodical but fearless player, and the Rocket sees similarities with the 27-year-old and 2006 world champion Graeme Dott.

"He reminds me of Graeme Dott," O'Sullivan told Eurosport . "I think he's the new Graeme Dott. I think he'll be world champion one day."

Six-time world finalist Jimmy White also pointed to O'Connor's impressive self-belief as he withstood pressure from Robertson in the semi-final. "He's got so much confidence in his own game," White said. "He did miss a handful of balls in this match and with a lot of these shots, a lot of people may feel he should've played safe.

O'Connor was compared to former world champion Graeme Dott (SNS Group)

“But even if he's practising or playing a match that's not at this highest standard, he's going to fancy potting it.” The modest O'Connor was in disbelief after reaching the final, despite being uncertain whether he was playing at his fluid best.

“I’m absolutely speechless. I've played well when it mattered, so I'm over the moon,” O'Connor beamed after his latest shock win. “It's a little bit strange because in practice, I haven't been flying or playing my best stuff," he said. "I've been solid for a quite a while now and I don't know whether I'm flying or just being clinical?"

O'Connor and Wilson are each battling to claim their first ranking titles as pros after upsetting the odds in the Home Nations series event.

The duo play eight frames of their final on Sunday afternoon, with the winner of the £80,000 first prize set to be crowned in the concluding evening session.

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