Fall from Grace for Ronnie O’Sullivan in Northern Ireland Open defeat

World champion Ronnie O’Sullivan crashed out of the BetVictor Northern Ireland Open after losing 4-3 to David Grace in the second round.

O'Sullivan won the first two frames in Belfast's Waterfront Hall before Grace hit back with breaks of 57 and 94 to level the scores.

Grace also took the fifth frame with a break of 64 following a fluked red, but missed several chances to seal victory in frame six before O'Sullivan forced a decider.

However, O'Sullivan potted just one ball in the final frame as a relieved Grace secured one of the biggest victories of his career.

"I got over the line in the end, I made hard work of it," the 37-year-old from Leeds, who reached the semi-finals of the UK Championship in 2015, told Eurosport.

"You don't normally get a second chance. When I missed the first chance to win 4-2 that's when normally the snooker Gods don't forgive you, but they were on my side today.

"It was going really bad at 2-0 and I'm proud that I managed to find the cue-ball control to make a couple of breaks in the middle of the match to give myself a foothold.

"When you play the legends they get better when they go in front, they don't normally give you a foothold so it was nice to be able to give myself a chance."

Grace will play Tian Pengfei in round three after Tian made a break of 55 in the decider to beat Martin Gould 4-3.

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