Judge hopes to rule over Rocket

Michael Judge is hoping to have the last laugh when he comes face to face with ‘the two Ronnies’ in Cardiff tonight.

Michael Judge is hoping to have the last laugh when he comes face to face with ‘the two Ronnies’ in Cardiff tonight.

The Dubliner faces snooker’s most flamboyant player in the second round of the Welsh Open.

And Judge, like everyone else, is waiting to see which Ronnie O’Sullivan will turn up.

O’Sullivan’s mood swings are legendary. At last November’s UK Championship in York he fired in five centuries in one match but admitted that he had spent 20 minutes during the interval “crying my eyes out”.

But whatever his mood off the table, the 2001 world champion is capable of inspirational snooker and Judge knows he will be up against it when they meet for a place in the third round.

“I will have to play well even if the bad Ronnie turns up,” said the Irishman, who beat Anthony Davies 5-2 in the previous round.

“I really wanted to get through my first match because I have never played Ronnie in a ranking event.

“I have nothing to lose so I will go out and enjoy it. I am playing really well so I will try and settle down quickly and just play the balls.”

O’Sullivan is searching for his first title since he won the Irish Masters last March.

He finished runner-up to Stephen Hendry in the British Open earlier this season and was then beaten again by the Scot in the semi-finals at York.

The 28-year-old is looking to land the Welsh title for the first time having reached only one semi-final in what has been a bogey tournament for the ‘Rocket’.

Ken Doherty, on the other hand, has good reason to regard the Welsh Open as one of his favourite events.

The world number six from Dublin won the title in 1993 and 2001 and finished runner-up in 2002.

Doherty starts his bid for a hat-trick of titles against Nottingham’s Michael Holt, who he beat in the quarter-finals of last October’s LG Cup.

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