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Stephen Maguire reacts to O Sullivan pairing

The Scotsman knows he has been handed a tough task to beat the Rocket in Sheffield.

The match between Maguire and O’Sullivan will get underway on Saturday afternoon and conclude on Sunday morning.

And Maguire accepts facing snooker’s elite player is always tough.

“The only one that's different is Ronnie,” he said ahead of the tournament getting underway.

“Ronnie brings a different atmosphere and a completely different game, all the rest of them are very similar.

“You know the kind of crowd Ronnie brings and it's always a special occasion.”

The elite players will be on show in Sheffield from Saturday as 32 snooker stars battle at the most prestigious tournament of the year.

Jason Ferguson, chairman of snooker's world governing body, explained: “There are no numpties on the tour. To get to this stage, what you have here is the cream of the crop.

“Every player that's come here has earned the right to be here, through long-format matches, in a proper event and proper conditions.”