The Welsh Open final on Sunday will be played between Ronnie O’Sullivan and Jordan Brown at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport

Both players dominated their respective encounters in the semi-finals to a showdown for the grand prize of £ 70000 to start

O’Sullivan’s 6-1 win over Mark Williams wasn’t exactly a big surprise, especially given his superior career record against the Welshman

Brown’s earlier triumph over Stephen Maguire on Saturday, which also ended 6-1, was indeed a big surprise

The 33-year-old showed an outstanding performance that contradicted his inexperience in a first semi-final

Brown showed a great deal of fresh nerve and took advantage of another opportunity that Maguire didn’t show up when tagged with the tag of favorite

That shouldn’t take anything away from Brown, who put together a number of centuries to become the sixth player from Northern Ireland to reach a final in the rankings

An additional reward for his dominant performance is a ticket to next week’s lucrative Players Championship, in which only the top 16 of the one-year rankings qualify

The Antrim Ferrari must shoot these types of cylinders again to claim one of the most unlikely tournament wins in the history of the sport

At number 81 in the world, Brown is 78 places below his esteemed Welsh Open final boss

O’Sullivan, on the other hand, is prepared for the 56th time in this final phase To appear in his illustrious career

Success would extend his own record for most ranked event titles to 38 and mark his first since winning a sixth world crown six months ago in Sheffield

There have been question marks about the 45-year-old’s shape since that Crucible hit last August, but those worries were clearly premature

O’Sullivan presented a focused animal during this week’s Home Nations tournament, with renewed drive and more productive scoring based on weeks of harder training in the winter months

The Rocket was lucky enough to get a reunion with Ali Carter from his scheduled quarter-finals, but even with that, he’s only lost just under two frames in the five games he’s played

For Brown to have a realistic chance of causing a seismic shock, he has to get on the scoreboard early and hope he can contain O’Sullivan’s temper

Even then, the former European Amateur Championship finalist will likely have to bring his game to a standard never before produced at the gaming table

There are weeks when O’Sullivan – like in Northern Ireland and the Scottish Open earlier this season – relies on reputation more than anything

But then there are other weeks like this when his desire for the task at hand is sharpened and no result other than fame is liable

There is no doubt that O’Sullivan benefited from the unexpected losses this week to Judd Trump and Mark Selby – the latter was rejected in a gripping round of 16 against Brown on Friday

His eyes would have lit when his two biggest rivals were removed from the equation and a record-breaking fifth Welsh Open title was on the cards

Brown mentioned that O’Sullivan’s disapproving comments about lower-ranking players over the past year fueled his performance motivation

The win on Sunday would certainly go a long way in proving the former world number one on that front as wrong

Whether or not he will be able to handle this type of challenge is the question we dearly want to find out

Live coverage of the 2021 Welsh Open Final is available on BBC Wales, the BBC Red Button, Eurosport, Quest and various other options around the world

David is the founder of SnookerHQ and a graduate in journalism He has been actively reporting on snooker since 2011. It has been featured in national publications and has appeared on the BBC World News and talkSPORT radio as an analyst

1 Judd Trump
2 Neil Robertson
3 Ronnie O’Sullivan
4 Mark Selby
5 Kyren Wilson
6 John Higgins
7 Shaun Murphy
8 Stephen Maguire
9 Ding Junhui
10 Mark Allen
11 Jack Lisowski
12 Yan Bingtao
13 Stuart Bingham
14 Mark Williams
15 David Gilbert
16 Anthony McGill

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World news – GB – Welsh Open Final: Ronnie O’Sullivan versus Jordan Brown – SnookerHQ