Ronnie O’Sullivan stops Luca Brecel from getting matching tattoo with girlfriend

Snooker world No 2 Luca Brecel will not be getting matching tattoos with girlfriend Laura Vanoverberghe despite losing the Shanghai Masters final to Ronnie O’Sullivan. The reigning world champion lost 11-9 in China to the world No 1.

Despite Brecel rallying back from 3-1 down to lead 4-3 at one point and later being level at 7-7, O’Sullivan claimed a fourth Shanghai title in a row. Runner-up Brecel had agreed a pact with his girlfriend Laura before the tournament that if he went on to win, they would get matching tattoos – but he will not be getting inked thanks to the Rocket’s triumph.

The Belgian had agreed to the pair getting each other’s names tattooed on one another in Chinese writing. He explained: “I haven’t got a new tattoo for the World Championship win yet… but my girlfriend said to me when we arrived in Shanghai if I won the tournament she would get one of my name. And I think I will do the same of her name if I can beat Ronnie.”

But the World Championship winner simply had to settle for £105,000 as a consolation prize. O’Sullivan went home with £220,000 including a £10,000 bonus for the tournament’s highest break of 143, which came in the final.

After the match, Laura posted to her Instagram: “I am so very proud of you, of what you have already achieved. You pursue all your goals and most importantly, you always remain yourself. You will always be the best for me, I love you.” While Luca shared the message and wrote in response: “What a woman. My angel.”

Brecel’s romance with Ms Vanoverberghe is still believed to be relatively new. The 28-year-old previously dated Gaelle Dept, a professional tennis and volleyball player. But the Belgian is very much loved up with new flame Laura and has shared several snaps of the pair on their travels on his Instagram page.

They have spent time in Dubai, Hong Kong, Canada, Las Vegas and California this year. Brecel shared on Instagram last month: “We’ve travelled to 14 countries in four months and had the best time but the good thing is that it doesn’t matter where we are or what we do, all we need & want is each other!”

Vanoverberghe’s trip to England earlier this year for the World Snooker Championship final in Sheffield was said to be her first time leaving Belgium. The 24-year-old flew in to support her boyfriend as he held off Mark Selby to win 18-15 at the Crucible to claim snooker’s biggest crown and a £500,000 cash prize.

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Brecel had claimed at the European Masters in Nuremberg last month that as the current world champion, he feels a responsibility to be attack-minded. He said: “There have been world champions that have struggled in the past, but I kind of like it. Always being on table one focuses me.

“Maybe on a different table at 3-0 down I would have given up easier. Now I am a world champion, I have a responsibility to the crowd and snooker in general.” And he said before playing O’Sullivan in Shanghai: “The things I am doing now are things I have been dreaming about my whole career.

“Winning the Worlds, and now getting to another big final straight away. That is important to me, there have been times when I won a title and then went missing. Now I have the motivation to keep winning.”

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