Ronnie O'Sullivan

Ronnie O’Sullivan is hitting his stride at the UK Championship (Picture: Getty Images)

Ronnie O’Sullivan says his ‘game is where it can be’ after back-to-back whitewash wins over the opening two rounds of the UK Championship.

The Rocket has dished out 6-0 thrashings to Ross Bulman and Tian Pengfei, strolling into the last 32 in York without breaking a sweat.

It has been a mixed start to the season so far for the world number two, winning the Shanghai Masters and reaching the final of the Northern Ireland Open, but falling early at the World and English Opens.

However, with those tournaments under his belt, the 43-year-old now believes he is match sharp, and ready to perform somewhere near his brilliant best in the business end of the UK Championship.

He might be playing down his first round win over the little-known Bulman, but the Rocket admits that the walloping of Tian sends a message to his rivals.

‘If I’d have beat John Higgins 6-0 and Judd Trump 6-0 then you’d have said it’s amazing to not drop a frame,’ O’Sullivan told World Snooker.

Ronnie O'Sullivan

O’Sullivan is defending the title he won for a seventh time last year at the Barbican Centre (Picture: Getty Images)

‘No disrespect to my first opponent, I think he’s a rookie on tour, he looked like he was really struggling with the conditions and just the whole experience out there. That was not so much of a surprise.

‘Obviously Tian is a very, very good player, a quarter-finalist in a couple of tournaments and everybody knows he’s more than capable of producing the goods.

‘So that was a nice 6-0. I’m just happy to be competing at the moment.

‘I think [my form] is alright. It usually takes me three or four tournaments to get going. So by the time I start the season, most of the other guys have already played seven or eight tournaments.

‘I’m always playing catch-up in terms of when I hit my optimum level. For me to be at this stage now, I’m kind of into the season and my game’s where it can be. Whether you win or not is another matter.’

O’Sullivan is not always a fan of the host cities or venues of snooker tournaments, but he has no such complaints about York, which he cannot get enough of.

‘It’s great, walking round York,’ the Rocket continued. ‘It’s probably my favourite city in the UK, I always tell people you must come to York and experience it.

‘Cambridge is great too, but I just give York the nudge.

‘It’s great to be here, the coffee is good, I love the coffee shops here, it’s great to be able to go and relax.’

The world number two is in third round action on Tuesday afternoon against Thailand’s Noppon Saengkham.

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