Stephen Hendry, the seven-times world champion, believes Ronnie O'Sullivan will not have been scared by the "poor" standard of play at last week's Betfair Masters.
Mark Selby beat defending champion Neil Robertson 10-6 in this year's final at Alexandra Palace.
However, Hendry, now working as a BBC pundit, doesn't think the standard of snooker will have deterred the 'Rocket' from making his return from a sabbatical.
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"There is no doubt Ronnie has been watching and thinking he could compete and win at the World Championships," said Hendry. "This was the Masters, the event that brings the top 16 players in the world together.