Ronnie O’Sullivan raised plenty of eyebrows in the snooker world when he said the sport had grown into an “emotionless-type job" to him. But given
Ronnie O’Sullivan raised plenty of eyebrows in the snooker world when he said the sport had grown into an “emotionless-type job” to him.
But given his ability to still light up some of the biggest competitions in the world, and the work it takes behind the scenes to reach those heights, there will be many who doubt the brilliant player’s claims.
Belfast Exit Sparked Comments
O’Sullivan was clearly disappointed when he suffered what was a surprising second-round exit from the Northern Ireland Open in October. The 46-year-old, who is 9/2 in the latest snooker odds to win the 2023 World Snooker Championship, looked on course to reach the third round in Belfast after building up a 2-0 lead over Leeds’ David Grace. However, Grace produced a superb comeback to secure an impressive 4-3 victory over the seven-time world champion.
Emotions will have clearly been running high after a dramatic and surprising loss at the hands of Grace, the then world number 62, and O’Sullivan was a dejected figure in his post-match interviews. ‘The Rocket’ suggested he didn’t care about the sport and claimed it was not worth the “stress and the hassle”. His comments in Belfast are not the first time O’Sullivan has claimed his disinterest in the sport, yet it was he who managed to win a seventh world title last year at The Crucible in Sheffield.
Look Out For O’Sullivan In 2023
Many would suggest O’Sullivan takes pleasure in causing a stir in snooker and has been doing it throughout much of his career. One of the greatest players to pick up a cue, O’Sullivan has made a name for himself with his technical ability and speed once he’s found his rhythm on the table. Many opponents have learned the hard way why O’Sullivan is nicknamed The Rocket, as he has the ability to blow away his rivals in a single session.
O’Sullivan has had other surprising defeats when losing to lower-ranked players this year, after a defeat in the first round of the British Open in September at the hands of Switzerland’s Alexander Ursenbacher. In turn, O’Sullivan is seemingly capable of switching on his talents at any competition, as he did in the Hong Kong Masters when defeating Marco Fu in the final this year.
There will be plenty of anticipation once again when April rolls around on what O’Sullivan might be able to achieve at the World Championships. O’Sullivan’s win in Sheffield last year means he is now alongside Scotland’s Stephen Hendry as the players with the most world titles at The Crucible. While he might not care to admit it, O’Sullivan will surely be targeting one more title, to affirm his place as arguably the greatest player to play the sport.
The big question remains as to which O’Sullivan will show up at the 2023 World Championships. The one who could do without the hassle of snooker, or the O’Sullivan who has the ability to light up the biggest stage in the game.