The latest news and buzz around Ronnie O’Sullivan ahead of The Rocket’s tilt at a seventh World Championship snooker crown at The Crucible.
In advance of the World Championship getting underway, check back in with us here regularly to catch up with the 45-year-old’s latest news and antics as he prepares to defend his title.
Robertson cruising towards semi-finals against Lisowski
23/03/2021 AT 15:41
Will O’Sullivan and Trump meet in world final?
In keeping with tradition, defending six-times champion O’Sullivan is the top seed and will open the 45th staging of the sport’s biggest event in Sheffield against a qualifier over the best-of-19 frames at 10am on Saturday 17 April before concluding his first-round match from 7pm later that night.
World number one Trump is in the bottom half of the draw and is guaranteed to be seeded two no matter what happens in this week’s Tour Championship involving the top eight on the one-year list.
Trump and O’Sullivan have met only once at the World Championship with O’Sullivan enjoying a 17-11 win in the 2013 semi-finals on his way to claiming his fifth title at the Crucible eight years ago.
O’Sullivan right on cue with victory over Higgins
The world champion revealed before his meeting with Higgins that he considered withdrawing from the elite event involving the top eight on the World Snooker Tour one-year ranking list because he was unhappy with the condition of his cue.
“I’ve had a nightmare with my cue,” said O’Sullivan before the match after encountering issues during the WST Pro Series event last week. “I put it in the menders and I got it back. It was no good, but sending it back has made it worse. It’s kind of irretrievable now so I need to get myself a new cue.
If I had been given the option to pull out, take my prize money and given (Welsh Open winner) Jordan Brown my place, I would definitely have taken that option because it is better to go to someone who has a good chance of winning.
“As for today, I don’t expect too much from my game. I’ve just got to come here, collect my prize money and try to do something today.”
Despite his concerns, O’Sullivan produced a gritty and gallant display laced with moments of his trademark brilliance to reach the last four and a best-of-19 frame semi-final showdown with world number one Judd Trump or Barry Hawkins in the chase for a £150,000 first prize.
‘Not good for the soul’ – O’Sullivan ‘done’ with Milton Keynes
The reigning world champion has taken part in 10 tournaments at the MK Stadium this season, with the snooker tour having been essentially based there.
“I am done there now… I have done my time! I am not sure I could ever come back to the place. I was lucky, I didn’t stay here as much as some of the other players depending on how strict the bubble was.
I dipped in and out a bit. But I did one tournament where I stayed from start to finish and it was not good for the soul.
“So I am delighted I am not back there for sure for the rest of this season…and I just don’t know about next season. Who does know?
“I suppose Barry Hearn might have an idea. Maybe he has done a job lot deal and will stage snooker, darts, pool, ping pong and fishing all there at once.
“You’d have to build a lake for the fishing, maybe they’ll stick a little lake out there in the car park. But let’s hope not.”
‘Oh dear!’ – O’Sullivan farts, can’t stop laughing, plays shot one-handed
The 45-year-old struggled to take his match against Tom Ford at all seriously, as he came up with a range of antics. He finished bottom of Group I on frame difference, but still found ways to make the evening memorable.
After joking away with Ford prior to the match getting underway, the Rocket proceeded to strike the pink with his break-off to gift his opponent an immediate six-point lead via the foul.
He was presented another opportunity to get into the frame, but then decided to take on a wild one-handed shot which, unsurprisingly, did not result in a pot.
Further antics were to follow in the second frame as O’Sullivan farted loudly while coming up from his crouched stance after he drained a black to the corner pocket.
He then could not stop laughing as he continued his break and, without stopping to compose himself, got to 50 before Ford was able to score 84 to close out the bizarre match.
O’Sullivan, whose average shot time in the match was a ridiculous 11.1 seconds, could be heard saying to his opponent as he played on: “Oh dear!”
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‘Sigh of relief’ – O’Sullivan right on cue with victory over Higgins
22/03/2021 AT 23:57
O’Sullivan sinks 1100th century in tense win over Higgins
22/03/2021 AT 22:09