I don't know much about snooker: O'Sullivan

He has dominated the game for over two decades

AFP April 20, 2024
JOCKING: Seven-time world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan. Photo: AFP


Ronnie O'Sullivan will launch his bid for an eighth World Championship triumph with a new approach after claiming he doesn't "know much" about snooker.

O'Sullivan has dominated snooker for over two decades with a record 41 ranking titles and 1,260 century breaks.

The 48-year-old, who was first crowned world champion in 2001, has showed no signs of slowing down in the latter stages of his career, winning two of the last four world titles.

But O'Sullivan has linked up with a former coach with the aim of improving his game-play because he believes he still hasn't mastered the sport.

O'Sullivan will put his new approach to the test against qualifier Jackson Page on Wednesday in the first round of the World Championship, which gets under way at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre on Saturday.

"I've been trying to think how I want the next five to 10 years to be. I've been working with a coach and we've done a lot of testing in some ways and I've realised I don't know much about snooker," O'Sullivan told reporters on Friday.

"I thought I did. I know how to get a ball in a hole, and I know how to compete and win it, and I've got an idea of what needs to happen. I know I have to get this bit of wood and this ball and if I do this, that should happen.

"But I haven't been that efficient in the last few years and I've just tried to accept that I needed a bit of help, so I've gone back to a coach that worked with my old coach, and I'm going back through the stuff that worked for me."

O'Sullivan's coach Nic Barrow is a veteran figure on the world snooker circuit and runs a training programme called 'The Snooker Gym' which vows to "help frustrated amateurs with any problem in diagnosis".

While O'Sullivan is far from a frustrated amateur, the colourful and controversial star is unhappy with his form despite heading to Sheffield as the world number one after winning five ranking events this year.

After frequent hints at retirement over the years, O'Sullivan claims he could play on for another decade and needs to make changes to ensure his longevity.

"I like to win and I've got another five to 10 years, and I've got to enjoy the work that I'm doing," he said.

"I know I've won tournaments but winning and playing to a certain standard don't always match up. I've played a lot better and not won anything all season.

"It doesn't really make sense but I haven't really enjoyed it, I've just been struggling to get through the ball smoothly.

"Being happy with the game is what it's all about, or if that's not the case, I've got to get around not playing well and accept it, but I'm not good at accepting it."


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