Snooker ‘rule breaker’ O’Sullivan targets world title in his 50s

Daily News
9 Min Read
Snooker ‘rule breaker’ O’Sullivan targets world title in his 50s

“How many people can say they have been the most successful in their job ever? I have to really give myself a pat on the back because I don’t, I am hard on myself. I have had the greatest career of any player” – Ronnie O’Sullivan after reaching second round at Crucible

Last Updated: 25/04/24 3:38pm

Ronnie O'Sullivan wants to try and win a world championship title at the age of 50

Ronnie O’Sullivan wants to try and win a world championship title at the age of 50

Ronnie O’Sullivan says he has “broken the rules for snooker” as he targets a record eighth World Championship title at the age of 48 – and feels he could compete for the Crucible crown in his 50s.

O’Sullivan, speaking to the BBC after thrashing Jackson Page 10-1 in the first round in Sheffield on Thursday afternoon, is currently tied on seven world titles with Stephen Hendry.

The Rocket has won more ranking tournaments than any other player – his tally of 41 is five more than the 36 Hendry achieved.

O'Sullivan will face Ryan Day in the second round of the World Snooker Championship at The Crucible, with that last-16 clash starting on Sunday

O’Sullivan will face Ryan Day in the second round of the World Snooker Championship at The Crucible, with that last-16 clash starting on Sunday

O’Sullivan said: “I know the ability is there, it is just finding the right formula sometimes. I have already broken the rules for snooker.

“I am still going at 48, 49 and I am seeing what is possible now. How long can you keep going for? Can I win a World Championship at 50?

“Who knows? I am probably the only player able to do that but let’s see, let’s have an experiment.”

Twitter Due to your consent preferences, you’re not able to view this Privacy Options

‘I have had the greatest career of any snooker player’

O’Sullivan has won five tournaments already this campaign, picking up his eighth career Masters and UK Championship titles, as well as triumphing at the World Grand Prix, Shanghai Masters and World Masters of Snooker.

He won his first ranking title in 1993, beating Hendry 10-6 in that year’s UK Championship final, and currently sits top of the world rankings 32 years on from turning professional.

“To do what I have done in this season, what I have done over a whole career… I have been doing it for 30 years. I have had the greatest career of any snooker player,” he added.

“How many people can say they have been the best or most successful in their job ever? I have to really give myself a pat on the back because I don’t, I am hard on myself.”

O'Sullivan: 'The harder the test the more I see it as a challenge. I have trained hard all my life and I am mentally tough and ready to play whenever'

O’Sullivan: ‘The harder the test the more I see it as a challenge. I have trained hard all my life and I am mentally tough and ready to play whenever’

O’Sullivan said he had “played terrible for two years” but was now feeling in good touch after linking up with coach Nic Barrow.

“Nobody has achieved what I have achieved on a table statistically. This would be [my best season statistically] but playing-wise, definitely not,” he added.

“I played terribly for two years but I know how to win. That is something I am blessed with. I don’t lie when I say I am not playing well. A lot of people think I am but I am not a liar. I say what I feel.

“I haven’t really cued smoothly but I have started working with Nic Barrow, a coach who knows my game inside out, as I decided I can’t coach myself anymore.

“I have felt as good on the practice tables in the last couple of weeks as I have in the last six to seven years.

“I just play. The harder the test the more I see it as a challenge. I have trained hard all my life and I am mentally tough and ready to play whenever.”

O'Sullivan says he is playing as well in practice as he has for six or seven years

O’Sullivan says he is playing as well in practice as he has for six or seven years

World Championship a procession for bullish O’Sullivan?

Seven-time World Snooker champion Stephen Hendry, speaking to the BBC:

“This is probably as bullish as I’ve ever heard Ronnie in an interview about his own achievements and how he sees his standing in the game – and I like it.

“I don’t like it when he plays it down about what he’s achieved and how good he is. He’s the greatest there’s ever been. Why not tell everyone he’s the greatest there’s ever been?

“I think this World Championship could be a procession. It looks like Ronnie is on it and the draw is opening up.

“Two players in his half of the draw who have beaten him this season – Mark Williams and Zhang Anda – are both out. He has Judd Trump possibly in the semi-finals but he hasn’t beaten Ronnie since 2020.”

O'Sullivan says if the World Snooker Championship was relocated to Saudi Arabia then he would find the tournament more convenient

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

O’Sullivan says if the World Snooker Championship was relocated to Saudi Arabia then he would find the tournament more convenient

O’Sullivan says if the World Snooker Championship was relocated to Saudi Arabia then he would find the tournament more convenient

Second-round draw – Best of 25 frames (seeding number in brackets)

David Gilbert vs (16) Robert Milkins
Stephen Maguire vs (8) Shaun Murphy
Joe O’Connor vs (12) Kyren Wilson
(13) John Higgins or Jamie Jones vs (4) Mark Allen
(3) Judd Trump vs (14) Tom Ford
Jak Jones vs Si Jiahui
Jack Lisowski vs Stuart Bingham
Ryan Day vs (2) Ronnie O’Sullivan

World Snooker Championship 2024 – second-round schedule

Thursday April 25

1pm
David Gilbert vs Robert Milkins

7pm
Judd Trump vs Tom Ford

Friday April 26

10am
David Gilbert vs Robert Milkins
Jak Jones vs Si Jiahui

2.30pm
Stephen Maguire vs Shaun Murphy
Judd Trump vs Tom Ford

7pm
David Gilbert vs Robert Milkins
Jak Jones vs Si Jiahui

Saturday April 27

10am
Stephen Maguire vs Shaun Murphy
Judd Trump vs Tom Ford

2.30pm
John Higgins/Jamie Jones vs Mark Allen
Jak Jones vs Si Jiahui

7pm
Joe O’Connor vs Kyren Wilson
Jack Lisowski vs Stuart Bingham

Sunday April 28

10am
Stephen Maguire vs Shaun Murphy
Ryan Day vs Ronnie O’Sullivan

2.30pm
John Higgins/Jamie Jones vs Mark Allen
Jack Lisowski vs Stuart Bingham

7pm
Joe O’Connor vs Kyren Wilson
Ryan Day vs Ronnie O’Sullivan

Monday April 29

1pm
Joe O’Connor vs Kyren Wilson
Ryan Day v Ronnie O’Sullivan

7pm
John Higgins/Jamie Jones vs Mark Allen
Jack Lisowski vs Stuart Bingham

Quarter-finals – Tuesday April 30-Wednesday May 1
Semi-finals – Thursday May 2, Friday May 3, Saturday May 4
Final – Sunday May 5 and Monday May 6

Ad content | Stream Sky Sports on NOW

Stream Sky Sports live with no contract on a Month or Day membership on NOW. Instant access to live action from the Premier League and EFL, plus darts, cricket, tennis, golf and so much more.

Get Sky Sports on WhatsApp

You can now receive messages and alerts for the latest breaking sports news, analysis, in-depth features and videos from our dedicated WhatsApp channel. Find out more here…

Share This Article
Leave a comment