O’Sullivan has had one of the best seasons of his career, winning five ranking titles, earning £824,500 and making 70 centuries.
He already holds the records for most career centuries (944), most 147s (14) and is tied with Stephen Hendry on 18 Triple Crown titles. However O’Sullivan still lags two behind behind Hendry’s record of seven World Championship crowns, and three behind the Scot’s mark of 36 ranking titles.
Chigwell’s 42-year-old O’Sullivan has repeatedly insisted that he is not motivated by eclipsing Hendry. But world number three Trump is convinced that the Rocket is determined to achieve more.
“Ronnie wants to break every record and over the next three or four years I think he’s likely to get them, the way he is playing,” said Trump. “He’s getting a bit older and he wants to target those records and beat them before he retires. He says he’s not really bothered, but I think that’s the only aim he has left in snooker. If he does get to seven or eight world titles, that will be enough for him.”
Trump, who lost 6-5 when the pair met in the semi-finals of the Players Championship last month, feels that O’Sullivan will be hard to stop in this year’s Betfred World Championship, which runs from April 21 to May 7 in Sheffield.
He added: “Ronnie has been on a different level to anyone else this season. A lot of players have collapsed against him. With the way he’s playing, the confidence he has and the mood he is in, he will be massive favourite at the Crucible, even more so than any other year.
“There is an aura around Ronnie which means that only a few players can beat him. He is keeping himself fit and not a lot of other players are doing that so it’s a way for him to get one up on the rest of them. He knows he is the most talented player and if he works hard he’ll put himself in a good position.
“He’ll need to have his head right because if he comes up against one of the slow players and goes behind he’ll need to stick with it. If you come up against him you have to hope to catch him on a bad day.”
Obviously you don’t become a great champion unless you are very competitive, and Ronnie is a great champion. However it takes a great deal of bravery … or naIvety … to claim to understand what Ronnie thinks and wants . Himself doesn’t always know from one day to the other!
It’s this time of the season again, and we will see mind games everywhere. Last year Judd Trump came at the Crucible claiming that “this was going to be his year”, only to collapse to Rory McLeod in the first round. So, maybe, it’s good tactic this time to keep the focus and put the pressure on someone else.
Now, of course, I would be delighted if Ronnie did beat all those records before he retires, but it’s not that important.