An interesting interview with Ronnie ahead of the 2019 English Open

Big thanks to Bernd Wütherish who pointed this interview to me! It’s very interesting indeed. I never heard about the total clearance podcasts before but, although my knowledge of the German language is very limited, I intend to try to follow their work.

here is the interview:

So Ronnie seems to be set to play at the UK Championship, which is good news.

I’m a bit surprised about his reluctance regarding the Masters. Usually he seemed to love this one because he had just to pitch and play. But it is true that over the years more and more “celebrities” came along , claiming frienship with him, to try and get (free) access to the tournament and the players room. It’s both a distraction and a burden. It’s sometimes difficult to say no.

He skilfully swerved the question about the World…

He also seems to be prepared to play some qualifiers, if needed, to go to Chinese events. That’s a change of mindset.

His criteria for “greatness” are quite “demanding” … and he names John Higgins amongst the greats although he doesn’t meet those criteria. 😉 But I agree with him, Judd Trump still has everything to prove, and Mark Selby’s dominance lasted four years and he was truly dominant during that period. However Neil Robertson has more ranking tittles than Mark Selby and nobody puts him in that “greatest” bracket. Whatever … it’s a pub debate, and comparing eras is always perilous and generally not meaningful.

And he wasn’t aware of the Home Series dress code… 😁


7 thoughts on “An interesting interview with Ronnie ahead of the 2019 English Open

    • Thans Nina, here is the translation of that article (google translation):

      Ronnie O’Sullivan Spends More Time With Family Now (Photo: AFP)
      – How’s your health?
      “Thank you, I’m on my feet, but I’ve been on a run for two days,” replied Ronnie O’Sullivan, who we had an interview with on Wednesday, but postponed the interview due to illness. – I picked up some virus, the first day I couldn’t even walk downstairs, I was so weak. I couldn’t eat, I felt sick.

      – He recently attended a gala in Bucharest where the 12-time women’s world champion played a showdown with Reanne Evans.
      – It was a fantastic day, we were in Romania for the fourth time and they love the snowshoe there. Or playing in front of a thousand and five hundred spectators, both of us feeling super cool.

      – He did strike a 147 maximum break.
      – Yes, it got together, the audience raged, it was really memorable.

      Ronald Antonio (Ronnie) O’Sullivan
      Born: December 5, 1975, Wordsley, England Professional career: 1992 Tournament wins / Score Tournament wins: 72/36
      Best / Current World Ranking: 1./2.
      Maximum Breaks Over 100: 15/1017 High
      Scores: 5x World Champion (2001, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2013), 7x UK Champion (1993, 1997, 2001, 2007, 2014, 2017, 2018), 7x Masters Tournament Winner (1995, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2014, 2016, 2017)
      – You’re not coming to Budapest? He has a lot of fans in Hungary as well.
      – Of course I will go if they call me! It’s my manager’s job to organize the demonstration gals, and I’ll talk to him. But you know what, tell the right people in my best interest, and bring it together if you really love it that way.

      “He didn’t exaggerate the game this season, he just started a tournament in Shanghai – he did win it, for the third time in a row, fourth overall. Which tournament is closest to the table?
      – That’s it: I won in China, over, now I’m resting until July. Okay, I’m just kidding, unfortunately I can’t do it yet. I will be heading to Crawley for next week’s English Open and I will also work as an expert for Eurosport. A lot of work is waiting for me.

      – What do you expect from the competition?
      – It would be good to win matches. My form is good, but it’s not always enough to win. The other hundred and twenty-seven players I can’t impress who are in top shape and play with me can beat me. It’s just that, a bit like the lottery, because the field is very strong. Last season I was fifty percent, running ten tournaments, winning five. This year, my goal is to raise my victory index to seventy to eighty percent.

      – How much do you train between tournaments? Less than when you even participated in fifteen or twenty races?
      “I don’t train much, I’m sorry about my time, I prefer spending time with my fiancée alone, and playing with my younger children, Lily Jo and Ronnie.” They are in the age of twelve and thirteen when we can spend quality time together. Of course, you can’t relax because a snooker is like a job to me: there are tasks that need to be done. I also have accounts that I have to pay at the end of the month, and I live in the sport. I have more and more non-snooker jobs in China, so I have to travel and do my expert job. But I wouldn’t be able to do that if I wasn’t a pro – I still have to keep up.

      – In May, he told The Daily Telegraph that he would not enter the World Cup. Did you mean that?
      – Yeah, because it’s the toughest and longest race of the year. To be honest, I don’t like it because when I get to the finals I play seventeen days, which is completely drained and there is no guarantee that I will win. Just investing in energy is simply not worth it. I have nothing to prove anymore, I did it five times, I know, I experienced how mentally bearable a person is. I’m not sure I’ll be able to sacrifice so much time for what I’ve achieved five times.

      – Are you still obsessed with running?
      – Ah, I haven’t had that time lately. Basically I run four to eight kilometers a day in the morning, then the air is best. But in the last four months, twice if I could run – maybe that’s why I became sick. Sometimes I get on the walk, just to be outside.

      So the “World Cup” is in fact the World Championship, and it’s the same thing as in previous seasons. Ronnie is not looking forward to it. In previous seasons he’s still entered it, despite what he had said earlier in the season, but didn’t do well. We just have to wait and see … and hope for a good run if he enters.

      • It is a reasonable translation (though I really disliked the style this interview was presented in that paper, but that does not change the content). It does not sound too good that he does nto like spending time on practising – interesting that he still wants to win 70% of the tournaments he plays). What he says about the SWC is interesting, bc it suggests that getting to the final and losing it the last time really hurt him (same as Higgins said or was said about him), but lately Ronnie got nowhere near the final, so it sounds a little absurd.

        On another note, I really don’t get this unbridled admiration for Higgins in the other interview, especially after Ronnie outlined his criteria for greatness.

      • Don’t take the practice thing too seriously. First because, when he practices, it’s very intense. He’s totally focused. When you do that, you can’t do 6 hours. But it’s very efficient. Next because he’s been saying similar things for years. Yet the other pundits at the shoot-out last season said afterwards that Ronnie had taken every opportunity between ES punditry slots to go and practice… so? And, yes, I think that 2014 defeat hurt him much more that he wants to admit – maybe even to admit to himself.

  1. Thank you Monique. I think Ronnie will be even in Sheffield next year. Imo Selby has more credit as a real great because he has won three worlds in 4 years, beating great players like Ronnie, Ding and Higgins. Robertson won just one world title almost 10 years ago. And Selby won more triple crown tournaments than Neil.

    • That is of course true Bernd, but Neil came from a different background. He came to the UK as a very young expat, his game very raw because he didn’t have the same vibrant and high quality amateur field in Australia. Selby of course also had it hard as a teenager, for different reasons. I think one could make a case of sorts for both but neither are in the bracket of Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry and Ronnie. Not yet anyway.

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