Eurosport screens exclusive documentary celebrating Ronnie O’Sullivan’s Crucible crowns
Eurosport will screen an exclusive hour-long special, hosted by Colin Murray, reliving each of Ronnie O’Sullivan’s six World Championship titles dating back to his maiden win in 2001.
Ronnie O’Sullivan: The Joy of Six airs Friday 16th October at 10pm on Eurosport 1 and the Eurosport app.
Widely regarded as the greatest player of all time, O’Sullivan delivers an insightful account as he recalls each world title – key milestones of what has been the most decorated career in snooker history, spanning over 28 years.
O’Sullivan also discusses topics which have made him one of the most interesting characters in snooker such as the challenges of success at such a young age and his struggles with depression.
Labelled ‘The Rocket’ due to being one of the fastest cueists in the game, perfectly demonstrated by his famous 5min 20sec maximum break in the first round of the 1997 World Championship.
O’Sullivan told Murray: “Everyone remembers the 147, obviously that was a memorable moment. I was young and it was a massive pay day for me, I wasn’t used to seeing pay cheques like that.
When I won my first World Championship I was struggling mentally with depression – I call it snooker depression. I was anxious and started getting panic attacks…I couldn’t deal with it.
O’Sullivan goes on to say: “I thrive on drama. It helps me play better snooker and sometimes I feel I need to create some sort of enemy….I love to turn around a not so good situation into a fantastic outcome.”
Here are some “teaser” articles:
RONNIE O’SULLIVAN: WORLD-RECORD 147 WAS MEMORABLE, BUT I KNEW I WASN’T GOOD ENOUGH
Ronnie O’Sullivan produced a moment for the ages back in 1997: compiling a 147 in a record time of five minutes and 20 seconds at the Crucible. It came against Mick Price in round one, but the Rocket would suffer defeat to Darren Morgan in the very next round, leaving him to ponder where he needed to work on his game.
Ronnie O’Sullivan produced a magical 147 in the first round of the World Championship in 1997 but his loss in the very next round left the now six-time world champion pondering where he needed to improve his game.
The Rocket produced the record run in a 10-6 first-round match against Mick Price, and told Colin Murray on Ronnie O’Sullivan: The Joy of Six that the money he earned for that breaks – some £147,000 – was a massive payday.
“The 147 was memorable because I was young and it was a massive payday for me at the time, I’m not used to seeing pay cheques like that,” began O’Sullivan.
However, O’Sullivan would go on to suffer a deflating loss in the very next round, going down 13-12 to Darren Morgan, prompting O’Sullivan to immediately focus on his ultimate aim, the world title.
“That was obviously quite a memorable moment but then I lost to Darren Morgan, and I obviously just wanted to win the world title.
IT IS EVERY PLAYER’S DREAM IS TO WIN THE WORLD TITLE SO WHEN I LOST TO DARREN I JUST CAME OFF THINKING I NEED TO WORK ON MY GAME. I NEED TO FIND A CERTAIN LEVEL SO I CAN COMPETE OVER THREE SESSIONS.
O’Sullivan would win his first world title in 2001, overcoming John Higgins in the final.
Ronnie O’Sullivan on first world title: I feared I had blown it
Ronnie O’Sullivan secured his first world title courtesy of an 18-14 win against John Higgins back in 2001. The newly crowned six-times world champion said, on Ronnie O’Sullivan: The Joy of Six, that during the final he felt like he couldn’t “put three balls together”. Eurosport’s exclusive hour-long special ‘Ronnie O’Sullivan: The Joy of Six’ airs Friday 16 October at 10pm.
Ronnie O’Sullivan beat John Higgins 18-14 to claim a maiden world title back in 2001. However, the world champion has explained to Colin Murray in an exclusive hour-long special that leading 17-14, he felt he could still have had the title ripped from his grasp.
O’Sullivan, now a six-times world champion, led the 1998 world champion 17-13 but missed an easy red to the middle to allow ‘The Wizard of Wishaw’ to cut the arrears. It left O’Sullivan worried that the Scot would stage a memorable comeback.
“A point I remember is being 17-13 up and I had an easy red in the middle, but I remember thinking: ‘I’ve won this now, what am I going to say? I’m going to be picking the trophy up and thanking people’. And all of a sudden I’ve missed the red in the middle and any other player you think ‘there’s a chance I might get back to the table but John Higgins you ain’t coming back to the table’,” said O’Sullivan.
“He’s the best in those situations, he clears up and then goes 40-odd in the next and I’m thinking ‘here we go…’ He looked like he found his rhythm and I thought I wouldn’t be surprised if I lose this 18-17 now,” added O’Sullivan.
However, the 44-year-old would get his hand back on the table, compiling a break of 80 to seal a first world title, even if he felt that he would struggle to put together a run of three balls.
But he missed, and I came to the table and I made what I would consider the best 80 break I’ve ever made in my life because of how I felt inside. I didn’t think I could put three balls together let alone an 80 break to win my first world title. So for me, that’s probably the best 80 break I’ve ever made in my life.
O’Sullivan would, of course, go on to collect a further five world titles, claiming number six in a comfortable 18-8 win against Kyren Wilson back in August.
Ronnie O’Sullivan: ‘My World Snooker Championship dream has become a reality’
Ronnie O’Sullivan picks out highlights of 2020 World Snooker Championship win: ‘That was lovely stuff’
Phil Haigh Wednesday 14 Oct 2020
Ronnie O’Sullivan has reflected on his superb sixth World Championship win (Picture: PA)
Ronnie O’Sullivan has picked out the highlights of his World Snooker Championship win this year, admitting that he has watched back some of the ‘lovely stuff’ he played against Mark Selby in the semi-finals.
The Rocket won his sixth world title at the Crucible in August, beating Kyren Wilson 18-8 in a dominant performance in the final.
The 44-year-old was not at his brilliant best throughout the 17-day tournament, but did produce some superb stuff en route to lifting the trophy once again.
The epic 17-16 victory over Mark Selby in the semi-finals was arguably the most memorable match of the tournament and that is one O’Sullivan takes particular pleasure in, edging out his old foe.
The Rocket was two frames behind with three to play when he made breaks of 138, 71 and 64, although that final break didn’t quite get him over the line and it was his safety play from there that really sticks in his mind.
O’Sullivan speaking to Eurosport for an exclusive documentary said: ‘When it got to 16-14 I thought there’s no way I’m going to fudge my way over the line so I need to find three quick frames, big breaks, go for my shots and I took on a couple of shots that maybe earlier in the match I wouldn’t have taken.
‘But at this moment in time if they go in it could kick-start me into much better things, and it’s only three frames. It’s like the last mile of a 26-mile marathon.
‘I went from thinking I needed two or three chances to win the frame to thinking I need half a sniff and I can clear these balls up.
‘The 138 was a great break, I hardly put a foot wrong, and obviously the last frame I get in – bang – scoring and then I missed a red on 64. I thought “I’ve found the magic but I’ve collapsed, I’ve not finished the frame off” and he managed to get back into it.
‘Towards the end of that frame it was just unbelievable. To win that type of frame against Selby, the final frame after three days. I watch a couple of safety shots back and I just think “that was lovely stuff”.
There were close wins over Ding Junhui and Mark Williams in the second round and quarter-finals, but arguably the Rocket’s best performance was in round one when he swept aside Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 10-1.
It was the shortest match in Crucible history, lasting just 108 minutes, with the Rocket averaging just 14 seconds-per-shot.
‘It felt quite clinical, it felt quite controlled, and when you start telling me the shot time you think it’s ridiculous how I can play that quick yet feel like I’m not speeding round the table,’ said Ronnie.
O’Sullivan destroyed Thepchaiya in round one (Picture: Benjamin Mole/WST/REX)
The final was reasonably close after two sessions with O’Sullivan leading Wilson 10-7, but the Rocket feels his work on the practice table on the final morning won him the game and the title.
‘I must admit, I think that final was won probably at 10am in the morning at the practice table at the Crucible,’ he said.
‘I changed my grip, it had changed my timing, I was playing solid shots, I was able to play blind shots well, they were going in the middle.
‘I just thought “lovely, I’m going to take that into the world final on the final day, I’ve got a cue action, no matter what he throws at me at some point he’s going to make a mistake. I’m confident I’m going to be able to win the frame in one visit and build momentum from there.”‘
Wilson won just one more frame as O’Sullivan claimed the third session 7-1 and needed just one frame of the final session to clinch victory.
Ronnie O’Sullivan: The Joy of Six airs this Friday at 10pm on Eurosport 1.
SNOOKER, THE JOY OF SIX: RONNIE O’SULLIVAN ON DEL HILL BUST-UP DURING 2004 WORLD FINAL
In an exclusive hour-long special, Ronnie O’Sullivan tells Colin Murray of the bust-up he had with former coacher Del Hill during the 2004 world final. O’Sullivan told Murray that he was “fuming” when he saw former coach Del Hill working with opponent Graeme Dott in the practice room ahead of the final. ‘Ronnie O’Sullivan: The Joy of Six’ airs Friday 16 October at 10pm on Eurosport 1.
Ronnie O’Sullivan told was left fuming after world final opponent Graeme Dott had acquired friend and former coach Del Hill to assist him ahead the world title showdown in 2004.
The Rocket, who had beaten seven-time finalist Stephen Hendry 17-4 in the semi-final, slumped to a four-frame deficit against Dott. The Rocket would eventually fight back to win 18-8 but a surprise meeting with Hill in the practice room had left him unable to focus.
“I worked with a guy who worked with me for years – Del [Hill] – and we were good friends and a coach for quite a long time,” began O’Sullivan.
I GOT TO THE FINAL AND I HADN’T SEEN DEL FOR EIGHT, NINE OR TEN DAYS AND ALL OF HIS PLAYERS HAD GOT BEATEN AND I WALKED TO THE PRACTICE ROOM AND THERE WAS DEL GETTING BALLS OUT FOR [FINAL OPPONENT] GRAEME DOTT. SO STRAIGHT AWAY MY HEAD WAS GONE
It has quite the effect on O’Sullivan, something his then-coach Ray Reardon could not fathom.
“This guy that I’d shared my life with, I hadn’t seen him all tournament and yet he’s come up here for the final and it threw me off a little bit. So I didn’t know how to with it. I said to Ray [Reardon] it was like a family member has gone onto the other side and gone against me. Ray couldn’t understand it was and just said to play the game but in my head I couldn’t focus on the game because I was thinking more about that.”
I’VE NEVER REALLY TOLD THAT STORY BUT THAT’S THE TRUTH. I WAS FUMING.
O’Sullivan recovered to win but not before he had it out with Hill.
“I did actually phone him up after the first session and we had quite a heated discussion on the phone. Not on Del’s side, he was quite calm and placid!
I REALLY SAID WHAT I FELT I HAD TO SAY AND I REALLY REGRET SOME OF THE THINGS I SAID BUT AT THE TIME I REALLY FELT IT.
“It was just one of those things and we didn’t speak for a long time but I called him about four or five months ago. I pretended to be some Russian dude wanting lessons. I said: ‘Don’t be silly, it’s me Ronnie!’ and he said: ‘Oh hello, how are ya?, and he sent me a text saying good luck before the world championships. So it was just one of those moments.”