Ronnie won his second round match in York, beating Robbie Williams by 6-2. Ronnie wasn’t at his brilliant best, but was very focused mentally, especially after the MSI.
His attitude and answers in the BBC post-match interview are very positive signs.
Mind Over Matter For Rocket
Ronnie O’Sullivan recovered from a slow start to beat Robbie Williams 6-2 and reach the last 32 of the Cazoo UK Champ
From 2-1 down, O’Sullivan looked sharp and focussed as he won five frames in a row with top breaks of 91, 74, 66 and 55. He will face either Mark King or Gerard Greene in the third round on Monday or Tuesday.
“I had to apply myself mentally today, you can only control the controllables,” said O’Sullivan.
“Mental strength can be the difference between winning and losing. I try to enjoy myself and have fun – at my age it’s just nice to be getting my cue out of its case.”
“This is the second biggest tournament and I have got a good record in it.”
and the stats
UK Snooker Championship 2021: Seven-time champion Ronnie O’Sullivan and three-time winner John Higgins advance in York
27 November 2021
By Steve Sutcliffe BBC Sport
Ronnie O’Sullivan and John Higgins both reached the third round of the UK Championship with routine wins in York.
Seven-time champion O’Sullivan made breaks of 91, 74, 66 and 55 as he reeled off five frames on the trot to seal a 6-2 win over Robbie Williams.
I am going to try and not enjoy it – and see what happens
It is almost three decades since O’Sullivan, 45, collected the first of his seven UK Championship titles in 1993. And a sumptuous opening red was a timely reminder of the quality of a player who – despite being regarded as one of snooker’s greatest ever stars – has downplayed his enthusiasm for participating in recent years.
“I have been enjoying it so much that it took the edge off my game. I thought maybe I should start applying myself a bit more mentally” O’Sullivan told BBC Sport.
“If I had not got my act together he would have probably taken advantage and won. I made him feel it out there and made him feel that I was there to try and win.”
“I am going to try and not enjoy it this week and see what happens”
While O’Sullivan took the first frame with a break of 58, Williams, 34, responded with breaks of 114 and 68 in a high-quality opening, and but for a kick on the pink he may have headed into the interval with a 3-1 lead.
Instead, O’Sullivan knocked in a 91 to draw level and went through the gears as he made his greater experience in these type of occasions count to book a last-32 meeting with Mark King, who won 6-2 against Gerard Greene.
Apparently, this is Ronnie’s idea to make sure he doesn’t enjoy it 😂
O’Sullivan Keeps Bid For Eighth UK Championship On Track With Win Over Williams
By Hector Nunns
Ronnie O’Sullivan insists he still has “hand grenades” to lob at opponents after keeping his bid for an eighth UK Championship title on track on Saturday afternoon.
The Rocket won the last five frames to seal a 6-2 victory over Robbie Williams as he looks to extend his own record haul at the York Barbican. World No3 O’Sullivan, 46 on the day of the UK final, did not make a century but rattled in breaks of 58, 68, 91, 74, 66 and 55 to see off the Wirral professional.
O’Sullivan said: “If my game is good then I don’t worry too much about the opponent. If I can hit them with enough grenades then hopefully that beats their best.
“It’s like Goran Ivanisevic was in tennis, however well his opponent played they knew they had to cope with that serve. If you apply your good assets, that will serve you well.
“I just tried to apply myself which I did well, and delete the horrific shots, and not listen to that voice telling me I can’t play and I’m useless.
“So I’ll refocus, not worry about how well or bad I’m playing and get on with the next one.
“That voice happens quite a lot, I can be my own worst enemy. It’s about trying to ignore it and play. It was great to be playing in front of a crowd here in York in a big tournament.
“We are judged on what we do in the three majors at the end of your career, and I am trying to stack up as many as I can.
“I would love to rack up another one or two, great, it gets harder as you get older – but if I don’t get any more they still have to chase me on 20. I regard that as one of the important records.
“Back in 2011 I didn’t see another victory coming after starting to work with Steve Peters and I lost belief – but it can come back and it did for me.”
The Sporstman also adds this piece of information, explaining why Steve Davis isn’t in York (yet)
Meanwhile snooker legend Steve Davis has missed the break at the UK Championship – after being struck down with Covid. The six-time winner of the event is now a popular pundit for broadcasters the BBC and had been due to start his duties yesterday.
Davis, 64 is recovering and completing his isolation at home in Essex but is hopeful of being in York from Wednesday for the latter stages of the first major of the season.
Former world No1 Davis won the prestigious event twice in its infancy and then another four times in a row from 1984-87 after it was given full ranking status. That mark of six was a record that stood through the Stephen Hendry era until 2018 when it was beaten by O’Sullivan.
And the BBC showed this piece about Ronnie’s career and status in the game: