Ronnie won his 2022 European Masters’ last 128 held-over match, beating Nigel Bond by 5-1.
Here are the scores:
As Athar mentioned in their latest comment, Nigel still has a very good snooker brain, and he still loves the game. The main issues when players get older are lapses in concentration, and, diminished scoring power. The two are linked of course.
Bond’s Time To Die As O’Sullivan Strolls Through
O’Sullivan, chasing his second title of the season having won the Cazoo World Grand Prix in December, will face Zhang Anda in the last 64 on Tuesday afternoon
Bond lost to O’Sullivan six times between 1994 and 1998, and after waiting nearly a quarter of a century for another crack at the Rocket, was unable to score a first victory over his illustrious opponent. O’Sullivan took the opening frame with a break of 82, then added two scrappier frames to lead 3-0. Bond took frame four on the colours to keep his hopes alive, only for O’Sullivan to compile a run of 132 to lead 4-1, and he soon sealed the result in frame six with a break of 50.
“I’m happy to be through,” said world number two O’Sullivan. “I’m in a good place all the time. I focus on feeling good and doing the things I want to do. I love what I do, love my life and I want to enjoy every moment of it. I have done so much in the game and won so much, I have hit the ceiling. I don’t get excited about it any more, it’s a way of life and I enjoy it.
“At the start of my career I was excited because I wanted to achieve. But when you have broken every record you wonder why you are still doing it, so I have to find other reasons to do it, and that is just to enjoy what I do and get away from home. I will hit some balls tomorrow and have some fun.”
“I don’t really like talking about my performances, other than just leave it out there. It was what it was, and I’m happy to be through,” O’Sullivan told the World Snooker Tour after reaching the last 64.
“I’m pretty much in a good place all the time really. If I have a bad moment it affects me, so I focus on feeling good all the time and on doing the things I want to do.”
“It might sound selfish, but I love what I do. I love my life and I just want to enjoy every moment of it.
“Sometimes there are things that you’re not going to want to do, but I’ve just accepted that as long as that’s maybe 10% of my life, then I suppose we all have to do some things at some part in our life that we don’t want to do.
“I couldn’t give a monkey’s (about the World Snooker Championship). I’ll just go, have good fun, enjoy it.
“It’ll be a nice little road trip, I’m looking forward to spending 17 days in the great city and just having fun – come what may.
“I just don’t care. I’ve done so much in the game and won so much, I’ve hit the ceiling and I don’t want to keep going through the roof.
“It gets boring after a while and I just don’t get excited. I’m sorry, but if you’d won as much as I’d won, you’d probably feel the same.
“It’s just a way of life, I enjoy it. I take it for what it is – that’s why I was so excited at the start of my career, because you want to achieve.
“When you’ve broken every record and done everything there is to do in the game, you kind of think ‘why am I still doing it?’.
“I have to find other reasons to do it and winning is not one of them. I enjoy just doing what I do.”
I personally think that we should keep the recent changes in Ronnie’s private life in mind when considering these quotes, and judging his current priorities.
Here is the interview on WST YouTube Channel
And here is the end of the match as shared by Eurosport on their YouTube channel
I have absolutely no doubts that Ronnie still loves snooker and cares about the future of his sport. WST interviewed On Yee after her first professional win and amongst other thins, here is what she told them:
One of her most significant experiences so far was receiving an invite for a game with six-time World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan. She admits it was a nerve wracking practice session.
“I was so nervous to play with him. It was very exciting and nice that he offered me a game. I think I was 6-2 up and then went on to lose 10-7. At the beginning, he wasn’t really used to the table speed. After he got used to the table speed I was just picking balls out for him. He scores so fast.
“He said that next time he could spend a few days with me because we only played for a few hours that day. He did suggest that with some breaks I could go into the pack earlier, rather than trying to play the accurate shots for position. I think he thought I could generally be more aggressive.”
Ronnie has also helped Zhao Xintong, amongst other young players, in the past. That’s not the attitude of someone who doesn’t care for his sport, never mind someone who hates it as some suggest he does.