Ronnie was recently interviewed on the climb podcast and admits to mixed feelings about his 7t World title, as reported by Phil Haigh:
Ronnie O’Sullivan ‘wishes he hadn’t won’ seventh World Snooker Championship
Ronnie O’Sullivan says he wishes he hadn’t won a seventh World Snooker Championship title this year, as he doesn’t enjoy the attention, pressure and expectation that has come with it.
The Rocket beat Judd Trump in the final at the Crucible, after seeing off Dave Gilbert, Mark Allen, Stephen Maguire and John Higgins, as he equalled Stephen Hendry’s record of seven world crowns.
It was an emotional moment for the 46-year-old, who was in tears after securing the win in Sheffield, but he now says he would rather not have lifted the trophy for a seventh time.
O’Sullivan insists he prefers to fly under the radar and not have to deal with everything that goes with being at the summit of snooker, which he says he gets no enjoyment from at all.
‘After looking back on it, I actually wish I hadn’t have won it,’ O’Sullivan told The Climb Podcast. ‘The question I get asked more now than anything is, “do you still play snooker?” I want to say to them, no. I want to say I’ve retired, I do little bits and pieces, it’s great and I slip under the radar.
‘All of a sudden when I’ve won this, I’ve got 600 messages on my phone, everyone’s saying well done and asking when I’m going for the eighth. It’s like my worst nightmare come true again.’
A documentary was being made about the Rocket during this year’s World Championship and he says it was this added incentive that pushed him on to succeed again in Sheffield.
‘I didn’t want to get in the pit again, but I did,’ he explained. ‘The reason for it was I had a film crew following me about, so that kind of spurred me on to do as well as I could. Probably if they weren’t following me about I might have made the quarters or semis and thought that’s enough, because I don’t like going so deep anymore.
‘On reflection, it was great to win it, but I was never driven by records or awards. Things that a lot of people seem to think is important in sport, for me it’s about loving what I do and enjoying just playing for fun, treating it like a hobby.
‘But to win the world title you can’t enjoy it, you have to go deep and find some reserves from within, you find something within you to push forward.’
O’Sullivan is very much against doing anything that he doesn’t want to do, and that includes staying for the post-World Championship party, over the road from the Crucible.
Going to the after party is what annoyed me. I’m just like, I don’t need this, I just want a cup of tea and go to my bed,’ he said.
‘That’s why I enjoyed it when I won it in Covid in 2020, there was no crowd, no party, just whoever happened to be there with me. I just can’t be doing with the circus, the circus is what drives me crazy. The World Championships is the biggest circus of all.’
The consensus greatest player ever is back to world number one and has won two of the last three World Championships, and has done so by trying to only do things he enjoys in snooker.
He says that biting the bullet and going all out for victory will guarantee him success, but in general he only needs to put in half that effort to remain near the top of the sport.
‘I just disengaged about seven or eight years ago with anything that didn’t make me feel comfortable in snooker,’ he continued. ‘There’s no amount of money in the world someone can offer me to do something I don’t want to do.
‘It was great. I knew I could have a longer career, more enjoyable, more happy, more fun. Still compete, still be in the top eight in the world because it’s easy for me to be in the top eight, I’ve just got to be 50 per cent, really.
‘I go 100 per cent and I go back to number one, like I have done. But I don’t want to be at 100 per cent, I don’t want to be that animal anymore, it’s exhausting, it’s tiring and I’ve done it.
‘Having won the world title and having got back to number one, it’s not a good place to be for me, personally.
‘I’m happy with a cup of tea, coffee, a few friends, I don’t want a lot out of life to be honest with you.’
I believe that. I have known Ronnie for over 15 years now, and that’s him being himself.
He loves playing snooker, but he doesn’t love many of the things that come with his huge success in snooker. He doesn’t love the massive expectations constantly piled on him, he doesn’t love the loss of privacy that often comes with that success. When you are the World Champion you are expected to be available for a lot of things: promotion, sponsors, interviews, the media is constanly monitoring what you do or say … and fans expect you to be available for them at all times as well.
You will tell me that it’s normal to give back to your sport. It’s true but not necessarily easy or enjoyable for someone who is very much a private person, struggling with mood swings and actually surprisingly shy.
The thing about the after-party is true. Both in 2012 and 2013, Ronnie showed up because he had to, did what was expected from him, a little speech thanking the sponsors, the venue management, the fans, etc. He then stayed for a little while, barely leaving the table where his family and close friends were sat and disappeared as soon as he could decently leave.
Yesterday, Ronnie was working for Eurosport, being a “special guest” at the Speedway race in Cardiff. During the event – which he loved – he clarified some of the above and gave some more information about his current injury.
‘ABOUT THE LAST YEAR!’ – RONNIE O’SULLIVAN REVEALS LONG-TERM ARM INJURY KEEPING HIM OUT, AIMS FOR HONG KONG
Ronnie O’Sullivan exclusively reveals at the FIM Speedway Grand Prix in Cardiff that he is set to be out of action for almost two months with an arm injury that he has been struggling with for a year and is looking to recover in time for the Hong Kong Masters in October.
Ronnie O’Sullivan says he is set to be out for almost two months with an arm injury, but is targeting the Hong Kong Masters in October.
The seven-time world champion was appearing as a special guest at the FIM Speedway Grand Prix of Great Britain in Cardiff.
The Rocket was at the Principality Stadium with discovery+ to watch round six of what has been a thrilling season of Speedway GP action so far.
O’Sullivan got involved with the pre-race track walk to observe how the riders inspect the surface before taking to their bikes.
O’Sullivan says he is skipping the European Masters, which runs from August 11 to August 20 in Furth, with his sights firmly set on the Masters tournament which gets underway on October 6.
“I’ve had an injury for my arm for about the last year,” he told Eurosport.
“The last two months it’s just got really bad so I really need to rest it.
“Hopefully it will get better and I think it’s a time-healing process. One of the big events that I want to play in is in Hong Kong which is in early October.
“I thought I better rest it and try and get it better for that.”
O’Sullivan says it was “unbelievable” to win the World Championship for a record-equalling seventh time back in May.
“It was unbelievable really. It’s such a hard tournament I thought I probably did not have it in me to win again, but I decided to do this documentary.
“I had a film crew follow me around so I thought ‘I better really try hard here because I’m going to have to watch this back.‘”
“I just gave it everything and I think that was one of the reasons I was able to get over the line.”
O’Sullivan did a track walk inside the Principality Stadium. He says having as dry conditions as possible in snooker is optimal on the World Snooker Tour.
He explained: “All the tables are exactly the same. What you are looking for is the room to be of the right temperature. In snooker you are wanting the conditions to be as dry as it can.
“Sometimes when we go to China, Thailand and then it’s anything but dry. It’s damp, it’s humid and that gets into the table which makes it play heavier. If you can have a dry atmosphere in the room then the table will always play well.
“It’s the same for both players so you have to learn to adapt to it as well.”
So basically, he might miss the British OPen and the Mixed Double as well. We shall see.
Here are a couple of pictures that he shared on social media