Not good enough?

This evening, the BBC reports these quotes from Ronnie

Ronnie O’Sullivan says he is ‘not good enough’ to compete with world’s best

Five-time world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan says he is “not good enough to compete with the best players in the world”.

The Englishman beat Xiao Guodong to reach round two of the International Championship in Daqing, China.

World number nine O’Sullivan, 40, said he is “nowhere near” the level he was two years ago.

“I haven’t had any good results but that tells you where I am with my game,” he said.

O’Sullivan won his sixth Masters title in January and the Welsh Open in February.

However, since then he lost in the first round of the World Grand Prix, the second round of the World Championships in April, the last 16 of the Shanghai Masters and the last 32 of English Open.

He was beaten by world number three Judd Trump in the final of the European Masters this month.

“I am not going to turn my back on the game yet,” said O’Sullivan, who revealed he enjoys punditry more than playing.

“I enjoy playing but I am probably not good enough to compete with the best players in the world because they are at their peak.

“I will still keep playing and hopefully will get a result, and if I don’t I am just enjoying playing.”

O’Sullivan will play Kurt Maflin on Tuesday in the ranking event in Daqing, the richest tournament staged outside the UK.

There were also first-round wins for world champion Mark Selby, Trump, Ding Junhui and John Higgins on Monday, but two-time world champion Mark Williams lost to wildcard Xu Si.

Here is my view on the matter:

Whilst it’s true that Ronnie hasn’t played that well (yet) this season, he’s still reached the final of a ranking event, the European Masters earlier this month. He’s also currently 13th in the one-season list, despite missing a number of tournaments over the summer. So, clearly, it’s not all bad.

And we have been there before. Remember the lean spell in 2009/10/11? It happens to them all, Williams spent years out of the top 16, and came back, John Higgins had a very bad spell before finding his game again last season. Of course, at 40, time is not on Ronnie’s side, but it’s far too early to write him off.

One thing I believe Ronnie doesn’t want is to be the one bearing the biggest share of the fans expectations. This is a pressure he had to cope with for nearly 25 years now, and it has been his undoing at times. Downplaying his chances might well help the perfectionist he is to cope with those huge expectations (his own included!)

Also why is the BBC nearly always reporting the not-so-positive things, and those only? I wonder.

Indeed, if this article published by sport.sina is to be trusted, there is much more, and more positive too, that was discussed by Ronnie today in Daqing. Here is a translation by Google:

O’Sullivan won the game is very naughty, came to the press conference room, see the table filled with the order book, he is to pick up the pen to start with the signature. Listen to a reporter’s question, he will close the mouth with the microphone, or caress the microphone with the forehead – the original, the snooker genius also has “innocence” side.

Beijing October 24, 2016 World Snooker Championship in Daqing, the second day of competition to start. In the first round, the debut of the game O’Sullivan 6 to 4 victory over Xiao Guodong, promotion of the second round. After the game, O’Sullivan admitted that this is a very tough game, “Xiao Guodong is my friend, is a great player before I just beat Robertson in Manchester, am now very confident. I’m very happy. ”

Tonight’s game, O’Sullivan and Ding Junhui are arranged in the live venues to play, but the attendance, O’Sullivan’s popularity is higher. Does this mean that in China, O’Sullivan is more popular than Ding Junhui? For this question, O’Sullivan denied: “I do not think so, I think Ding Junhui is also very popular and I think this is because I do not often come to China to participate in the competition, we want to see me at the scene, so my screening I have a little bit old, Ding Junhui younger than me, he will play more games.

Earlier, O’Sullivan has decided to withdraw from November 1 to 5 in Guangzhou for the China Championship. For the reasons for retirement, O’Sullivan Sina Sports, said: “There are several reasons, such as important because I think the road is relatively far away, the two game time immediately, I want to focus on the game, Because the game is more important. “He said he has been quite Lianbao old smile,” I am now not a twenty-year-old boy, I have a little old, I hope to have some rest time, I attach great importance to this event. ”

The O’Sullivan first came to Daqing entry, his impression of the city how? “The city is beautiful and quiet, and I like the climate, the lake and the food,” he added, “you know I like food very much.

(Dong Zhengxiang from Daqing)

Imperfect as this translation might be, it’s quite obvious that he was in a rather positive mood albeit a bit mischievous. It’s also clear that he discussed a lot of different subjects with the press: his popularity in China, the reasons why he withdrew from the Evergrande in Guangzhou (basically because he wants to stay fresh and that event isn’t ranking) and his impressions of the city and, of course, the food!

2016/17 Season: Snooker on Eurosport

Worldsnooker has published this article, explaining how and what snooker fans across Europe will be able to watch this season.

Thursday 23 Jun 2016 02:19PM

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Snooker fans throughout Europe can watch many of the season’s biggest tournaments anywhere and on any device through the Eurosport Player, the leading live and on-demand digital sport platform.

Eurosport Player is available to download and watch in 52 markets and in 20 languages, offering fans an all-access pass to immerse themselves in the greatest events on the global sporting calendar.

With live and on-demand content available anytime, fans can experience sport in the way that they enjoy best and access enhanced live features, such as additional feeds and camera angles.

The 2016/17 World Snooker Tour is now underway and a wide range of tournaments will be available to watch this season on Eurosport and via the Eurosport Player including all three Triple Crown events and the new Home Series.

Fans across Europe can subscribe from just 5.99€ a month and £4.99 a month in the UK, offering fantastic value and the chance to watch the best snooker stars on the planet battling for the most prestigious trophies.

World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn said: “We recently signed a momentous and wide-ranging ten year deal with Eurosport and we are delighted that many of our tournaments will be available to watch on the Eurosport Player.

“This gives the opportunity for our many millions of fans throughout Europe to watch snooker anytime and on any device. It’s shaping up to be a fascinating season and one thing is for sure: there will be no shortage of drama and an incredible standard of play.”

To find out more about the service and range of compatible devices, click here.

Eurosport’s coverage of the World Snooker Tour events is also available in the UK via Sky, Virgin Media and BT TV.

Click here for more information on Eurosport’s ten year deal with World Snooker


Snooker 2016/2017 season on Eurosport

 All tournaments below available on the Eurosport Player:

 

Date

Tournament

22-24 June

Riga Masters*

5-9 July

Indian Open

25-31 July

World Open*

25-28 Aug

Paul Hunter Classic

30 Aug – 2 Sept

Shanghai Masters Qualifiers

5-10 Sept

Six Red World Championship

19-25 Sept

Shanghai Masters*

27-30 Sept

International Championship Qualifiers

3-9 Oct

European Open*

10-16 Oct

English Open*

23-30 Oct

International Championship*

14-20 Nov

Irish Open*

22 Nov – 4 Dec

UK Championship*

6-9 Dec

German Masters Qualifiers

12-18 Dec

Scottish Open*

15–22 Jan

The Masters*

24-27 Jan

China Open Qualifiers

1-5 Feb

German Masters*

6-12 Feb

World Grand Prix* (excluding UK)

13-19 Feb

Welsh Open*

24-26 Feb

Shoot Out (Europe, excluding UK)

3-5 March

Gibraltar Open*

6-12 March

Players  Championship* (excluding UK)

27 March – 2 April

China Open*

5-12 April

World Championship Qualifiers*

15 April – 1 May

World Championship*

 

*Also broadcast on Eurosport TV

Eurosport 10 years agreement

Yesterday Barry Hearn made a major announcement:

Thursday 28 Apr 2016 03:30PM

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Eurosport signs new 10-year agreement with World Snooker and IMG

• Eurosport, the Discovery-owned broadcaster, underlines its position as the Home of Snooker across Europe through coverage of all major snooker tournaments, including the World Snooker Championship, for the 2016/17 to 2025/26 seasons inclusive.

• The agreement is an extension of its exclusive European rights to 18 tournaments of the World Snooker Tour, in addition to World Ranking Event qualifiers including the World Snooker Championship Qualifiers in Sheffield.

• The deal includes exclusive TV and digital rights to the ‘Home Nations Series’ in Europe*

• Eurosport has also secured the rights for the Indian Open, Paul Hunter Classic, 6 Reds World Championship and the Shoot Out (excluding the UK)

Eurosport, World Snooker and IMG have today announced a 10-year extension of the TV and digital rights to show 18 tournaments of the World Snooker Tour on Eurosport and Eurosport Player, its live and on-demand digital service. The agreement strengthens Eurosport’s position as the home of snooker across Europe, allowing fans to follow the sport’s biggest and most exciting moments live.

The events will be shown exclusively on Eurosport in 54 markets across Europe*. In addition to the live action, fans will be able to enjoy insight from leading players and personalities within the game on special programming. There will also be enhanced match coverage on Eurosport Player, where fans will be able to choose which matches to watch from cameras covering multiple tables.

Speaking at a press conference at the World Snooker Championship, Peter Hutton, Chief Executive Officer at Eurosport said: “Snooker has some of sport’s most ardent fans and has been a major part of Eurosport’s programming since it was first broadcast on the channel in 2003. Eurosport has since been a strong partner to help grow the popularity of the sport across Europe, showcasing the best competitions, providing insightful expert commentary and exceptional new programming such as ‘The Ronnie O’Sullivan Show’.

“We see excellent viewing figures for snooker and we are delighted to announce that we will continue to share the best moments from the sport with fans across the continent for the next 10 years.”

World Snooker Chairman, Barry Hearn added: “This long term deal with Eurosport is a very significant moment for our sport. Eurosport has played a crucial role in the rapid growth of snooker across the continent over the past 13 years, making it one of the most popular and highest-rating sports in the region. The players are now travelling to many corners of the continent and seeing a new-found passion among fans who might not have even heard of snooker until they saw it on Eurosport. We’re excited about continuing this growth over the coming decade, staging new events in the UK and around Europe, and working alongside the Eurosport team in building ever stronger foundations.”

Adam Kelly, Head of Sales EMEA & Global Business Development Worldwide, SVP IMG Media, concluded: “We are pleased to have achieved our aim of ensuring both continued growth and increased awareness of the World Snooker Tour, through securing distribution with Eurosport on behalf of World Snooker. This extension will enable the sport to continue to benefit from the expansive coverage they offer across the region, both on their TV channels and digitally.”

The long-term, multiplatform agreement includes the exclusive coverage of the inaugural ‘Home Nations Series’ comprised of the Welsh Open, Scottish Open, Irish Open and English Open.

*In the UK, four of the tournaments will be shown, but not exclusively: the World Championship, Masters, UK Championship and Welsh Open. The rights to the Players Championship and the World Grand Prix do not include rights to the UK.

About Eurosport

Eurosport, the Discovery-owned sports broadcaster, connects fans and athletes around the greatest sports events. Its channels, Eurosport 1, Eurosport 2 and Eurosportnews, reach 243 million cumulative subscribers across 99 countries in Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. Eurosport.com is Europe’s No.1 online sports news website with up to 23 million visitors each month. Eurosport Player is an all-access pass to the greatest events on the calendar, available anytime and on any device in 52 countries. Eurosport Events specialises in the management and promotion of international sporting events. More information is available by visiting corporate.eurosport.com

About IMG

IMG is a global leader in sports, events, media and fashion, operating in more than 25 countries. The company represents and manages some of the world’s greatest sports figures and fashion icons; stages hundreds of live events and branded entertainment experiences annually; and is one of the largest independent producers and distributors of sports media. IMG also specializes in sports training; league development; and marketing, media and licensing for brands, sports organizations and collegiate institutions. In 2014, IMG was acquired by WME, a leading global entertainment agency.

Source: Worldsnooker

Ronnie speaks to Desmond Kane after his last 16 defeat

After his defeat to Barry Hawkins on Monday night, Ronnie spoke to Desmond Kane, from Eurosport,  and here is the interview

Ronnie O’Sullivan put a brave face on losing 13-12 to Barry Hawkins in the last 16 of the World Championship by vowing to redouble his efforts to win a sixth title at the Crucible Theatre in 2017.

The five-times champion and tournament favourite was edged out by fellow Englishman Hawkins in the final match of the second round after recovering from trailing 12-9 to force a deciding frame with stirring breaks of 124, 88 and 63 only to come up agonisingly short.

It was a match O’Sullivan felt he could and probably should have won having lost several close frames that could easily have gone the other way amid some of his usual heavy break-building that also included runs of 139, 88, 103, 68, 118, 82, 89, 93 and 70.

Astonishingly enough, it was Hawkins’ first win over O’Sullivan since 2002 and only his second in 12 matches. Hawkins’ reward is a quarter-final meeting with Marco Fu of Hong Kong on Tuesday and Wedneday as the push for a £330,000 first prize is fought out between eight men.

“I was competing in the potting and the big breaks, and all of that side of it,” O’Sullivan told Eurosport.

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“That is always the side you need to have right if you have any hope of competing in the tournament.

“I just didn’t compete in the safety game really, and I probably lost it a little bit in the first session when I was trailing 5-3.

“It is always tough going behind early in the match. I probably felt I had the better of it, and was maybe a bit hard done by to go 4-4 in the second session.

“Tonight I found a bit of form towards the end, probably had the better of it, and felt a bit hard done by the way the last frame went.

“It was probably one of those matches I was never going to win, but I’m pleased I stuck at it, competed and made him earn it.”

Hawkins slotted a red into a baulk pocket before compiling 56 to set him up for a rare win over an opponent who overcame him 18-12 in the 2013 world final and drubbed him 10-1 in the Masters final in January.

“It was a shot to nothing, “said O’Sullivan. “He wasn’t leaving anything on if he missed, but it was a good pot and he made a good 50-odd break. All credit to Barry, and I wish him well for the rest of the tournament.”

O’Sullivan – champion here in 2001, 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2013 – feels his game is holding up well at the age of 40, having won the Masters and Welsh Open since the start of the year.

Stephen Hendry is the most prolific winner in the modern era with seven titles in the 1990s with Steve Davis and Ray Reardon both on six respectively.

“Listen, at the moment, I’m absolutely devastated to have not got through,” he said. “25 appearances here, five wins, so that is a one-in-five shot. This year it wasn’t meant to be, but I look forward to coming back here.

 “I think my best form here was in 2012, 2013 and 2014. I think in those three years, I was as strong as I’ve ever been.

“I’ve still nicked a couple of tournaments this year and last year, and I feel like I’m not doing too badly for a 40-year-old.”

After he moves on from the frustration of losing in the second round for the first time since 2009, O’Sullivan is planning a trip to America over the summer months to film a documentary on the game of pool.

“I’m looking forward to a few more exhibitions, a trip to Romania, a bit of holiday time and a nice three-week trip across America,” he said.

“I’m doing a travel log programme. I’m going to New York, Chicago, Memphis and New Orleans. It is a bit about pool and local pool players are going to show us around the area.

“We’re going to have fun, bounce around America and have a bit of a laugh.”

Ronnie Eurosport Show latest

Here is the latest Ronnie Show on Eurosport, that got out yesterday on the first day of the World Champioship 2016.

In part 1,  Ronnie is interviewed by Andy Goldstein about his game, what he expects, and his hopes for the World Championship. Basically at this stage of his carreer, Ronnie wants to enjoy himself as well as entertain. Of course he still wants to win, but he’s not all about winning and he tells us why.

In part 2, Ronnie analyses that 73 clearance he made at the Masters to win his QF match against Mark Selby. He also pays a visit to the Star Academy in Sheffield, to meet the coaches, and discuss what it takes to develop young talents

A very, very interesting show, and one that answers the questions fans might have when reading the press yesterday and today; there are articles around claiming that winning isn’t that important to Ronnie, others going about him not having the drive Stephen Hendry had … well the answers are here, given by Ronnie himself in his own words.

Today Ronnie will start his Crucible 2016 campaign against a very, very capable player. Make no mistake, David Gilbert can play and he’s match sharp whilst Ronnie, like all seeds, will come here cold and with all the pressure. There is nothing that guarantees that Ronnie will win, and if he doesn’t, it won’t mean that he didn’t care or didn’t try. Players are no robots, run to the table to play and win. They are humans, with their good and less good days, their hopes and their fears. Fans should always remember that.

Anyway, GOOD LUCK RONNIE.

Great, Greats and Greatest …

Who is the greatest? What does it take to be a great? Those questions have probably triggered more heated debates on the social media than any other theme.

Well here is Ronnie’s take on it.

First in an interview with Shamoon Haafez from BBC he explains what he thinks makes a player a “great” and why he believes he is in that category. Here are excerpts of the article:

Ronnie O’Sullivan says his combination of winning and entertaining the crowd means he should be considered one of snooker’s greats.

“That is what makes me unique and separates me from the others,” O’Sullivan, 40, told BBC Sport.

“Watching sport, I am a winner’s man but I like to be entertained too. You have hit the jackpot if you have both.”

….

“I am not saying I am the greatest – that would be too big-headed to have as an opinion of myself. I will leave that for other people to decide,” added world number six O’Sullivan.

“If I was to stake my case for reasons why I should be considered as one of the greats, I would like to think I entertain the fans like Jimmy White and Alex Higgins did, being the fans’ favourite.

“I have also done what Stephen Hendry and Steve Davis did, which is dominate and claim world titles and be a winner.

“I can possibly reach 36 ranking events – that’s winning two a year if I play for the next five years. I could do that, which is more realistic than winning seven world titles.”

Next, on Eurosport, he picked his “greatest” for each and every aspect of the game…

You can watch the video here

For those who don’t know them, his two unsung heroes are the ladies at Worldsnooker who tirelessly look after the players needs, bringing them drinks, finding bowties when the players forget theirs (Ronnie is a regular culprit), sewing logos on waistcoats last minute … you name it! And always with a smile.