Ronnie's biggest threat is himself

Published date18 April 2024
Publication titleEvening Chronicle
O'Sullivan heads to the Crucible as reluctantly as ever, yet he is arguably never in a stronger position to go one better than his great rival and further enhance his surely unarguable status as the greatest snooker player of all time when the World Championship starts this weekend

It is a mark of his true greatness that O'Sullivan finds himself in such a position at the age of 48, and having adopted an almost lackadaisical public approach to his sport, picking and choosing his events and constantly deriding his own performances and occasionally those of his peers.

While other players sweat and toil and chisel their way deep into the Crucible's 17 days, O'Sullivan will waft in and out with an agenda led by the prospect of lucrative exhibitions and ambassadorial deals with the likes of Saudi Arabia, further underscoring his status as simply a player apart.

There are a handful who have proved themselves more than capable of sinking O'Sullivan -

not least his fellow 'Class of 92' star Mark Williams, who routed him 10-5 in the Tour Championship at the crucible final last month and is exhibiting some of his best form in years.

Mark Selby, despite another torrid season which resulted in him recently threatening retirement, still summoned a rare 6-0 whitewash of O'Sullivan in February, while emergent Chinese star Zhang Anda beat him in back-to-back tournaments earlier in this campaign.

Yet it remains abundantly clear that having withdrawn from no fewer than seven ranking titles this season for various medical and mental health reasons, the biggest threat to O'Sullivan clinching that prestigious eighth title remains O'Sullivan himself.

Snooker is still waiting for a true rival to stand up and be counted. Judd Trump continues to sweep all before him in lesser ranking events but...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT