A week before the kickoff of the English Open, a tournament he won in 2017, Ronnie O’Sullivan gave a candid overview on the current level of the world circuit, but also on his performance in the toothpicks since his last title in the world. Championships, in the summer of 2020. A position that does not jeopardize the English champion, who prefers to highlight his longevity, as he prepares to celebrate his thirty-year career in 2022.
According to rocketThe world snooker elite will now be split into two major divisions, as they presented it to our partners at Eurosport UK: “I would probably reduce the top tier of the world snooker to two divisions nowThe 45-year-old was actually ranked second, along with two other colleagues classified as legends of the game: John Higgins and Mark Williams.
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An XXL category that does not include Judd Trump, Mark Selby and Neil Robertson, however, Ronnie O’Sullivan currently classifies among the best. “I think Selby, Trump and maybe Robertson… you could say these are the top three players on tour. I think among them you can put John Higgins and Mark Williams aside and that’s just because of our age.“, sketched the six-time world champion.
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For O’Sullivan, if three “young guys” dominate the circuit at this point, freshness and year necessarily play a part. “At my age, if I win a tournament and give it my all, it takes me three or four days to recover again to be able to start again. Whereas seven or eight years ago or a few years still, I could win the world championship and wake up the next day and say to myself: ‘I’m going back as soon as possible’.
John Higgins and Mark Williams
credit: Getty Images
However, Higgins, Williams and O’Sullivan continue to run and present themselves as strong contenders in every tournament. And The Rocket doesn’t hesitate to compare the trio they formed with John Higgins and Mark Williams to two tennis legends Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. “We were kind of good, because we come from that special time. We are somewhat like Federer and Nadal: no matter how big we are, we can play to 70% of our potential and still do well. I think our age is helping us right now, but I don’t know how long it can last.“
But the 45-year-old remains outspoken. “You know, the older you get, the less you lose your ability to concentrate or perform over time. So I think these three (NDLR: Selby, Trump and Robertson) Are on a whole new level. I set them apart just because of their age, not because of their ability to play, but simply because they are able to focus and recover game after game, from (Mark) Williams, (John) Higgins or me. much better. Once you get 43 or 44, it gets very tough, that’s for sure.“
Triple Crown or nothing?
On the sidelines of the English Open, O’Sullivan also talked about the tournaments that really matter to him, especially the Triple Crown. The Wordsley native made it clear that the World Championship remains at the pinnacle and is worth it”five measurable incidents“in his mind.
“Triple Crown Tournament There are three big tournaments (Editor’s note: United Kingdom Championships, World Championships and Masters)This is where the pressure is the most. This is where the best players usually grow and they never change, much like Masters of Golf and its four majors. You can still judge Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods for the number of Majors they have played and the most important wins.“, launched the rocket.
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For the six-time world champion, the world championship certainly serves as the ultimate benchmark. “I would probably take one world title instead of five mediocre events because world championships are the best. “Before the home run by taking the example of the first-class players mentioned above.” Judd (Trump) would trade any tournament with Selby because the world championship is the one everyone wants to win. And I know he will!”
The English Open, which opens its doors next week, will be a good preparation ahead of the United Kingdom Championships, the Triple Crown’s first 2021-2022 meeting, which starts on 23 November.
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