Ronnie O’Sullivan drops retirement hint ahead of World Championship

Ronnie O'Sullivan explains why he made a 146 in 2016

Snooker star Ronnie O’Sullivan shared his retirement stance ahead of the World Snooker Championship which starts this weekend at the Crucible. The 47-year-old equalled Stephen Hendry’s record of seven world titles after beating Judd Trump in last year’s final.

The Rocket has struggled to replicate that form in the last 12 months and has failed to win a ranking title since. Combining his snooker career with punditry work for Eurosport, the star has won the Champion of Champions and Hong Kong Masters non-ranking tournaments.

Ahead of the World Snooker Championship getting underwa,y O’Sullivan has suggested that he will play another four years in the prestigious tournament before his retirement. He told The Mirror: “I probably play it down. I will be trying my hardest this year, obviously. And I think I have another four good genuine attempts at it.

“I do care, of course, I care. I just try to have a better perspective on it. It is a big part of my life, but not all of my life. I am not going to invest everything into it. But obviously you get excited at this time of year, it’s a big tournament.

“You want to get your game right, you want to be feeling going into the Crucible that you have a chance to have a go. I am definitely getting excited. Listen, I haven’t done much in the ranking tournaments either this year, so it would be nice to have a good run. You want to be in this one as long as you can.”

O’Sullivan won the Hong Kong Masters last year in front of a record snooker crowd of 9,000 spectators and also competed in the Six Red World Championship in Bangkok last month. The seven-time world champion has hinted at playing more tournaments in Asia as he reaches the end of his career.

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He added: “It’s all about priorities, I have always planned my year out well in advance. I cannot go to every tournament, I try to spread it about. I’d like to finish my career off in Asia because this is where snooker is more popular – like in China, Thailand and Hong Kong.

“My sponsors like to see me in Asia. When things (Covid restrictions) open up more I might play more in Asia and skip a few events in the UK. I cannot do them all.”

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