Ronnie O’Sullivan makes retirement admission as UK Championship warning sent to Judd Trump

The Chase: Josh struggles with snooker question

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After beating Mark King on Monday, Ronnie O’Sullivan has fired a warning to 2021 UK Snooker Championship favourite Judd Trump and his fourth-round opponent. O’Sullivan cruised past King 6-3, leaving him just four wins from securing a record-extending eighth title.

The snooker icon started in fine fashion, leaving his opponent scoreless in the first two frames with breaks of 108 and 70.

He led 3-0 as a hope of a whitewash grew, but King’s confidence heightened, and he fought back to trail 4-3.

O’Sullivan then rediscovered his groove, recording breaks of 63 and 53 to secure passage into the last 16

In the aftermath, he opened up about his current mindset ahead of his fourth-round clash with Thailand’s Noppon Saengkham or Stuart Bingham.

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The seven-time UK champion has admitted he knows the clock on his incredible career is ticking, but feels he is in a ‘really good place’ on his hunt for more silverware.

After world number one Mark Selby’s disappointing second-round exit, O’Sullivan follows Judd Trump as the two top seeds remaining in the competition.

And he has warned Trump and the other contenders that his current ‘win-win’ mentality means he can’t see himself losing over the next week.

He said: “Since the World Championship in 2020, I have been playing exhibition-style snooker, and that is not good enough when it comes to the nitty-gritty.

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“If it was there, great. If it wasn’t, I was giving up. But match snooker is different, and I owe it to myself. I may not have long left, so it’s one last effort, really.

“You can’t predict form, but you can control the control-ables. It doesn’t come naturally that level of work for me, as it does for John Higgins.

“But if you do work at it, sometimes it lands in your lap from the snooker gods, and they reward you at some point. However, you have to do your duties for that to happen.

“I wouldn’t say my views on the snooker gods are exactly deep! There are gods everywhere – snooker gods, other gods.

“I always like to call them the snooker gods as they have been pretty good to me. I praise them and count my blessings for giving me the opportunity to do what I do.

“But I have to apply myself, get out of bed and do your part with some hard yards. I try not to read too much into my matches as it upsets me sometimes and can put me in a doom and gloom frame of mind.

“It was what it was today [against King], and I am just pleased to be in the next round. And overall, I am in a really good place with everything and have my life in a really good situation.

“It’s just win-win all over the shop right now, I don’t see any losses anywhere. No doubt having said that something bad will happen to stop me in my tracks!”

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