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UK Championships 2021: Seven-time winner Ronnie O’Sullivan: Snooker is now a ‘holiday’ for me


Ronnie O’Sullivan expects to retire before he reaches 50, and now treats snooker like it is a ‘holiday’.

The 45-year-old former number one has six world titles to his name, and seven more UK Championships, which begin again this week in York.

O’Sullivan is not the fixture he once was on the pro circuit. However his 2020 world championship goes some way to illustrate he can still produce the best snooker of anyone on the planet.

Elsewhere, he continues punditry with Eurosport, other corporate and sponsorship activities, and has a new academy in Singapore.

Speaking about his commitment to playing competitive snooker, he told The Sun: “I switched off a long time ago.

“I see myself as a pundit first. I’ve got my property company. I do a lot of stuff in an ambassadorial role as a face for companies. I see that as my main job now.

“I don’t really see myself as a snooker player any more. It’s counter-productive in many ways. Financially and time-wise, it doesn’t make sense. But I still want it in my life, if only for fun purposes.

If I had to choose between playing snooker and being a pundit or TV personality or doing exhibitions, snooker would be the first thing to go.

“I’ve kind of given myself another three world championships — I’ve set a goal to complete that.

“It’s probably making me play a little bit longer than I wanted. That’s a psychology trick played on myself in many ways.

“Snooker is a platform, something I enjoy, have fun with it. I refuse to take it seriously.

“There’s no holiday that can compare to it. I get to stay in nice hotels, I play snooker and, if that doesn’t go very well, I then go on Eurosport and watch the snooker and spend time with Jimmy White.

“As long as there are snooker tournaments and snooker tables, I can go on holiday, treat it like a holiday. It’s all good for me.”

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With his commitment to exercise including yoga, running and pilates, O’Sullivan suggested his exertions may become counterproductive for his snooker.

He explained: “I could play snooker until I am probably 90! I just couldn’t do it for a job.

“In terms of running, you’ve got more chance of catching me over the forest and less chance in the streets.

Fitness, health, wellbeing, eating well… you get one body so use it as efficiently as you can.

“In some ways when I run and exercise, it’s a negative for my snooker as I’m a bit tired to hold my cue!”



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