Ronnie O’Sullivan would ‘rather not be playing’ at World Championship despite reaching 13th Crucible semi-final

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
O’Sullivan, 46, outplayed Scotland’s Stephen Maguire with a dominant 13-5 victory to reach a record-breaking 13th Crucible semi-final
O’Sullivan, 46, outplayed Scotland’s Stephen Maguire with a dominant 13-5 victory to reach a record-breaking 13th Crucible semi-final

By Ben Parsons at the Crucible

Ronnie O’Sullivan claims he would prefer not to be playing in the World Championship, despite remaining on course to equal Stephen Hendry’s record of seven Crucible crowns.

O’Sullivan, 46, outplayed Scotland’s Stephen Maguire with a dominant 13-5 victory to reach a record-breaking 13th Crucible semi-final.

The Rocket was not at his imperious best against Maguire but built a commanding 11-5 overnight lead before closing in style with fine breaks of 71 and 126 to seal a last four showdown against old rival John Higgins or Jack Lisowski.

But O’Sullivan does not enjoy the pressure that the Crucible cauldron brings in the sport’s ultimate 17-day marathon of the mind.

Instead, he has suggested he would choose to play in arguably snooker’s least heralded tournament, the Championship League, over the Sheffield showpiece.

“I’d rather not be playing here to be honest,” O’Sullivan said.

“It’s a hard tournament. I’ve always said this tournament and possibly the Masters are my two worst tournaments.

“I enjoy them the least out of all the other ones. I’d actually prefer going to Leicester and play in the Championship League.

“I know you might think that’s crazy but I don’t have to put up with any pressure and I love it.

“But you kind of have to show up to this one and give it your best.”

O’Sullivan has now surpassed Scottish legend Hendry’s tally of 12 visits to the iconic Crucible one table set-up.

Hendry’s record of seven world titles is now the only significant record that eludes O’Sullivan as he enters his third decade amongst snooker’s elite.

And the sport's perennial greatest-of-all-time debate could be settled beyond doubt if O’Sullivan matches Hendry’s magnificent seven in his 30th Crucible tilt.

But O’Sullivan has huge respect for Hendry and believes the Scot remains the greatest ever due to his unique period of dominance in the 1990’s.

“He was our Tiger Woods of snooker,” he said.

"Me and John Higgins and Mark Williams have come along and done well.

“But when he was flying in the 90s, he was a superstar. We aren’t superstars when there are three of you.

“When there is one man dominating a sport like he did, like Tiger Woods did, it’s a different level.”

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting