Snooker - Exclusive: O'Sullivan almost withdrew from Masters due to stress

World champion Ronnie O'Sullivan has told Eurosport he was on the verge of withdrawing from the Masters in January due to stress and exhaustion.

Snooker - Exclusive: O'Sullivan almost withdrew from Masters due to stress

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Ronnie O´Sullivan Show

O'Sullivan produced some of the best snooker of his career on his way to winning snooker's most celebrated invitational event for a fifth time with a 10-4 win over Mark Selby in the final.

Speaking on his new and exclusive Eurosport series 'The Ronnie O'Sullivan Show', the man from Chigwell admits he was not certain about appearing at the Alexandra Palace.

"The Masters is a huge event for me, it’s London and it’s an event I love playing in because it’s got all the top quality players, and you know that every match is like a final really," says O'Sullivan on 'The Ronnie O'Sullivan Show', to be broadcast on British Eurosport 2 on Tuesday at 12:30 (UK time).

"So to win it, and do it in the way I did was unbelievable really.

"Not many people know that two days before the Masters I was going to pull out due to stress and exhaustion.

"Again, I’d played so much snooker in October, November, December I was playing as much as I could, but I couldn’t cope with the stress with everything that was going on, I was really struggling to be honest with you.

"I said to my mate, 'I couldn’t do it anymore, I’m not happy, I’m not enjoying it any more'. I felt like I was a slave to the snooker. I am trying to travel and be a father. I was trying to keep everyone happy and the stress of it all just became too much and I decided I didn’t want to live the next 10 years how I lived the previous five.

"I thought maybe I just turn up tomorrow, get beaten 6-0 and no one needs to know and I can plan my future back off of travelling and stop playing so much, and just and get hold of my life again, because everything was just spiralling out of control."

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O'Sullivan begins his bid to equal Steve Davis' haul of six world titles at the Crucible in Sheffield in April. A third straight title would leave him one short of Stephen Hendry's record of seven in the modern era.

He is hoping to emulate some of the form he produced in thumping Ricky Walden 6-0 in January.

O'Sullivan set a new points record of 556 points without reply against Walden in the Masters quarter-final, usurping the 495 compiled by China's former Masters champion Ding Junhui in a 6-0 drubbing of Stephen Hendry in the 2007 Premier League.

"I haven’t seen it back, but I remember thinking it was a tough match, and I remember Ricky starting off with a nice break of 30 odd, then I managed to clear up and I thought, 'bang that’s settled me down a bit'," said O'Sullivan.

"Then after that there’s only really one shot I remember from that match and that’s when I went into the pack, and had this red and I knew it wasn’t easy, it was into the middle but I thought I’m going to go for it, and if I thought I can pot that, then there’s nothing safe.

"I was hitting the ball with so much accuracy, I thought that everything I hit was going to go in."

The Ronnie O’Sullivan Show will be on British Eurosport 2 at 12.30pm on March 25.

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