Snooker star Ronnie O’Sullivan has revealed that he wished he wouldn’t win the World Snooker Championship this year due to the intense pressure that has come from his success.
‘Rocket’ Ronnie defeated Judd Trump in the final of the tournament at the famous Crucible in May to take a seventh world championship crown – to match Stephen Hendry’s record.
While the 46-year-old is known for his brash approach to media interviews and his competitive antics, he’s not one to be in the limelight.Read:Matheus Nunes transfer: How Jorge Mendes saw Wolves land Pep Guardiola’s ‘world’s best’
In this year’s championships alone, he was prosecuted for making an obscene gesture in the final and accusing referee Olivier Marteel of ‘looking for trouble’.
His brilliance shone through as he defeated Trump 18-13 to become the oldest winner of the game’s flagship event.
However, O’Sullivan has told The Climb Podcast that the attention that has come from his success is like a ‘nightmare’ come true.
In a startling confession, he said, “Looking back on it, I actually wish I hadn’t won it.”
Ronnie O’Sullivan won his seventh World Snooker Championship earlier this year
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“The question I get now more than anything is, ‘Do you still play snooker?’ I want to say to them: no.
“I want to say I’m retired, I’m doing little bits and pieces, it’s great and I’m slipping under the radar.
O’Sullivan also revealed that he would rather play without fans present
“When I win this, I’ll suddenly have 600 messages on my phone, everyone says well done and ask when I’m going for the eighth.
“It’s like my worst nightmare is coming true again.”
During his career, O’Sullivan, who won a world championship for the first time in 2001, has claimed several times that he would pack the sport.
Despite this, he has always found the motivation to come back and has become one of the most successful players in the history of the game.
Englishman O’Sullivan has always tried to live a quiet life under the radar and admits he would rather win the title if fans were not allowed to enter due to Covid.Read:Crawley Town 1-0 Bristol Rovers
He admitted that after this year’s win partying wasn’t something he was into and would have preferred a “cup of tea and off to bed” instead.
“Going to the afterparty is what annoyed me. I’m like, I don’t need this, I just want a cup of tea and go to bed,” he said.
“That’s why I loved it when I won it in Covid in 2020, there was no crowd, no party, just who happened to be with me.
‘I just can’t with the circus, the circus drives me crazy. The World Cup is the biggest circus of all.’
During his win over David Gilbert in the Crucible, he was caught making an x-rated gesture after missing a black in the spot – not for the first time in his career.
In 2008, he was fined £2,750 and awarded 700 ranking points for making obscene gestures and comments during the China Open.
Five years later, O’Sullivan made a rude gesture with his hand during a semifinal match against Judd Trump at the Crucible. As a result, he was criticized by referee Michaela Tabb.
After being accused of gesturing in this year’s finale, O’Sullivan replied, “Tell me, tell me, what did you see? You tell me what you saw. You saw nothing. Go look at the camera. You saw nothing. Do not start.’
O’Sullivan has previously admitted to complaining about snooker’s ‘lifestyle’
His victory over Trump brought him to seven championships along with Stephen Hendry
In an interview with the Metro in 2021, O’Sullivan said he had one complaint about snooker, and that is the lifestyle that comes with it.
He said, ‘If I were a golfer I would love golf because the lifestyle is great. Beautiful courses, beautiful hotel, delicious food on offer. It’s like Formula 1, tennis… the sport becomes the least important part of the job.
‘Luckily I wouldn’t be able to play snooker forever, maybe I’m missing it a bit, but I have a lot of things to fill my time with. With snooker I just don’t enjoy the lifestyle of a snooker player.’
However, O’Sullivan was left sobbing in Trump’s arms after they shared a long hug after their final this year.
He told Eurosport that he was “blown away” by kind words from Trump and was “emotional” about crossing the line.