Ronnie O'Sullivan's snooker retirement hint: 'Doesn't make sense'

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Saturday Kitchen: Ronnie O’Sullivan discusses his fish diet

The Rocket faces Neil Robertson in the quarter-finals of the Players Championship in Wolverhampton today. The world No 2 produced some of his best snooker of the season in the last round as he eased past Judd Trump. Such was the manner of his victory that Trump said after the match that O’Sullivan and John Higgins are “in their own little world” when on top form.

Ahead of today’s match, O’Sullivan joked he was looking forward to a “nice, easy match” against last month’s Masters champion.

Though he appears to be in some of his best form in recent years, it remains to be seen just how much longer O’Sullivan will stick around in snooker.

Since turning professional in the early Nineties, he boasts more than 1,100 career century breaks to his name and became the second-oldest player — behind Ray Reardon — to win a world title in snooker’s modern era two years ago.

O’Sullivan revealed in an interview last year that he has started to pursue other ventures away from the baize.

READ MORE: Neil Robertson left ‘completely helpless’ by wife’s struggles

Ronnie O'Sullivan

Ronnie O’Sullivan hinted retirement could be not far away. (Image: PA)

Ronnie O'Sullivan

Ronnie O’Sullivan faces Neil Robertson today. (Image: PA)

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 anymore. It’s counter-productive in many ways.

Ronnie O'Sullivan

Ronnie claimed he ‘switched off a long time ago’/ (Image: PA)

“Financially and time-wise, it doesn’t make sense. But I still want it in my life, if only for fun purposes.”

O’Sullivan said he has set himself a goal to complete three more world championships, and he is prepared to call it a day after that.

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

Outside his playing career, O’Sullivan works as a pundit for Eurosport, has various commercial deals and a new snooker academy opening in Singapore.

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Ronnie O'Sullivan

He is targeting three more world championships. (Image: PA)

The Rocket, 46, has also written crime novels, two autobiographies and a health and fitness book.

He stressed, however, that he has not lost his love for snooker. He said: “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 to 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. It’s all good for me.”

Ronnie O'Sullivan

The Rocket is renowned for his longevity in snooker. (Image: PA)

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

Despite ending a 16-month title drought at the World Grand Prix in December, O’Sullivan was visibly dissatisfied with his performances.

His “horrendous” performance against Iran player Hossein Vafaei prompted him to question whether it was time to throw in the towel.

He told ITV4 afterwards: “I’ve always played off the fans, fed off the fans. I get a bounce in my step, that’s the enjoyment I get from it.

“There’s no enjoyment stinking gaffs out like that, that was horrendous.

“I’ll allow myself to stink places out for another three years. I think I’ve earned the right to smell a few places out.

“Then if it doesn’t get any better, which I can’t imagine it will, it’s probably time to hang the cue up, get on the exhibition circuit, have a few pints of Guinness.”

Despite his misgivings about his performance levels, he went on to win the tournament.

The Players Championship quarter-finals will be available on ITV4. Ronnie O’Sullivan vs Neil Robertson begins at 7pm.



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