Thursday, 2 May 2013

Retirement talk

Ronnie O'Sullivan is hogging the media spotlight once again for what he's been saying off the table instead of his great ability on it.

The Rocket has always lived an unpredictable life in snooker but stunned quite a few when he declared in his press conference after thrashing Stuart Bingham 13-4 last night that he's had enough of the game again and plans to retire.
Picture by Monique Limbos

He said he's only back at the Crucible this year for the money to pay his children's school fees and after three matches into his title defence can confirm that he doesn't miss playing snooker.

This story has a feeling of the boy who cried wolf and does nothing but confuse us more about the sport's troubled star.

In the build-up to this tournament - billed as his great return - he spoke about snooker filling a hole in his life and his ambitions to win a World Championship title in his 40s, some three years down the line.

Well, perhaps not.

He now plans to find something new to do for a living and will only fulfil his current sponsorship deal next season requiring him to play in 10 tournaments, which he claims include the Snooker Legends Tour events.

Some people are taking these threats with a pinch of salt. We've heard it all before. Betfair is already offering odds on prices for him to return to play at the Crucible next year. Others think he is playing mind games ahead of his huge semi-final clash with Judd Trump. Others think he enjoys the attention and revels with the thrill of toying with the media. And, some are so bored that they don't even care what his plans are.

But maybe Ronnie doesn't even how he feels about snooker. He has always worn his heart on his sleeve and rapidly jump through his mix of emotions.

Whatever your opinion, his clash with Trump has all the hallmarks to become one of the greatest Crucible matches and this twist might even give it some extra spark.

What is certain is that Ronnie will be fighting out there. Whether he plays at the World Championship again or not, he is a ferocious competitor and won't want to be beaten by Trump.

He has been playing throughout this tournament as if his life depends on it and looks focused on winning the title.

These media claims make Trump's task no harder nor easier. He is playing one of the all-time greats and will need every ounce of his ability and fight to muster the win.

Click here to listen to O'Sullivan's latest press conference in full.

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