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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Fraser Watson

Ronnie O'Sullivan raises doubts over snooker future with admission over form

Ronnie O'Sullivan has admitted he's struggling both technically and mentally at the snooker table despite being the form player in the world this year.

In May, 'The Rocket' captured his seventh World Championship crown, tying him level with previous record holder Stephen Hendry. And the world No 1 has shown no sign of slowing down since, also winning the Hong Kong Masters and this month beating Judd Trump - the same man he conquered in the final at The Crucible - to win the Champion of Champions event.

And he's now aiming for an eighth UK Championship win in York this week, and a 22nd Triple Crown title overall. His campaign got underway on Monday with a 6-2 win against fellow veteran Matthew Stevens.

But ahead of his clash with the Welshman, O'Sullivan conceded he was currently struggling to embrace the sport, telling Eurosport : “I always do these smiley, neutral and sad faces. There’s a lot of neutral and sad faces this year. For some reason, I’m not really enjoying my snooker.

“When I get out there I do my best, whatever that is great. It’s more working on the mental side because technically I’m not great, I have winged it a bit. So that means I have to work more on the mental side if I want to put in a half decent performance.”

That assessment may seem strange to snooker fans, given that last season he reached five consecutive ranking finals but lost them all. However, he insists that his last campaign brought him more pleasure than his current one.

O'Sullivan poses with members of his family after winning his seventh world championship title in May (Getty Images)

“In some ways I’m a lot happier when I’m not doing so well on the snooker table,” added O’Sullivan. “The year I got to five finals, a lot of people see it not as a success, but I enjoyed my snooker more that year than any other because I was trying when I felt like it and if I didn’t I would accept it wasn’t my day and go home."

The all-time great added the results helped him "thrive on being written off," and improved his overall focus. But despite his claims, O'Sullivan has been as unpredictable - and entertaining - as ever in recent weeks.

He caused a stir in his clash with Trump after declining to congratulate his rival on his maximum 147 break, later saying the feat wasn't a big deal to him. He also took aim at Mark Allen and Jordan Brown, after the pair practiced together before going head to head in their UK Championship match on Sunday.

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