Ronnie O'Sullivan clashes with Mark Allen during tense game
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Ronnie O’Sullivan claims he is enjoying snooker more now than he has for years in a clear hint he is in no rush to hang up his cue. O’Sullivan crashed out of the World Championship at the last-16 stage on Friday. Anthony McGill won a dramatic match in the final frame to reach the quarter-final.
O’Sullivan will have to wait another year to have a chance of winning a record-equalling seventh Crucible crown.
Defeat to McGill ends the 45-year-old’s season in disappointment.
However, O’Sullivan claims he is in a good place mentally and is enjoying the game a lot more than he has in recent years.
“I chipped away and thought my mindset was great,” O’Sullivan told Eurosport.
“That has been letting me down the last couple of years.
“I have not been enjoying my snooker and going through the motions, not playing great and not enjoying it if I’ve not been playing great.
“But tonight even though I wasn’t firing on all cylinders, I was able mentally to handle it and be able to concentrate and try and compete.
“It is only that I love the game that I keep coming back.
“Anyone that is watching knows that if you play golf and play 17 rubbish holes and then play some good shots up the last, you’re like ‘I love the game again’.
“That is what snooker is like and that is what has kept me going.”
O’Sullivan says working with sports psychologist Steve Peters has had a big impact on him enjoying the sport.
“Every now and again I feel great,” he said. “I struggle with that.
“I’ve worked hard with Steve Peters and the best thing that has come out of it is I can enjoy my snooker now and I’ve found a way to enjoy it.
“Losing is disappointing, but I have a good life playing snooker.”
A limited number of spectators have been allowed inside the Crucible for this week’s tournament and O’Sullivan was pleased to finally play in front of a crowd again.
“If I play and bring something to the table I feel the energy,” he continued.
“I feel the energy in the audience and I love doing that for the fans.
“I love the fans and love putting on a performance.
It is over for me, but onwards and upwards.”
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