Ronnie O’Sullivan wants World Championship change in heartbreaking Neville chat

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Ronnie O’Sullivan wants the World Championship shortened to 12 days after heartbreakingly admitting that his body struggles to cope with the demands of the tournament. The Rocket is chasing a record eighth world title but may never achieve the feat.

The World Championship lasts for 17 days but O’Sullivan says that his legs and arms begin to feel ‘heavy’ during the semi-finals. His last triumph at the tournament came in 2022 when he miraculously defeated Judd Trump, but admitted that he went into ‘survival mode’.

O’Sullivan instead says that he would cope better if the tournament was reduced to 12 days. The 47-year-old says he felt like ‘ironman’ during his victory in 2022 but concedes that he cannot continue adopting that mentality forever.

“The World Championships is 17 days – if it was 12 days, I could probably cope with it, but at my age if I get to the semi-finals I’m done, my legs and arms start to become heavy, and that is where the tournament begins,” O’Sullivan told Gary Neville on the Stick To Football Podcast.

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“I went into survival mode, and then played [John] Higgins in the semis, my greatest player. Then I played Judd [Trump] in the final, who is a phenomenal player – he’s like an animal.

“I knew I had to call on every bit of experience that I had. I thought that I couldn’t face this situation any more – it was like an ironman, going on forever and ever.”

O’Sullivan also opened up on his addictions to drugs and alcohol. He says that he struggled to train properly due to the problem, which prompted him to seek help.

“When I was going out, I couldn’t play a round of golf without having a few drinks and a couple of spliffs in my pocket because I didn’t have the confidence to be myself. That is when I thought that I was in trouble,” O’Sullivan continued.

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“I had three TVs in my hotel room for different things as I didn’t want to go out and face people, so that is when I needed to get this sorted. I phoned someone from a drugs helpline, they got me into a priory and I got clean.”

He added: “I couldn’t train well during that time. It was the worst time of my life when I think about it. The first two or three years it was fun, but in the last three years it wasn’t fun anymore and I felt like I had let myself down. I hated myself and that was when I couldn’t look at myself.

“I had great nights out with Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood, and a lot of them turned into days out – they knew how to party. I thought I was good and reckless, but they had it down to a tee where they had a different drink for different times of the day, then they’d sleep for two or three hours and go again.”

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