Ronnie O'Sullivan says he feels like Prince William in snooker spotlight

KING OF SNOOKER Ronnie O’Sullivan says he knows how Prince William feels – but he’d rather be like Prince Harry!

The Prince of Chigwell was at his regal best as he smashed Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 10-1 in the first round of the Betfred World Snooker Championship.

In a match involving the two quickest hotshots, the two sessions totalled 108 minutes.

This obliterated the previous quickest Crucible tie – Shaun Muprhy’s 10-0 annihilation of Luo Honghao in 2019 – by 41 MINUTES.

Tipped for the top since being a teenager, O’Sullivan was in reflective mood post-match, arguing that he can sympathise with our future King.

But with no crowds, no selfie-chasers and no autograph hunters, the Rocket is in his element – and embracing the anonymity like runaway Prince Harry in the US.

O’Sullivan, who received an OBE in 2016, said: “I’ve had pressure since the age of 10 or 11. An expectation level that I’d be a champion one day.

“So, I suppose in many ways, it’s like Prince William being groomed to be King.

“If you said to me: ‘Would you want Prince William’s role?’ I wouldn’t know where to begin.

“But he has had it since a child and it has become natural I suppose. For me, that’s the same metaphor for snooker.

“I’ve learned to deal with pressure, playing under pressure in the amateur and pro ranks.

“Prince Harry has done a runner. He doesn’t want the spotlight. I’ve been trying to do that all my life.

“That’s why you don’t see me at the venue much. I try to keep as much privacy as I can.”

There has been scrutiny on O’Sullivan shoulders ever since the age of 15 when he posted his first 147.

Yet when you consider how many records he has broken, the type of electrifying performances he has produced, it’s no wonder everyone wants a piece of him.

He said: “Obviously whatever I say, everyone is always trying to get a comment or a quote, it becomes a bit of a headline.

“Even when other players are interviewed, it’s always about me! What do you think about what Ronnie said? What do you think about what Ronnie does?

“I can’t really win in either way. Unless I’ve a complete personality change.”

Looking healthy and happy, O’Sullivan is staying in a hotel close to Tudor Square and is loving the fact there are no fans.

It means he can enjoy his staycation in Sheffield away from the spotlight.

The 44-year-old said: “I prefer (the silence). I don’t have to deal with the pressure of the crowd, the expectations, getting in and out of the venue.

“There’s much less put on my shoulders. I’m on a bit of a holiday buzz.

“It’s the first time I’ve stayed in a hotel close by. Normally it’s full of snooker fans and it’s pretty hard for me to get any peace and quiet.

“It’s how I have missed my life. I’m quite private, I don’t really socialise much anyway.

“To me, everyone is welcome to my world. Everything has slowed down, it suits my way of life.

“Nothing could be as bad as the previous event in Milton Keynes. Stuck in one place. Some people don’t mind it.

“But for me, I like to go running, have a coffee, get some fresh air. That was my worst nightmare.”

Next up is China’s Ding Junhui, who he lost to in the Last 16 of the 2019 UK Championships in York.

O’Sullivan added: “Form is temporary, class is always permanent. Ding will always be a class player. It’s probably one of the hardest matches you can get.”

Source: Read Full Article