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Ssb - the crucible contenders: Ronnie o'sullivan

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  • Ssb - the crucible contenders: Ronnie o'sullivan

    “Some days you’re the bug and some days you’re the windscreen.”

    This is how Ronnie O’Sullivan, at a press conference at the Irish Masters, once summarised the vicissitudes of life as a top sportsman.

    O’Sullivan was the windscreen at last year’s World Championship, winning the title for the fourth time in 20 Crucible appearances, wiping out everyone in his path.

    For once, his threats to walk away from the game proved to be accurate. But the old maxim that absence makes the heart grow fonder appears to be true in O’Sullivan’s case.

    Despite announcing last November that he would not play again this season, it was obvious when he turned up to watch some of the Masters – Mark Selby v Graeme Dott at that – that O’Sullivan was missing snooker.

    During one tournament he was texting one of the commentators with his views of what was happening and what certain players should be doing. The lure of the arena with its attendant buzz was too much to resist.

    And now he’s back. Having played only one PTC match all season, O’Sullivan returns to where he belongs: centre stage at the home of snooker.

    The atmosphere at 10am on Saturday for his first session against Marcus Campbell will surely be electric. Even the BBC, who hasn’t shown the start of the championship live on network television for a quarter of a century, will be on at 10am on BBC2.

    But how will O’Sullivan do? Could he conceivably win a fifth world title having barely played since capturing a fourth?

    The simple answer is yes, he could. In fact, his very absence for the last year could make him more dangerous than ever.

    Why? Because nobody quite knows what to expect. There is no form guide to go on. There are no results to pick over.

    Some would argue that he will be rusty, that he will have lost ground on his rivals. Others would say he will be easily the freshest and that, anyway, he plays on inspiration not form.

    O’Sullivan has not simply lain idle for a year. He’s been practising. He’ll be in shape.

    He won’t, of course, be match fit like the players who have been competing on the circuit but I do believe that if anyone could win the world title having not played for a year, Ronnie O’Sullivan is the man.

    He once won the Masters the week after smashing up his cue. It’s exactly the sort of challenge he enjoys attempting to rise to.

    He doesn’t come into the World Championship this year worn down by snooker and waiting for the season to end. This is his season.

    He’s beaten Campbell four times out of four. If he comes through on the first day the event gets tougher, the opponents get sharper. Any frailties and in particular rustiness are ripe for being exposed.

    In some ways O’Sullivan has always been the unknown quantity. You see him play sometimes and think he should never lose. At other times he struggles - with opponents and his own often fractious emotions.

    You never know what you’re going to get but this season is slightly different: he could have sat the Crucible out. He isn’t.

    That, for his rivals, already sounds ominous.


  • #2
    As an Aussie, about as removed from all of the coming events tensions as could be... I just had chills up my spine


    • #3
      Marcus is no mug and fights all the way.Last meeting was close and he was 4-2 up before getting beat.


      • #4
        I cannot wait to see Ronnie walk out on saturday and i agree it will be electric in there, shame i'm not there on saturday in person.

        I think he can easily come out and do very well , he have to play well to win again but last year he had a great session in every match which was enough.

        I'd love ronnie to come out and play left handed all match some time to see how far he can get doing that.


        • #5
          he's got a potential quarter final with higgins to get thru. i don't think ronnie will fancy his chances against john.
          Highest Match Break 39 (November 10th 2015)


          • #6
            Originally Posted by bigandyg View Post
            Marcus is no mug and fights all the way.Last meeting was close and he was 4-2 up before getting beat.

            last 2 meetings went 5-4