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Ronnie O’Sullivan criticises standard of young snooker players following World Championship win

ronnie o'sullivan interview

Ronnie O’Sullivan’s post-match interview on Sunday night probably won’t go down well amongst his fellow snooker players.

O’Sullivan likened conditions at the World Championship at the Crucible Theatre to a morgue before criticising the standard of play in the sport.

The five-time world champion said that many of the snooker players on the tour are so bad, that he would ‘have to lose an arm or a leg’ to lose to them.

Ronnie O'Sullivan interview

O’Sullivan made the comments during a televised interview following an impressive 13-10 victory over Ding Junhui in Sheffield.

The victory set up a quarter-final against three-time world champion Mark Williams.

Williams and O’Sullivan first played each other professionally back in 1994. O’Sullivan was asked by the interviewer if he could ever have imagined playing the Welshman at such a stage all these years later.

Ronnie said that he couldn’t. Yet, he then said that the fact both men were still competing at the top of the sport owed to the poor standard of some of the sport’s younger players, rather than the brilliance of he or Williams.

Ronnie O'Sullivan interview

“Probably not if you asked me then but when you look at the standard of play, I would say ‘yes’,” the 44-year-old said.

“People like me, John Higgins and Mark Williams, if you look at the younger players coming through, they are not that good really. Most of them would do well as half-decent amateurs, not even amateurs. They are so bad.

“A lot of them you see now, you look at them and think, ‘I would have to lose an arm and a leg to fall out of the top 50’. That is why we are still hovering around, because of how poor it is down that end.”

You can watch O’Sullivan’s interview below.

Ken Doherty, the 1997 world champion, took issue with O’Sullivan’s comments.

The Irishman also reminded fans that Ronnie lost in the first round of the 2019 World Championship to 23-year-old amateur player James Cahill.

O’Sullivan also reflected on his victory and stated that he is much happier playing at the Crucible in front of an empty theatre.

“I am just glad I found a way to try and compete with my mind out there,” the 44-year-old said.

“For a while, I have been going out and slapping the ball about having fun, not caring if I won or lost. Deep down I do care but treat it like a bit of fun.

Ronnie O'Sullivan interview

“I spoke to Steve Peters and worked on a few things so when I went out there my mind was clear.

“It is better with the fans, of course, it is. It is like playing in a morgue out there. It feels like a village at the moment, the players are much more relaxed, for the top players it can be a nightmare.”

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