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O'Sullivan confirms return to snooker

ESPN staff
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Ronnie O'Sullivan took a self-imposed break from snooker in November last year © PA Photos
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Ronnie O'Sullivan has confirmed he will return to snooker and defend his world title.

O'Sullivan won his fourth world title last May with an 18-11 victory over Ali Carter

Following a dismal loss to Simon Bedford in Gloucester last year, O'Sullivan announced in November that he would take a break from the game to focus on his family life and his battle with depression.

So the 37-year-old traded the grind of honing his queue action for volunteering at a farm three days a week but he kept his eye in by practising at his mother's house "every couple of weeks."

O'Sullivan was recently seen in the crowd at The Masters, which fuelled suggestions that he would return to the sport.

He had until Thursday to confirm his participation in the World Championship and he announced at a press conference on Tuesday that he would defend his title.

"I certainly feel refreshed," he said. "I was never out of juice. I don't find snooker hard mentally or physically. It is your job and you get used to it.

"I knew I couldn't take too much time out. It was always in the back of my mind that I had to come back and come back with a clear head after sorting a few things out."

O'Sullivan is aware of the challenge ahead if he is to defend his world title.

He said: "I have probably played three or four exhibitions, so I have probably played 10 days.

"I am match rusty if you like, I have not played any matches or been in any tense situations. This is going to be tough. You can never replicate the conditions other than in a match."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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