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O'Sullivan coy on snooker future

ESPN staff
May 7, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Ronnie O'Sullivan says that he is still waiting for his fifth World Snooker Championship title win to sink in © PA Photos
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Ronnie O'Sullivan has insisted he is still unsure over his future despite winning his fifth World Snooker Championship title at the Crucible.

'The Rocket' successfully defended his champion status and retained his title after defeating Barry Hawkins 18-12 in the final at the Sheffield venue, but stated that he could not promise returning to defend his crown again next year.

"I can't say that I will be back next year because I enjoyed my year out," O'Sullivan told the BBC. "Now I've got to enjoy one of the most amazing things I've ever done, retaining the World Championship.

"I'm well equipped to win more titles but it's not easy. There were times in this tournament when parts of my game weren't great.

"But, having worked with [sports psychiatrist] Steve Peters for the last two years, I was able to manage my emotions better than I ever have done, which got me through."

O'Sullivan, 37, is now just two titles shy of Stephen Hendry's record haul of seven, and the Essex cue-man believes the Scot is still the greatest player to grace the cloth.

"Stephen Hendry is still for me by far the greatest player, not just for his game but for his bottle," O'Sullivan added. "He was awesome.

"There will never be another Stephen Hendry. I'm more in the mould of Alex Higgins - we're too temperamental to be machines. I've tried to become more of a machine.

"I change like the British weather. I suppose I've got my little place in history.

"People go on about how I blew them away but I wish people could walk a few days in my shoes... it might come across as easy but I was digging deep out there. I wish I could feel what you're seeing."

O'Sullivan enjoyed victories over Marcus Campbell, Ali Carter, Stuart Bingham and Judd Trump before meeting Hawkins in the final, and confirmed foundations had been set if he is to continue playing.

"One good thing this tournament has done is get me a wildcard into the Masters," O'Sullivan said. "In many respects it's given me the chance to rebuild if I want to.

"I just feel like I've done a job. It hasn't really sunk in. But for me it's been like a dream, Harry Potter stuff.

"You have to face your demons during this tournament and that's why it's such a hard tournament to win."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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