Ronnie O'Sullivan says he 'switched off long ago' in open interview - still has ambitious targets

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Ronnie O’Sullivan has stated that he is 'not a snooker player anymore' and has expressed tournaments are now a 'holiday' for him.

The Rocket, 45, has spoken out on how he believes he will be retired by the age of 50 despite his intentions to be agile enough to play the sport at 90.

The six-time Snooker world title winner is currently preparing to appear in the UK Championship which starts in York today. The potter has a record seven titles from the tournament already.

With his most recent world crown being achieved in August 2020, O’Sullivan is spending more time away from the baize with his focus on other hobbies.

Currently he is an ongoing TV pundit with Eurosport, has several sponsorship and commercial deals, has various corporate gigs, and exhibitions, and has a new snooker academy opening in Singapore.

The Rocket, who turns 46 on December 5th, the day of the UK final, told SunSport:

“I switched off a long time ago. I see myself as a pundit first. I’ve got my property company. I do a lot of stuff in an ambassadorial role as a face for companies. I see that as my main job now. I don’t really see myself as a snooker player anymore.

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Enter Giveaway

“It’s counter-productive in many ways. Financially and timewise, it doesn’t make sense. But I still want it in my life, if only for fun purposes. If I had to choose between playing snooker and being a pundit or TV personality or doing exhibitions, snooker would be the first thing to go.

"I’ve kind of given myself another three world championships – I’ve set a goal to complete that. It’s probably making me play a lot longer than I wanted.

"That’s a psychology trick played on myself in many ways.

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“Snooker is a platform, something I enjoy, have fun with it. I refuse to take it seriously. There’s no holiday that can compare to it. I get to stay in nice hotels, I play snooker and, if that doesn’t go very well, I then go on Eurosport and watch the snooker and spend time with Jimmy White.

"As long as there are snooker tournaments and snooker tables, I can go on holiday, treat it like a holiday. It’s all good for me.”

His first round will see him take on Welshman Michael White tomorrow when the Barbican hosts crowds for the first time since last year’s shutout.

The Essex man has denied claims that he lost his mojo although he has lost all five ranking finals, he has reached this season.

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Boasting an exercise regime of long-distance running, yoga and Pilates, O’Sullivan has admitted it may have some effect on his concentration levels at the table. He said:

“I could play snooker until I am probably 90! I just couldn’t do it for a job. In terms of running, you’ve got more chance of catching me over the forest and less chance in the streets.

"Fitness, health, wellbeing, eating well… you get one body so use it as efficiently as you can. In some ways when I run and exercise, it’s a negative for my snooker as I’m a bit tired to hold my cue!”

Whilst it’s a million miles away from a beach, O’Sullivan’s holidays at the baize are seemingly numbered.

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