Cue Ronnie: Wit and wisdom of O'Sullivan
'Rocket' Ronnie O'Sullivan is as quick with his quips as he is when potting balls on the snooker table.
There may have been no spectators at The Crucible Theatre in Sheffield for the majority of the world championships but it did not prevent the 44-year-old Englishman from livening up proceedings on and off the table.
As O'Sullivan celebrated a sixth world title on Sunday, AFP Sport picks out five of the mercurial player's outbursts:
"They're treating this snooker event like lab rats really, so what can you do? You've got to start (bringing fans back) somewhere, (so why not) start with snooker players –- less insurance to pay out for Anthony Hamilton than there is for Lewis Hamilton."
-- O'Sullivan supports chronic asthmatic Anthony 'Sheriff of Pottingham' Hamilton's concerns about permitting spectators into the auditorium. Hamilton subsequently withdrew allowing Kyren Wilson a first round bye before he went on to lose to O'Sullivan in the final.O'Sullivan stood his ground. Ironically spectators were barred after the first day when the British Government halted their pilot scheme to allow selected sporting events to have a limited number of attendees.
"It's better with the fans, of course it is, it's like playing in a morgue out there.....It puts you off coming to this tournament, I'd rather go and play in Crawley."
-- A week after his lab rats remark, O'Sullivan displayed his ability to swing completely the other way. He made them just after beating Chinese star Ding Junhui and was the ultimate putdown as he had previously blasted the venue for the English Open declaring: "Every day in Crawley is a day lost in my life."
"If you said to me, 'do you want Prince William's role?' I would not know where to begin. He has had it since childhood and it has become natural. For me, it is the same metaphor for snooker."
-- O'Sullivan compares the expectations placed on him when his sparkling talent emerged aged 11 to that of the man second in line to the throne.
"If you look at the younger players coming through they aren't that good really. A lot of them, you have got to lose an arm and leg to fall outside of the top 50."
-- Not for the first time O'Sullivan criticised the younger generation and claims why the class of '92 of him, Mark Williams and John Higgins are still at the top.
His remarks got short shrift from Ireland's 1997 world champion Ken Doherty, who said he found them "derogatory".
"I am just glad I found a way to try and compete with my mind out there....deep down I do care but treat it like a bit of fun."
-- O'Sullivan pinpoints the nub of the enigma he is in that his biggest opponent is himself.
© 2020 AFP