Ronnie O'Sullivan channels Woods and Federer as he targets Crucible world title

RONNIE O’SULLIVAN will channel his inner Tiger Woods and Roger Federer as he tries to win a sixth world title playing at just 60% of his powers.

For the 28th successive year, the Rocket will obtain his Crucible fix by making the annual trip to Sheffield for a Betfred world championship he has won on five occasions.

Many consider him the sport’s greatest player and in a comparison with two other sporting giants, he reckons he could still be King of the World even at the age of 44.

O’Sullivan said: “My time in a way has been and gone. But I’m a little bit like Tiger Woods and Roger Federer.

“Because I was so good, even at 60%, I’m still capable of holding my own against most of the players.

“So that’s probably why I’m still hanging around because a lot of these players do more practise in one day than I do in two weeks.

“As long as I am still able to do it on my terms, and I play snooker because I choose to not because I have to, then it’s alright.

“The minute I feel like I have to put a little bit too much effort in, then there’s the exhibition circuit.

“I’ve got an active brain and I won’t be satisfied doing nothing. Having put things in place now, I now know that there will be a great life after snooker.”

In the first round today, O’Sullivan faces fellow rapid player Thepchaiya Un-Nooh from Thailand in what could be the quickest match in history.

O’Sullivan has played in the world championships every year since 1993 but it is seven years since he last lifted silverware.

In fact he has only made one final and three quarter-final appearances in that period.

As a man of many contradictions, O’Sullivan admits on one hand he doesn’t like the 17-day format and the best of 19-33 frames.

Yet on the other hand, he claims he feels like an addict when it comes to playing on the big stage.

O’Sullivan said: “For me it’s like an addict who needs to feed his habit.  It is not about tournaments. They are all the same. It’s about feeding that habit whenever I need to.

“To be honest, I don’t really care what happens and that’s the truthful answer.

“I have got a back-up plan if I get beaten and have a soft landing by doing some Eurosport work.

“But I have banned myself from giving that TV option for at least two days.

“I’ve to put a fine on myself to try that bit harder because it has been well-documented it’s not my favourite tournament for obvious reasons.

“I don’t care what anybody thinks, my CV and what I have done over the years speaks for itself. I don’t have anything to prove.

“It is just feeding that habit now and again and I have got everything on my terms and if I did not have it on my terms then I definitely would not be playing.

“Obviously I want to go there and have butterflies, as a sportsman that is what you want to do.

“But there is no pressure on me and I am certainly not playing snooker because I need to, it is because I want to.”

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