Ronnie O’Sullivan references Federer and Tiger Woods as he discusses retirement

Snooker star Ronnie O’Sullivan has revealed that the buzz of success is preventing him from retiring from the sport. The 47-year-old mentioned Roger Federer and Tiger Woods when quizzed on when he will hang up his cue for the final time, ferencing how fellow champions have struggled to walk away from their respective spheres.

O’Sullivan is widely regarded as one of the best snooker players of all time, winning the world championship on seven occasions and enjoying a dominant reign as world No 1. With such immense prize money to his name and numerous accolades, many have questioned why the Brit has decided not to retire.

The most decorated player in Masters history has never shied away from addressing retirement, speaking openly about how he would spend his spare time and the moments that he would be able to enjoy without the routine of life as a snooker player.

However, O’Sullivan has now admitted that walking away from the sport is proving tricky due to the ‘feeling’ he receives at the table. Asked what is stopping him from quitting, he told The Times: “That there’s no other feeling like it.

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“It’s like Federer on Centre Court, Verstappen in his car, Tiger Woods on a golf course. My mate calls it ‘the mustard’. He says you have to smother yourself in the mustard, go through the heat, the dark places, the character-building stuff.

“Only then do you have those moments where you think, ‘How did I do that? F***ing hell, that was good.’ ”

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Despite being the oldest world champion, O’Sullivan does not believe that he has lost any ability over time. He continues: “There are shots I couldn’t play ten years ago, which now I can. I just kind of see the ball, then it’s all feel. It’s like yoga. Once the body is in the right position, it’s very hard to miss.”

Like in every sport, many players are never truly able to walk away from their hobby and passion entirely – with some foraging a career in punditry and others heading into the management and coaching side of things. Asked if he could follow in the footsteps of John McEnroe and his retirement and play at veterans’ events, O’Sullivan was quick to shut down the suggestion. “If I haven’t got a tournament, I never pick up a cue,” he explained. “So I know that I’ll never, ever go near a table again. It wouldn’t interest me.”

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