Ronnie O’Sullivan is into the quarter-finals of the World Grand Prix – but hated his last 16 match so much that he reiterated his plan to retire from the sport.
In a scrappy affair, O’Sullivan beat Iranian player Hossein Vafaei 4-1 in Coventry, rounding off matters with breaks of 107 and 81 in the final two frames.
The six-time world champion was left anything but happy by his display though, chastising himself for “stinking” the place out.
“That was as bad as it’s ever been, the first three frames. If he’d have played alright it would have been 4-0, done and dusted,” he told ITV4 afterwards.
“I’m into the next round, that’s about all I can say.
‘If I was to play like that, you have to be honest with yourself, I’m not going to get any better now, I know when to throw it in because I didn’t enjoy that.
‘I’ve always played off the fans, fed off the fans, I get a bounce in my step, that’s the enjoyment I get from it. There’s no enjoyment stinking gaffs out like that, that was horrendous.”
Only last week, ‘The Rocket’ was publicly comparing himself to Tyson Fury, but now expects to walk away from snooker in three years time – and then enjoy himself afterwards.
“I’ll allow myself to stink places out for another three years. I think I’ve earned the right to smell a few places out,” he continued.
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“Then if it doesn’t get any better, which I can’t imagine it will, it’s probably time to hang the cue up, get on the exhibition circuit, have a few pints of Guinness.
“You can’t play like that, I can’t anyway. There’s just no fun in it for me. If someone plays alright against me, they’ll put me away.”
As well as his haul of six world titles, just one off the record set by another snooker legend in Stephen Hendry, O’Sullivan, 46, has seven UK and seven Masters championships to his name, as well as amassing over 1000 century breaks.
And the irony is that despite his misgivings about his current performance levels, he remains firmly in the running to end his season with silverware, having now set up a quarter-final with either Luca Brecel or Jimmy Robertson in the quarter-finals on Friday.