World Snooker Championship: Ronnie O’Sullivan targets record eighth title to complete ‘best ever’ season | Snooker News

Seven-time winner Ronnie O’Sullivan, 48, tells Sky Sports ahead of the start of the World Snooker Championship on Saturday: “I still think I’ve got another one or two world titles in me. As long as I feel young around the snooker table, age is just a number”

Ronnie O’Sullivan says a record eighth World Snooker Championship win would clinch his best-ever season in the sport ahead of the tournament’s start on Saturday.

O’Sullivan won both the UK Championship and The Masters for the eighth time in December and January, respectively, and is now looking to repeat the feat at the Crucible to complete snooker’s ‘Triple Crown’.

The 48-year-old feels his game is in good order going into his opening clash with Welsh qualifier Jackson Page on Wednesday, but adds a first-round exit is just as likely as him lifting the trophy for an eighth time to break the record he currently shares with Stephen Hendry.

Jackson Page made his one previous appearance at The Crucible in 2022

“The last few days, I’ve started to play alright and so I’ve started to fancy the job,” O’Sullivan told Sky Sports.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if I win it but, equally, I wouldn’t be surprised if I lost first round. Snooker sometimes doesn’t make sense.

“I still think I’ve got another one or two world titles in me. As long as I feel young around the snooker table, age is just a number.

“I thought I was finished at 35, but I’m still going at 48. I’ve still won a lot and I’m still [world] No 1, which is a bit of a miracle in itself.

“I’ve been going at it a long time and I still feel like I’ve got another five, six, seven good years in me. Who knows, as long as I’m still having fun and enjoying it.”

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Asked whether completing the Triple Crown would represent his best season in snooker, O’Sullivan replied: “Absolutely.”

“I won the UK Championships, the Masters. The Triple Crown is what all snooker fans and players measure things by, so to have all three in one go would be great.

“And I won in Shanghai as well, which is one of my favourite events.

“I’ve won quite a few big events this year. I’ve had a great season and Sheffield would just cap it all off.”

Could the Word Snooker Championship leave The Crucible?

O’Sullivan has been critical of the Crucible in the past and, after this week signing a three-year ambassadorial agreement to help grow snooker in Saudi Arabia, there is speculation the World Championship could one day move to the Middle East.

In March, Saudi Arabia hosted the inaugural, non-ranking World Masters of Snooker event, which will return for the 2024/25 season, while a first ranking tournament will be held there in August in the form of the Saudi Arabia Snooker Masters which will have a £2m prize fund – the highest of any tournament outside the World Championship.

Sky Sports News chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol assesses whether the World Snooker Championship could move to Saudi Arabia

“The Crucible is a great venue, don’t get me wrong,” O’Sullivan clarified. “It’s got great history and I’ve got some great memories there but, as a snooker player, you thrive in being in an environment where everything is catered for.

“It’s hard to get in and out, it’s hard to get a proper allocation for practice times, it’s a busy place and the World Championship is a massive event.

“I think Saudi Arabia could get hold of this tournament, grab it by the scruff of the neck and turn it into a Wimbledon or a French Open or US Open, and really make it a super event.”

The Crucible in Sheffield has been home to the World Snooker Championship since 1977

He added: “Listen, Sheffield has the history and that will never change.

“A lot of people say, what about the history there? Come on man, history is getting rewritten every day really.

“I think if Eddie [Hearn] and Barry [Hearn] and World Snooker decide it is right to take it to Saudi, then why not?”

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