Ronnie O’Sullivan admits ‘impostor syndrome’ and says he ‘shouldn’t be playing’ | Other | Sports | Tech US News


Ronnie O’Sullivan insists he is a snooker fake who doesn’t care about his results and shouldn’t be playing anymore. Rocket is bidding to extend his own record of seven successes at the Cazoo UK Championship in York this year. World number one and reigning and seven-time world champion O’Sullivan defeated Wales’ Matthew Stevens 6-2 in front of a raucous crowd at the Barbican Center yesterday.

But after admitting he felt impossible, O’Sullivan described himself as a “cheater” and “unbreakable” – as even a crushing defeat would leave him infallible and just wanting to grab a beer.

O’Sullivan said: “If you look at Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry and those guys, at his age he shouldn’t be playing at all in fairness. So I don’t take it too seriously – I really find the whole thing quite funny. I have a bit of impostor syndrome. I felt happier when I lost five finals because it felt right.

“But when I started winning tournaments again, I didn’t feel like I deserved it or played well enough. It felt like a ruse to allow me to do this and I felt like a fake. When I won the world title again in May, I didn’t feel good about it because I was back in that place where I was wondering.

“Maybe it’s hard to rest after the last world title – to be honest I’m feeling indifferent and I don’t want to play snooker at the moment. I don’t play a lot of snooker and I really don’t care.

“Basically I come mainly because there is something to do, I had that year outside and I got bored working on the pig farm. I listen to my body and my mind. I fit in well mentally in matches, but whether I play well or poorly, I don’t really care.

“I could have been beaten 6-0 and still had a good time at York. I’m not under any pressure so every game is like training, even though it’s not easy. I’ve come through so it’s so unimportant – it’s all a bonus.

“I’m really unbreakable because if you beat me 10-0 I’d go and say ‘Honey, are we going for a drink?’ We should all be like that, people take sports too seriously. I don’t really get excited when I come up the stairs with the crowd, I’m not as excited as I used to be, but I’m here to get the job done.

“It’s nice to get some ears and aahs from the crowd, it’s a good feeling because you know when you’ve hit a good shot by the reaction.”

The UK arena set-up was a further boost this year and regained some of its lost prestige as the first major of the season. And O’Sullivan, who has been extremely critical of venues in the past, added: “We’re used to four tables and 128 players and all that, so you come here and it’s like ‘Don’t spoil me’.

“Unless they keep that level all the time and don’t go back to what it was before. I mean, having a tournament like this once in a while is not enough for me. If every one of them was like that, great. If not, I’d almost prefer everyone to be the way they were before.”

Stevens said: “I had chances in the match but if you don’t take them against Ronnie – especially when he’s playing like that – you’re not going to win.”


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