What's your rating of Ronnie Osullivan

"A bit like in Germany" : Snooker star Ronnie O'Sullivan likes the peace and quiet at the World Cup

Ronnie O’Sullivan knows a lot about records. And that's why new records only give him a shrug. His first round match against the hopelessly overwhelmed Thai Thepchaiya Un-Nooh at the World Snooker Championships in Sheffield lasted 108 minutes, then O’Sullivan's 10-1 victory was certain. It was the shortest match in world championship history.

“Records don't mean much to me. I'm not really worried about it either, ”O’Sullivan stated soberly after his success. In the round of 16 from Friday he will meet Ding Junhui from China, the task should be a little more demanding for the 44-year-old.

[If you want to have all the latest news live on your mobile phone, we recommend our completely redesigned app, which you can download here for Apple and Android devices.]

The fact that he is still favored in his next match has to do with the special circumstances at this World Cup. Since the second day of the tournament on Saturday, no more spectators have been admitted to the Crucible Theater. Before the World Cup, O’Sullivan spoke out clearly against fans in the arena, making a comparison with “laboratory rats” and even not ruling out his early departure from the tournament.

Now, however, the signs have changed. "I prefer that because I'm not that sociable type," he told the BBC. The competition is also aware of this: “It now feels a bit like training for him,” said world number two Neil Robertson from Australia and added: “The audience's expectations are always very high for him. Now he can approach the matter much more relaxed and that should be good for him. "

In fact, O’Sullivan has struggled again and again in Sheffield over the years. In 2019 he failed at the beginning of an amateur after an outstanding season. Since his last title win in 2013 - the fifth overall - O’Sullivan reached the final again the following year, after which he won a maximum of two tournament matches at the season highlight. Also because snooker no longer means everything to the Englishman: "I don't play so much anymore because I'm trying to enjoy my life more," he said on Monday.

"As if you were driving through London and nobody was there"

It's a lot easier these days in Sheffield. O’Sullivan, for example, spends the time leading up to the match against Ding at home, where he can relax and prepare for the next opponent at his own practice table. “It's good for me that I don't have to be stuck in one place and have to wait. That would be my worst nightmare, ”he said.

O’Sullivan doesn't mind at all that life in Great Britain has become quieter in times of the coronavirus. “It feels a bit like in Germany, less hectic,” he said. And for the special atmosphere at the World Cup, he draws an interesting comparison: “It's like driving through London and nobody is there.” All of this is “very, very strange”, even if he is ultimately paid for it, “a to sink a few balls ”.

If there were so many that there would be enough for a sixth world title, that would not be another record. But O’Sullivan would be close to Stephen Hendry’s record of seven but one. It is quite possible that that would mean a little more to him than a quickie on lap one.

Now new: We give you 4 weeks of Tagesspiegel Plus! To home page