Ronnie O'Sullivan 'doesn't respect many players' as snooker legend makes feelings clear

Ronnie O'Sullivan 'doesn't respect many players' as snooker legend makes feelings clear

WATCH NOW: Ronnie O'Sullivan lifts an eighth Masters title in January

Lewis Winter

By Lewis Winter

Published: 22/02/2024

- 19:35

Updated: 05/03/2024

- 17:07

The seven-time world champion has never been shy in voicing his opinion

Snooker great Stephen Hendry claims that his old rival Ronnie O'Sullivan doesn't have respect for 'many players' on the tour.

However, Hendry says Mark Selby is an exception, with the Rocket knowing that the four-time world champion has had his number on several occasions in the past.

O'Sullivan has often voiced his criticism towards opposition players, most recently telling John Astley to consider a new career at the Welsh Open.

The 48-year-old has regularly questioned the level of younger players in the sport and said at the Masters that many have 'slow brains' compared to his.

Ronnie O'Sullivan

Stephen Hendry says Ronnie O'Sullivan doesn't respect many players in snooker


O'Sullivan is back competing at the Players Championship this week after taking a month away from the sport.

He was pitted against Selby in Thursday's quarter-final in Telford, the 29th career meeting between the pair.

Selby has won 11 of those matches, including beating O'Sullivan in the final of all three Triple Crown events.

Hendry reckons Selby sees himself on an even playing field with O'Sullivan when he is on his top form.

And Hendry says the 40-year-old is one of the few players that O'Sullivan has respect for.

The Scot said on ITV: "I think Mark does think of himself as an equal to Ronnie.

"He sort of played it down a little bit in the interview by saying he cherishes the matches he has had with Ronnie.

"But he feels at the top of his game, he's an equal. There's no doubt that Ronnie doesn't have respect for many players out there, let's get it right.

"He does with Mark Selby. He knows when Mark Selby's at his best, he can beat him."

O'Sullivan has never been shy about giving his opinion on how his opponents have played after beating them.

But it appears this week he has started to adopt a different approach. After his first-round win over Zhou Yuelong, he refused to comment on the China star's performance.

O'Sullivan said: "Yeah I'm not going to comment on other players anymore. So I'm just pleased to be through, you know."


Stephen Hendry

Stephen Hendry says Ronnie O'Sullivan does have respect for Mark Selby


After that match, Hendry claimed Zhou showed too much respect to his opponent.

He said: "There’s no doubt about it, a lot of the Chinese players give Ronnie far too much respect.

"This [missed green] is why I said he knows he’s playing someone who can’t beat him.

"It’s all very well starting a match well, you’ve got to keep competing at the business end of the match and he just faltered, he just went away, Zhou Yuelong.

Mark Selby

Mark Selby has troubled Ronnie O'Sullivan more than most snooker players


"A lot of these Chinese players never stop telling you that Ronnie’s their hero, they’ve got to get that out of their mindset if they’re going to start challenging.

"Ronnie does what he does, he goes through the gears, he improves as the match goes on and Zhou Yuelong got weaker."

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