Ronnie O'Sullivan compared to two sporting icons as snooker star enjoys time off - 'Realms of dominance'

Ronnie O'Sullivan compared to two sporting icons as snooker star enjoys time off - 'Realms of dominance'

WATCH NOW: Ronnie O'Sullivan celebrates Masters win with family

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 29/01/2024

- 10:59

The Rocket recently pulled out of the German Masters

Former snooker star Neal Foulds has lavished praise on Ronnie O'Sullivan, comparing the 48-year-old to Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry amid his fine form.

The Rocket has already won two titles in 2024, continuing to establish himself as one of the best players on the planet in the process.

O'Sullivan beat Ali Carter to win the Masters earlier in the month.

And he recently got the better of Judd Trump to reign supreme in the World Grand Prix - before later withdrawing from the German Masters.

Ronnie O'Sullivan

Ronnie O'Sullivan is dominating snooker with his rivals unable to get anywhere near him


O'Sullivan seems unstoppable at the current moment in time, with nobody able to keep up with the snooker star amid his break.

And Foulds says the Rocket is comparable to both Davis and Hendry as he continues to dazzle.

"He is an amazing sportsman. The youngest and the oldest winner of the UK Championship, that record chalked up only last month, and now confirmed as the youngest and the oldest player to win the Masters only a few weeks ago," he told Sports Illustrated.

"All topped off with victory at last week’s World Grand Prix.

"More records, more memories, more of that Ronnie magic. It’s bonkers, really, beyond belief.

"Even now, he is as dominant as ever, as far ahead of his peers that I can ever remember.

"He is in the realms of dominance that we haven’t seen since Stephen Hendry and Steve Davis.

"He’s number one in the rankings, he’s got so many points in the bank he might need to open another account soon, and he’s in the envious position of probably needing to pick and choose from here until the World Championship to ensure he isn’t overcooked by the time Sheffield comes around."

Foulds does, however, admit he's unsure if O'Sullivan is as good as he was a decade or so ago.

"Is he as good as he was in 2013 when he won the World Championship after taking a year off?" he continued.

"I’m not sure he is, but he can win in different ways now.

"He might not be able to produce the jaw-dropping session of snooker we saw in semi-final defeat of Ding Junhui at the World Grand Prix quite so often, but he’s prepared to roll his sleeves up nowadays and win when he’s not at his best.

"He'll grind out victories in matches he might have lost 10 years ago, and where we always used to think of him as a brilliant, almost unstoppable frontrunner, he is now so hard to shake off even if starting matches slowly and falling behind.

"It was that way in the Masters final against Ali Carter and again when trailing Judd Trump in the final of the World Grand Prix last week.

"He just wouldn’t buckle and eventually, he broke his opponents down."


Steve Davis Stephen Hendry

Ronnie O'Sullivan has been compared to Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry amid his sensational displays


O'Sullivan has had plenty of sessions with Dr Stephen Peters as he's looked to master his demons.

That's something Foulds thinks has been crucial amid his sensational sporting exploits.

"Dr Stephen Peters must take plenty of credit for his input, and Ronnie says that himself," he said.

"His attitude rarely lets him down nowadays, and to beat O’Sullivan you know you’re generally going to have to play somewhere close to your best.

"The harsh reality is that even the best players don’t seem capable of doing that right now, and I'm not sure many believe they can beat him.

Ronnie O'Sullivan

Ronnie O'Sullivan has won two snooker titles in 2024 already


"And as we have always said, if O’Sullivan plays his best, he’s almost impossible to beat.

"His scoring is always deadly, his unrivalled positional play ensures that, but when his long game is on point like it was in Leicester, you can’t see him losing too many matches.

"Ronnie’s long game isn’t always as strong as it was last week, but when that facet of his game clicks, there are no chinks in his armour."

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