Snooker star 'happy to see the back of Ronnie O'Sullivan' after Rocket begins break from sport - 'Relieved'

Snooker star 'happy to see the back of Ronnie O'Sullivan' after Rocket begins break from sport - 'Relieved'

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

Lewis Winter

By Lewis Winter

Published: 26/01/2024

- 20:36

One player has lost three times to O'Sullivan in the space of seven weeks

Neal Foulds claims Ding Junhui will be 'particularly happy' to see Ronnie O'Sullivan take a break from snooker.

The Rocket has pulled out of the German Masters next week as he prioritises his health and wellbeing.

O'Sullivan has won the last three tournaments he has entered, including the first two Triple Crown events of the season.

He lifted the UK Championship in December before winning a record-extending eighth Masters title earlier this month.

Ronnie O'Sullivan

Neal Foulds claims Ding Junhui will be happy to see Ronnie O'Sullivan take a break


The 48-year-old followed that up with victory at the World Grand Prix last Sunday, coming from behind to beat Judd Trump.

O'Sullivan beat Ding 10-7 in the final of the UK Championship and then knocked him out of both the Masters and the World Grand Prix.

His win at the Grand Prix was described by pundits as one of the best sessions of snooker they had ever seen.

Ding won't be at the German Masters next week after he lost his qualifier to Yuan Sijun in December.

However, former player Foulds says the China star will be happy that O'Sullivan is to reduce how many tournaments he plays in.

He reckons there will be an overall sense of relief among the tour that the seven-time World Champion is taking a step back.

Foulds wrote for Sporting Life: "[O'Sullivan] can’t keep winning every week, of course he can’t, but right now, when he’s playing well, it’s hard to see who steps up to take him down.

"The tournament organisers in Germany might be disappointed he isn’t in Berlin, but the other players will be relieved.

"One man who will be particularly happy to see the back of Ronnie is Ding, denied late in the UK Championship final and completely blown away in that session of their semi-final at the World Grand Prix.

"It was simply awesome stuff from Ronnie, and my ITV colleague Ken Doherty described it as the best session of snooker he’s ever seen.

"I wouldn’t want to completely nail my colours to that mast, but most of the best sessions in the history of snooker involve Ronnie – his 6-0 drubbing of Ricky Walden at the Masters in 2014, when notching 556 points without reply, is another performance I’ll never forget.

"What a player he’s been, and what a player he continues to be. A truly remarkable sportsman."


Ding Junhui

Ding Junhui lost three times to Ronnie O'Sullivan since the beginning of December


O'Sullivan can hold all three Triple Crown events at the same time if he wins a record-breaking eighth World Championship.

But snooker fans won't see much of him before the tournament starts at the Crucible in April.

O'Sullivan released a statement on Friday confirming he had withdrawn from next week's event in Germany.

He said: "Hi guys, I just want to let my fans in Germany know that sadly I've decided to withdraw from the German Masters next week.

Ronnie O'Sullivan and Ding Junhui

Ronnie O'Sullivan has beaten Ding Junhui in three tournaments in a row


"I love the event and my fans in Germany but I have to make my health and wellbeing the priority.

"It's been a tiring and challenging season for me so far, despite how it may seem with the tournament wins, so hope you understand.

"I'm sorry I won't be there and I hope to see you all soon."

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