Ronnie O'Sullivan has lost some of his 'magic' as ex-snooker star gives honest verdict at Tour Championship

Ronnie O'Sullivan has lost some of his 'magic' as ex-snooker star gives honest verdict at Tour Championship

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Lewis Winter

By Lewis Winter

Published: 04/04/2024

- 17:08

The legendary star is not happy with his cueing despite a successful season so far

Ronnie O'Sullivan has lost some of the 'magic' that made him one of the most exciting snooker players to watch, says former Scottish star Alan McManus.

McManus claims the Rocket is no longer able to 'showboat' like he did in the past and can understand his frustrations this season.

O'Sullivan has won five tournaments this term but has repeatedly said he has not enjoyed his time competing at the table.

He cut a frustrated figure despite beating his arch-rival Ali Carter 10-2 in the quarter-final of the Tour Championship on Wednesday.

Ronnie O'Sullivan

Ronnie O'Sullivan has lost some of his magic, according to Alan McManus


Afterwards, O'Sullivan explained his disappointment at his performance and said it has been a common problem this season.

The 48-year-old told ITV: "It's been a hard year. I've drove myself insane really trying to find some form, but I just have to accept it.

"I have to accept how I play. That's life. You can't be perfect all the time.

"Trying to be perfect all the time is not ideal, so I just have to get my head around it.

"That's the only option I have left. I've driven myself mad for the past two years, and I've not enjoyed any of it."

McManus believes O'Sullivan's emotions are justified despite his success in winning tournaments.

He claims the seven-time world champion is no longer able to produce magical moments as he has in the past.

McManus said: "I kind of get what he's getting at when he says he is frustrated. I've been saying this for three or four years.

"I think some of the magic of O'Sullivan has gone. What I mean by that is the showboating long potting. It is all cue ball now.

"When he gets in close, it is 95 per cent positional success in the match. That is very, very high.

"That means you are right in behind the next shot pretty much every time. That means he can break build, and he makes it look a bit matter-of-fact.

"I think some of those extravagant shots have gone from his game, and he doesn't need them though. Because of his talent, he doesn't need it. Now it's a systematic dismantling of his opponent."


Ronnie O'Sullivan

Ronnie O'Sullivan is aiming to win a sixth tournament this season at the Tour Championship


It was O'Sullivan's first meeting with Carter since the pair exchanged verbals after the Masters final in January.

He will now face either Gary Wilson or Zhang Anda in the semi-final on Friday.

Stephen Hendry admitted O'Sullivan was below par against Carter but did what he needed to.

The Scot said: "He dismantled Ali. He wasn't at his best for the first four or five frames, but he got the job done and as always, is the man to beat.

Ronnie O'Sullivan

Ronnie O'Sullivan has been frustrated with his play this season


"His safety was his most potent weapon today because his long game wasn't really there. But he always scores.

"Sometimes saying somebody is a percentage player is a derogatory term, but he doesn't take any risks.

"He plays a great safety, gets in and scores what's there. That's a powerful weapon."

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