Five-time World title winner, Ronnie O’Sullivan, was crushed with a 13-9 loss by Stuart Bingham in the quarter-finals of the World Championship at the Crucible in Sheffield. The 38 year-old from Basildon, who is now in the semi-finals for the first time, played brilliantly and was more motivated and eager to win, compared to the Rocket, who reached the quarter-finals for a 17th time in his career.
Throughout the tournament O’Sullivan looked a different player; he did not put a lot of enthusiasm into his games, but has been a cause of some controversy at every occasion; during his second round meeting with Matthew Stevens he almost snapped his cue, after missing an easy pot. He also made some rude gestures and was warned by referee. Also, during his first round match against Craig Steadman, he complained about his shoes and played a frame in his socks, until asked to borrow a pair of shoes.
And on Tuesday, during the first session of his quarter-final game against Bingham, O'Sullivan placed the chalk on the table to line up a shot, but somehow escaped unpunished for breaking the rules.
So, is the Rocket losing focus and interest in the game?
He started playing #Snooker as a young boy and turned professional when he was 16. He has been a heavy favourite in any tournament, and one of the most successive players in the history of sport, regarded by many as the greatest snooker player of all time. The Rocket has been known for his entertaining and fast playing style, hence the nickname. However, he has also been known for his high perfectionism and punishing self-criticism, which could be very demanding physically and mentally; in the last years he has repeatedly declared, on several occasions, his intention to leave the sport.
O’Sullivan is keen on other sports and hobbies; he supports Arsenal, is an enthusiastic runner and likes motor racing and cooking. The last two hobbies earned him appearances on BBC’s Top Gear and Saturday Kitchen programmes.
Hopefully, the Rocket will soon find a missing spark somewhere, and continue to play for many years to come.