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Ronnie O’Sullivan ready to show his serious side at the UK Championship


Ronnie O’Sullivan is trying to find a balance in his level of enjoyment (Picture: Getty Images)

Ronnie O’Sullivan has been set on enjoying himself at snooker tournaments of late, insisting he is simply on holiday at events, but has now suggested it is time to knuckle down and get his game face on.

The Rocket is into the third round at the UK Championship after hard fought wins over Michael White and Robbie Williams to set up a clash with Mark King in the last 32.

The six-time world champion has not won a tournament since World Championship in August last year, but has regularly said he is not too fussed about a lack of trophies, instead being content with working as a pundit for Eurosport or following his interests away from snooker.

However, after beating Williams on Saturday he suggested that he will take the rest of the UK Championship a little more seriously than he has been taking events in recent years.

‘I have been enjoying it so much that it took the edge off my game. I thought maybe I should start applying myself a bit more mentally,’ he told BBC Sport.

‘If I had not got my act together he would have probably taken advantage and won. I made him feel it out there and made him feel that I was there to try and win.

‘I am going to try and not enjoy it this week and see what happens.’

The 45-year-old had been 2-1 behind to Williams before going on to win 6-2 and seemed to enjoy the resolve he showed in the contest. Although, despite what he told the BBC, he was still talking about trying to enjoy himself in York.

‘I had to apply myself mentally today, you can only control the controllables,’ said O’Sullivan. ‘Mental strength can be the difference between winning and losing.

‘I try to enjoy myself and have fun – at my age it’s just nice to be getting my cue out of its case. This is the second biggest tournament and I have got a good record in it.’

O’Sullivan has already won more UK Championships than any other player and is looking for his eighth (Picture: Getty Images)

Certainly after his first round win over White he was in full enjoyment mode, not keen to take things too seriously.

O’Sullivan said: ‘I’m just happy to be here, I’m on holiday. I might bring a campervan to the next tournament, proper holiday.

‘I’m really happy, enjoying myself, really want to be here.

‘Five or six years ago, probably 10 years ago really, I made a real conscious effort to go and play for fun and just enjoy it. I went and got a job so I play this for a hobby.’

The Rocket is back in action against King on Monday afternoon and it will be fascinating to see how he is thinking and how much he is trying to enjoy himself – or not – as he tries to book a spot in the last 16.


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MORE : Ronnie O’Sullivan offers ‘free of charge help’ to Michael White after UK Championship win

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