Sunday 17 November 2019

Snooker: Rocket: Selby 'too hot and cold' for World assault

Ronnie O'Sullivan has written off Mark Selby's chances of claiming a World Championship title after seeing the same inconsistency in the Masters champion that he suffers from himself.

Selby regained the Masters title with a thrilling final-frame victory at Wembley Arena, but O'Sullivan feels the 26-year-old blows "too hot and cold" to win over the course of the 17-day event at The Crucible.

The Rocket (34) believes he has at least three or four years left before considering retirement but also doubts he will add to his three world titles. "As far as winning world titles, that is mission impossible for me," he said. "I'm too hot and cold to go in with any confidence in doing it.

"I don't think Selby has the game either to win a world title because of the same reasons. That is why it is tough, you are up against players that have that relentlessness."

The inconsistency of both players was illustrated during Sunday's final, although O'Sullivan did not let it affect him as it has previously in his career.

"I've been playing like a plum for 17 years," he said. "I've had my struggles and a lot of people have put it down to depression or my demons but it has nothing to do with demons.

"The hot and cold snooker did and does make me depressed. I felt myself getting sucked in during the final but said, 'don't go there, you've had a good week'. I don't have those expectations anymore.

"It's sad for me because if I was able to put my finger on it and get it right I would smash all these players up -- I would demolish a lot of them.

"For me to win three world titles is a miracle in itself. I didn't think I'd win one because over 17 days it requires you not to have bad spells.

"If I didn't have my problems with the game over the years maybe I could have possibly chased (Stephen) Hendry's record of seven, but I've just got to be happy that I've had quite a successful career when I've either been really good or really poor."

Irish Independent

The Left Wing: Champions Cup preview, the World Cup hangover and Joe Schmidt's next team

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport