Mark Williams yesterday said he would seriously consider retirement if he dropped out of the top 32 at the end of the season.
How likely is this to happen?
As for dropping out of the top 32, it could easily occur. Unless he has good runs in the Welsh and China Opens, Williams will probably have to win his first round match at the Crucible, which is no certainty given the high standard of the qualifiers and pressure he will be under.
But would he walk away at the age of 33?
I seriously doubt it. Snooker has been his life since boyhood. He turned professional at 17 and it is all he has known.
The obvious question, then, is what else he would do.
I can only think of one player who has retired while still at the top level, other than Chris Small and Martin Clark who did so because of illness.
The player in question was Terry Griffiths, who put his cue away after dropping out of the top 16. However, Terry was 49 at the time and his best years were behind him, even if he could have survived on the tour for several more seasons.
I’d be amazed if Williams did the same. His reaction yesterday was more than likely simple disappointment at another early exit.
What is incredible, though, is the current plight of a player who has won two world titles in this decade.