2.2.11

O'SULLIVAN WITHDRAWS FROM GERMAN MASTERS

Ronnie O'Sullivan has withdrawn from the German Masters.

His decision not to travel to Berlin gives Dominic Dale a bye in to the last 16. It will also leave many who bought tickets specifically to see him play disappointed.

I can reveal that O'Sullivan recently told World Snooker he wanted to take a break from the game.

The sabbatical does not apparently include exhibitions. He has signed up for several nights on the Snooker Legends tour, indeed played Jimmy White in Blackburn last night.

This is almost on a par with Joe Davis in the 1950s, who retired from the World Championship but played in exhibitions.

Everyone knew he was still the best player and the fact he wasn't in the World Championship killed the tournament off, although it would be fanciful to suggest O'Sullivan's behaviour could do the same in 2011.

In exhibitions, there is little pressure. In a tournament, though, a player has his game tested. There is pressure. It is serious. Anyone who watched O'Sullivan in the UK Championship or the Masters will have observed that he was poorly motivated and unable to raise his game when he needed to.

Against White last night he contributed to an evening that included six centuries in eight frames.

Tournament snooker is perhaps boring to him now when set against the rush of a one night show - as in the Premier League - where he can pitch up, play and go home again - especially when the result doesn't really matter that much and he won't feel undue pressure.

But professional players have a responsibility to the game as well as their own whims.

O'Sullivan entered the tournament and so he should play in it unless there is a serious reason why he cannot.

The WPBSA's disciplinary arm recently instituted a series of punishments for players withdrawing from events they have entered.

The financial cost will not bother O'Sullivan. He has more than enough money to cover it.

The event will survive. German snooker fans have enthusiasm for the game, not just the top players.

But O'Sullivan is clearly at some sort of crossroads. He has threatened to retire many times and it has always been a rash, spur of the moment statement.

What is clear right now, though, is that he doesn't want to play tournament snooker.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oooh what a surprise.

Toni said...

GREAT NEWS...WHY Sullivan ??? the second time i will see some live snooker and u must be ou before it start ? i love Ronnie, but why u must withdraw ? it sucks. but i hope to see good Snooker, without u.

Betty Logan said...

Ronnie has just got himself fined £250.

trophymad said...

well well well *sighs* why doesn't he simply stop playing instead of playing around? I'm starting to don't like him sooo much anymore. A lot of Fans will be disapointed and he's the one to blame. I hate if anyone damages Snooker and this time he did it big time!

Martin said...

who cares..?

Anonymous said...

Martin, I could not have put it better myself.

Alpha

YellowLed said...

It has been suggested in the past that O'Sullivan will not retire from the game unless his father has watched him win the World Championship being present at the Crucible. As hard as that might be without a solid season of preparation under his belt, this might be what Ronnie's aiming at.

Anonymous said...

Good propaganda for the anti ROS faction.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmmmm Betty bets that's gunna bring him down to his last £8 mill....

Anonymous said...

Very well put Martin!

Anonymous said...

If he wants to take a year off, or quit then he should announce it and not be wishy-washy. Lots of people had been dying to see him in Berlin and this is a big F you to the fans.

Not playing is fine, but don't enter for god's sake and screw the crowds again and again.

Anonymous said...

Snooker doesn't need enemies when it's got a self-centred, supercilious oaf like O'Sullivan. As for the World Championship, Ray Reardon would have more chance of winning than O'Sullivan. Seventeen days ...... seventeen minutes is too much for him nowadays.

Re. the German Masters not showing tonight for technical reasons - tell it to the marines! Barry Hearn, being the consummate professional he is, won't be very pleased to say the least.

Anonymous said...

I love that line at 6.06 "Good propaganda for the anti ROS faction".

Obviously there are lots of people out there who just have it in for Ronnie for no particular reason, and when he behaves badly they use it as an excuse to pick on him.

Clearly that makes much more sense than Ronnie's bad behaviour being the reason people take against him.

I tend to agree with Martin's comment. He's becoming an irrelevance anyway. I don't know if its within their powers, but if it is I'd like to see the disciplinary people ban him, maybe even for the World Championship.

Who cares if he walks away?

Anonymous said...

typical of him
no respect for organisers

Anonymous said...

Mind you if he buggered off, what would we talk about then?!

Anonymous said...

Hmm maybe those people who want to see the best and most exciting snooker played on TV care? Just possibly.

Anonymous said...

W-Anchor

He should be banned from the next ranking tournament.

Anonymous said...

A comment on Pro Snooker Blog indicated that he is playing exhibition matches during the German Masters. Medical reasons...??

A bad case of money-in-the-bank-and-getting-my-feet-up-itis. An incurable disease I might add.

WILD said...

"He should be banned from the next ranking tournament."
______________________________________

yes thats a great punishment for someone that doesn't want to play....

it would feel like Christmas lol

Anonymous said...

Like it or not ROS is snooker,fact.if he walks tv audience and crowds will dwindle.ask any sponsor of a tournament if he goes out early it's bad news all round

Matt said...

Regarding the comment on my blog someone has just replied to it with a comment that contradicts it slightly.

Though it is true to say that he played Jimmy last night as Dave says in the article.

Whatever the reason, it's a shame for the fans in Germany and a shame for the game.

Ronnie never asked to be this flag bearer for the sport that he is being portrayed as being, but he should treat it with a little more respect than he does in my opinion. Withdrawing is one thing, leaving it so late, so often is quite another.

dzierzgul said...

O'Sullivan complains that World Championships is a boring tournament cause it lasts 17 days and now he withdraws from a tournament scheduled to 4 days. Seems like the only chance of him being satisfied is if all tournaments adopt the Pot Black format...

Anonymous said...

Barry hearn should not invite him to the Premier League come August. Granted he is the holder, the person who sells the most tickets, the most entertaining snooker player by a country mile, but the PL is an invitational tournament and if Hearn does have balls of steel, he will say NO to Ronnie.

It's give and take Ron.

jamie brannon said...

It is poor of O'Sullivan not to notify them sooner. However, he may have genuine reasons for wishing to withdraw.

I n a recent interview with Radio Five Live, he admitted that he was now the principal guardian of his two kids with Jo Westwood.

People should not jump to conclusions, until their is hard evidence that he is just doing this for no substantial reason.

Anonymous said...

109 - well said. good idea

jamie - may have. then again its about the 8th times hes done it.

stop defending the idiot! hes ignorant! last minute pull outs......grrr

jamie brannon said...

I am not defending him, just merely reserving judgement as we don't know the in and outs of it all.

If he has no substantial reason for withdrawing then a fine should be forthcoming.

Judging from the fact he played an exhbition the night before it is unlikely that it was anything serious.

Anonymous said...

It'll be sad when Ronnie does eventually decide to make good on his threat and leave the sport. I didn't enjoy watching him in the last two events as his desire to fight seemed to have gone.

I'm hoping that Ronnie will make it to his 4th WC this May..but the realist in me says it will probably be a tame first round exit, then, perhaps, as far as the 2011/2 season is concerned "Auf Wiedersehen, Ron".