Ronnie O'Sullivan almost 'gave in' after being taken to "dark place" by world title win

October 12, 2022
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Ronnie O'Sullivan knows exactly what it will take to push himself to a record eighth world snooker title next year and the 'dark places' he will have to visit.

The Rocket has won seven world titles, the same amount as Stephen Hendry, but faces 'the circus' of Sheffield's Crucible Theatre again if he wants to hold the record outright.

A two-part Eurosport documentary called 'Seventh Heaven' premieres this Saturday. Cameras followed O'Sullivan during last year's world championships when he admitted going to some 'dark places' to win.

O'Sullivan has previously said the presence of the documentary crew forced him to 'actually try' after 'checking out' eight years ago and now playing snooker for fun.

READ MORE: Ronnie O'Sullivan 'checked out eight years ago' and 'hated' latest Crucible win

"If you are going to win the World Championships, or win any tournament of that stature, whether it's golf, tennis, darts, whatever, it does take you to some dark places," O'Sullivan told the Daily Mail

"Even when I was in my prime in 2012 and 2013, there were some places where you think that was tough, it was really, really hard to not sabotage and just quit.

"When I say quit, I mean give in mentally. In those dark places, it's where you have to push yourself beyond the comfort zone."

"I am less prepared to go to the dark places now because I am more interested in having a healthier, happier life. So it's a trade-off, picking and choosing my battles."



Ronnie O'Sullivan said he had to visit some 'dark places' to win the World Snooker Championship
Ronnie O'Sullivan said he had to visit some 'dark places' to win the World Snooker Championship

Current world number one O'Sullivan has had a long career in snooker turning professional in 1992 and winning his first world title nine years later. The 46-year-old has previously spoken about snooker giving him depression and revealed that he was prescribed antidepressants before his first world title success in 2001.

He says that the 'circus' surrounding the world championships creates a high pressured environment.

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Ronnie O'Sullivan has said that the World Snooker Championship is a 'circus' resulting in added pressure
Ronnie O'Sullivan has said that the World Snooker Championship is a 'circus' resulting in added pressure

"'I have a green zone and a red zone," O'Sullivan, who won the Hong Kong Masters last week, added.

"I'm prepared to be in the green zone 80 per cent of the time for the rest of my playing days and step into the red zone only every now and again if the prize gets me excited. With those events, it becomes a circus. You've got all the excitement from the crowds, Sheffield becomes a village, there's the press and media.

"You feel it because you're in this environment that is high intensity all the time and you can't get away from it. The red zone is always the worlds and sometimes the Masters and the UK Championships."

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This post appeared first on Daily Star - Snooker.

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