Phil Haigh ✍️
Ronnie O’Sullivan won his seventh World Championship title this year, but only did so because he was trying to put on a show for the filmmakers recording his every step for an upcoming documentary, he claims.
There was even more attention on the Rocket than usual in Sheffield this year, with a film crew following him everywhere, and even a microphone sewn into his waistcoat to record audio during his matches.
The documentary-makers followed the 46-year-old in the build-up to the World Championship and then were given access-all-areas during his time in South Yorkshire as he strolled to a record-equaling seventh world title.
The Rocket certainly seemed as focussed as ever as he brushed aside Dave Gilbert, Mark Allen, Stephen Maguire, John Higgins and then Judd Trump in the final, and he says this was down to the documentary being filmed.
Despite his emotional reaction to getting his hands on the trophy again, the world number one suggested he was not desperate to win the world title, but put in the extra work because the filmmakers were in attendance.
‘I decided a long time ago that if something got too much pressure, or I thought you know what, I’m not really enjoying this, then it’s probably better that I lose and let somebody else have that place,’ O’Sullivan told SNTV.
‘And I felt that during this World Championships. I didn’t really enjoy it. But I had this film crew following me so I thought, I better try hard because they’re following me.
‘So that was why I won it. It wasn’t because I wanted to win it. It was just that I felt bad for the TV crew.’
O’Sullivan says he would prefer not to have the added pressure that comes with being back at the top of the snooker tree, suggesting he would happily slip out of the limelight from now on.
‘I don’t even actually like talking about snooker,’ he said. ‘I enjoy playing it but I don’t really want to be too involved in it.
‘So obviously winning the World Championships, it really turned everything around and everyone was like, “Ah you’re world champion this, world number one”, I was like oh no, I don’t want to be known as that person anymore.
‘I just want to enjoy my life you know, but when you’re in the spotlight, everybody gets excited. I’m like, I don’t really want to be that person anymore.’
Speaking immediately after the final in Sheffield, O’Sullivan suggested that he had been more focussed thanks to the extra cameras on him at the Crucible, but sounded more like it was an excitement than unwanted pressure.
‘It was a bit of a challenge that I was up for and sometimes I like a distraction. It was a bit of a buzz,’ he said.
‘I’m good with pressure so having the crew around wasn’t an issue. In some ways, it might have inspired me. And things just seem to work out – so I’m not surprised that it ended like that.’
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