At the tender age of 47, Ronnie O’Sullivan is no doubt reaching the latter stages of his incredible professional snooker career. However, O’Sullivan will be determined to win an eighth world crown before finally packing away his cue.
O’Sullivan Misses Out in 2023
O’Sullivan was expected to go far at the 2023 World Snooker Championship. Before the competition in Sheffield kicked off, the Rocket was available as the favourite, but his elimination in the quarter-finals means that Mark Selby is now the favourite in the odds on the Snooker World Championship winner at 2.10.
O’Sullivan won his seventh title in 2022 but failed to successfully defend his crown. Nevertheless, the desire was still there, as before his quarter-final loss, he was looking like a potential world champion once again.
It’s all fun and games 😉👍🏼 pic.twitter.com/qqBzT1PSEc
— Ronnie O’Sullivan (@ronnieo147) April 22, 2023
Looking Back on the Rocket’s Stunning Career
O’Sullivan is right up there with the best professional athletes of all time. His name should rightly be mentioned alongside the likes of Tiger Woods, Roger Federer, and Muhammad Ali when talking about the very best in sport.
Snooker may not be the most prestigious sport on the planet, but O’Sullivan has had a remarkable career matched by no other. After winning the 2022 World Snooker Championship, O’Sullivan went level with Stephen Hendry as the record world champion of the modern era. Both greats are on seven wins each, but O’Sullivan will be determined to break the record before calling it a day.
At the end of the 2023 season, O’Sullivan had 39 ranking wins to his name. The very first came 30 years ago at the 1993 UK Championship and the 39th was the Hong Kong Masters in 2022. After turning professional in 1992, he has gone on to dominate the sport for the next three decades, and he headed into the 2023 World Snooker Championship ranked No. 1 in the world at 47 years old.
Has O’Sullivan Got Another World Title in His Locker?
O’Sullivan went into the 2023 tournament full of confidence. In typical O’Sullivan style, the English ace played down his chances of winning the competition, but the bookmakers had him down as favourite.
O’Sullivan passed a tricky test in Round 1 before coming up against rival Hossein Vafaei, who has made several negative comments about O’Sullivan in recent years. The Rocket made light work of the Iranian, thumping the 28-year-old 13-2.
Although Luca Brecel is a top player, O’Sullivan would have been expecting to see off the Belgian to book his place in yet another World Championship semi-final. Brecel had other ideas, though, and came back to beat the Rocket 13-10.
Winning the pinnacle prize in snooker is no mean feat, but O’Sullivan has lifted the trophy seven times. Many expected him to make it eight in 2023, but it was not to be for the winner of 21 Triple Crown titles. He had to settle for just two wins in the 2022-23 season, as the Rocket won the Hong Kong Masters and the Champion of Champions tournaments.
Time may be against him, but there is life in the old dog yet. The experienced O’Sullivan will dust himself down and no doubt come back even stronger next year.