Ronnie O’Sullivan slammed own performance ’embarrassing’ before winning World Grand Prix

Saturday Kitchen: Ronnie O'Sullivan discusses his fish diet

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He slammed his own form throughout the tournament, and yet Ronnie O’Sullivan was still crowned champion at the World Grand Prix. O’Sullivan, 46, ended a miserable run of five tournament finals defeats in Coventry when he overcame Neil Robertson 10-8 in the final, claiming the top £100,000 prize in the process.

After opening up with a 4-1 win over Andy Hicks, ‘The Rocket’ claimed he only got to the venue 10 minutes before the start of the game, but it was his second-round performance which prompted a frank admission.

Despite another 4-1 win, this time over Hossein Vafaei, O’Sullivan went as far as to outline his retirement displays after giving a savage verdict on his erratic display.

“I will stink places out for another three years, I want three more world titles and I have earned the right to smell a few places out,” he said.

“Then if it doesn’t get any better it’s time to hang the cue up. I still love the game but you can’t play like that, I can’t anyway.

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The Englishman later added he felt “sad and embarrassed” for the crowd for having to watch the game.

Despite his misgivings, another win followed against Jimmy Robertson in the quarter-final, with the six-time world champion prevailing 5-2 to set up a final four clash with Stuart Bingham.

Both players appeared out of sorts, but world no 7 O’Sullivan again found a way to win as he came through the tie 6-2, only to then launch another extraordinary rant about his own form – and he wasn’t complimentary about Bingham either.

“We looked like a couple of old club players. It was really embarrassing, sorry about that.”

He wasn’t exactly optimistic about his final chances against Robertson, fearing he would be “blasted away” if he failed to up his game considerably.

But after a slow start in Sunday’s final, the snooker legend found his best to overturn a 7-5 deficit, eventually winning 10-8 to end his runner-up sequence and celebrate the 38th ranking title of his career. 

This time around, he was more complimentary about himself, choosing instead to take aim at Boris Johnson over recent allegations he and Tory MP’s broke lockdown rules last Christmas.

Despite his indifferent year, O’Sullivan will be among the favourites at the 2022 World Snooker Championships at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield.

He remains just one win away from equalling the all-time record, with Stephen Hendry currently standing alone with seven title victories.

O’Sullivan does hold the record for the number of ‘Triple Crown’ titles however, having won seven Masters and seven UK Championship tournaments to go with his six wins at the Crucible.

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