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Ronnie O’Sullivan vows not to chase down ranking points in “de-motivating” tournaments

O'Sullivan is through to the Semi-Finals of the Champion of Champions (credit: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Ronnie O’Sullivan admits he “fell out of love” with snooker last year and insists he is no longer prepared to chase ranking points.

O'Sullivan is ranked number three on the main list but is down at 49 on the one-year ranking table, jeopardising his place in the Ladbrokes World Grand Prix and Players Championship next spring.

The 42-year-old has featured in just one ranking tournament so far this season - the English Open - where he reached the Semi-Finals, but has picked up the Shanghai Masters invitational title and has progressed to the Semi-Finals of this week's Champion of Champions.

O'Sullivan defeated Stuart Bingham 4-2 and John Higgins 6-3 to advance from Group Four in Coventry on Tuesday but insists he will continue to play on his own terms and is no longer concerned over tournament qualification.

"Some of the tournaments are that bad, I can't bear it," O'Sullivan told ITV Sport.

"If someone offered me last season again now I'd say you can keep it, because it was just dashing from one place to another and I didn't enjoy it.

"I fell out of love with the game last year and I won five tournaments and I'm loving the game now.

"I said to John [Higgins], don't get sucked in to these ranking points.

"A tournament without me and John in it is a lot less anyway so we should just forget about rankings, play, and once we're not in those tournaments, the sponsors and TV might go 'why are they not in there?' but I'm not chasing ranking points anymore.

"I'm just going to play for my fans, try and be in good form when I do play, forget about the rankings and have a different perspective anyway.

"It's all high risk but as long as I stay on the tour, it's a flat 128 draw so it doesn't really matter if you're in the top 16 apart from the Masters, Shanghai and the Worlds but I'm not really bothered about that.

"I just like playing and competing so I'll just have to compete on my own terms and obviously I'm going to miss out on a lot of events on the one-year list but I don't really care, I'd rather be happy and chilling and enjoying playing."

O'Sullivan was openly critical of the venue for the recent English Open, labelling the K2 Centre in Crawley as a "hellhole that stinks of urine". 

However, the five-time World Champion admits he relishes the setup at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry - where he has reached the final in all four previous appearances in the Champion of Champions.

He added: "You've just got a few players here, it's quite quiet when you're going around the venue.

"Most tournaments are like a marathon with 128 players and I can't play too many marathons.

"With this, you can see a bit of the finishing line before the tournament's even started so you get a little bit excited.

"The 128 draws now I won't even enter the building until I get to the Last 16, I'd just turn up five minutes before my game then play because it's absolute chaos there, it's just mental.

"At least when you come here you feel appreciated, you feel motivated to play well.

"When you get to some of the other places you get there and you feel beaten before you start, it's so de-motivating.

"Here, you come here and you get excited and if you get excited, you tend to play alright."

O'Sullivan will face defending champion Shaun Murphy in the opening Semi-Final on Friday.


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Ronnie O’Sullivan vows not to chase down ranking points in “de-motivating” tournaments

Ronnie O’Sullivan admits he “fell out of love” with snooker last year and insists he is no longer prepared to chase ranking points.

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