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Ronnie O'Sullivan reveals World Championship breakdown

O'Sullivan has spoken for the first time about his struggle during last year's Crucible show-piece

Ronnie O'Sullivan has revealed he suffered a breakdown which almost forced him to pull out of the 2016 World Snooker Championship.

O'Sullivan, who has battled a number of personal issues throughout his career, said he was in hospital for "four or five days" during last year's tournament.

The five-time World Champion had defeated David Gilbert 10-7 in the opening round at The Crucible but refused to attend his post-match press conference and reportedly smashed up his dressing room.

Speaking on the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme, O'Sullivan admitted: "I didn't intentionally smash it up.

"Not many people know this, but I was suffering.

"I'd had a massive workload, probably too much - I'd worked myself to the bone.

"The pressure of that tournament was too much and straight after that match I was driven straight down to London and I was in a hospital for four or five days.

"I was physically exhausted and just on a low.

"They helped me out, I had a few days in there, had some medication to try and keep me going and it was touch and go whether I was going to play in the Second Round."

O'Sullivan was declared fit to return to action but exited the competition in the Second Round after a narrow 13-12 defeat to Barry Hawkins.

"One of the doctors told me to take the medication to try and slow my mind down and it worked," he added.

"It was nothing to do with anything else other than I feeling like I was having a bit of a breakdown."

Widely regarded as snooker's most naturally gifted star, 'The Rocket's' personal problems have been well-publicised over the past three decades.

He has previously admitted to suffering from clinical depression and has had drug-related problems, but has praised the positive influence of sports psychologist Steve Peters in recent years.

"I do love a breakdown!" joked O'Sullivan. "It's what spurs me on. I'm so used to dragging myself up from a low - I've done it all my life.

"I know that when I get to the bottom I'm just going to fly up again.

"I've balanced it out over the last six years, I don't worry about it like most people would."


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Ronnie O'Sullivan reveals World Championship breakdown

Ronnie O'Sullivan has revealed he suffered a breakdown which almost forced him to pull out of the 2016 World Snooker Championship.

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