Ronnie O’Sullivan admits his Second Round demolition of Mark Allen at The Crucible was “a tough match emotionally.”
O’Sullivan rounded off a 13-4 rout of the Northern Irishman on Saturday afternoon, needing just 15 minutes to complete the job after storming to within a frame of victory overnight.
The world number one continued his quest for a record-equalling seventh world title with a comprehensive display to book his place in a 20th Crucible Quarter-Final.
Despite the one-sided scoreline, O’Sullivan revealed the contest took its toll emotionally but maintained he is prepared to “dig deep” in order to secure a slice of history with a seventh world title.
“It was a tough match emotionally,” O’Sullivan told BBC Sport. “It’s just hard at the Crucible Theatre and is about who has the biggest heart, the lion’s heart. There are a lot of lions in this tournament.
“I wouldn’t say ’emotion’ as in sitting there weeping and crying, I’m just saying as a sportsman you go through a lot of emotions out there.
“The word ‘mental health’ is thrown about, I call it ‘snooker depression’, you can pinpoint it but it’s about trying to do something about it.
“I’m sure if you ask Stephen Hendry and Steve Davis, they’d tell you the same thing.
“It’s just learning to cope with it, learning to manage it and try to enjoy it and have a bit of fun.
“But now it’s over, I can breathe.”
The win was O’Sullivan’s 71st at the World Championship, setting a new outright record and confirming a show-down with Stephen Maguire in the Last Eight.
The Rocket has now reached at least the Quarter-Final stage in eight of the 11 ranking events he has competed in this season and insists he is not willing to settle for anything other than lifting the trophy on May 2.
He added: “I’m prepared to dig deep and go through the mustard as long as I can manage it and control it, still find time to enjoy it out there, that’s a bonus.
“This and the Masters are the hardest tournaments for me.
“For me it’s about winning the majors, there is no point coming second because no-one talks about that.
“I’ve won it six times and it would be nice to win it again, if I don’t no big deal as I’m still up there with the two or three other guys who are classed as the true greats of the game.”