Ronnie O’Sullivan has revealed he was “barred” from the practice venue he shared with Judd Trump as the pair prepare to do battle in the 2022 World Championship final.
A mouth-watering climax to an enthralling fortnight of action in Sheffield will see two of snooker’s most gifted natural talents competing for the sport’s ultimate prize.
For O’Sullivan, it is the chance to create perhaps his most significant slice of history to date by equalling Stephen Hendry’s longstanding record of seven world titles.
Trump is aiming to join the elite group of 13 multiple World Champions, having claimed his maiden Crucible crown three years ago.
The decorated duo have become familiar with each other’s playing style having formerly shared a practice venue in Romford.
However, O’Sullivan has revealed he was “barred” from the venue for unspecified reasons and has not practiced with Trump since.
“We haven’t really practiced together for about four years,” O’Sullivan told Talksport. “I got barred from the academy that we used to play at together so basically I didn’t have a practice venue for about three years.
“Judd’s moved up to Bristol so we haven’t really shared a practice room together for about four years but we did spend a lot of time in the academy before that.
“We know each other’s game pretty well.”
Making his 30th consecutive World Championship appearance, O’Sullivan is into his eighth final a staggering 21 years on from his first and is looking to continue his emphatic strike rate in the sport’s showpiece match.
At 46, O’Sullivan is vying to become the oldest player to win the World Championship since Ray Reardon (45) back in 1978 and has already broken Hendry’s Crucible match wins record (70) during this event.
Trump finds himself in a third World Championship final, 11 years on from his first, and is targeting a 24th career ranking title and what would surely be the most memorable to date.
On the final, O’Sullivan added: “We’ve both got a lot of snooker under our belt over the last 15 days, if we play to 75 per cent of our best it will be a fantastic match.
“That’s what he [Judd] wants, that’s what the fans want, so we’re just going to go out there and try and put on a good show.”
“He’s grown up watching me play snooker.
“I knew what it was like when I was growing up watching Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry, you just idolise these people, you never think that you’re going to get to play them, then you and you think ‘wow, amazing’.
“The young players in the game are now all aspiring to beat Judd.
“It goes in stages, I’ve been where he is and he’s going to be where I am in another few years.
“I think it’ll be great, if we can both bring our good game and play well, it’ll be fantastic but it’s a tough venue and tough to play great in all four sessions.
“We’ll just go out there, have fun, enjoy it and try and put on a good match for everyone that’s been supporting this tournament.”
O’Sullivan’s tilt at an historic seventh world title has been captured by a documentary crew who have been given access all areas to ‘The Rocket’ during the championship.
O’Sullivan, however, insists the filming has not given added drive in his quest for glory, adding: “It didn’t really matter if it was a First Round loss, they’ve followed me around all season.
“It’s not about me coming here to win the World Championship, it was more about they wanted to do a documentary because they thought I was worth following and there was a story to tell.
“It’s more about a celebration of what I’ve done over the years and maybe they want to show the world what it’s like to get up close to someone who has been doing something for 30 years and has been quite successful.”