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Ronnie O’Sullivan vows to skip snooker’s Triple Crown tournaments

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Murphy ponders the table from his seat (credit:Imaginechina/SIPA/PA Images)

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O’Sullivan casts doubt over his playing future (credit:PA Images)

Ronnie O’Sullivan has revealed he plans to miss all three of snooker’s Triple Crown events in 2019/20 as he believes they are no longer worth the “blood, sweat and tears”.

O’Sullivan, who has won a record 19 Triple Crown titles between 1993 and 2018, admits he has no desire to continue competing in snooker’s biggest events due to the demanding media duties.

The five-time World Champion crashed out of this year’s Crucible show-piece in the First Round at the hands of young debutant James Cahill and has hinted that defeat may have signalled his final outing at the home of snooker.

O’Sullivan told The Telegraph: “I only want to play a few games to keep a bit of interest. Maybe three or four tournaments a year – low-key ones, where there is no media.

“So I will miss the Masters, the World Championship and the UK.

“I don’t even want to play in the World Championship – all the press and media they want you to do, I’m not here for that.

“I’ve won it five times. It ain’t worth the blood, sweat and tears to me now. That tournament? Probably not for me any more.”

The 43-year-old enjoyed arguably his best season in 2018/19 since turning professional back in 1992, winning five tournaments on the way to regaining the world number one spot.

However, his relationship with the sport’s governing body remains fractious amid suggestions of forming a break-away tour and criticism of venues and prize money.

“It’s like a broken marriage,” added O’Sullivan, who also works a pundit for Eurosport. “They don’t like me, I don’t really like them.

“We are living under the same roof, just trying to be nice and tolerate each other.

“But if they want to overstep the mark and make my life too unhappy, I’m off. You are going to lose out because I am not going to come to your tournaments. I’m going to lose out because, really, I want to play.”

Although it is unclear as to exactly when ‘The Rocket’ will return to competitive action, he could resurface to attempt to defend his Shanghai Masters title in September.