O’Sullivan makes longevity promise after Shanghai win

Ronnie O'Sullivan won the Shanghai Masters to continue his fine run of form.
Ronnie O'Sullivan won the Shanghai Masters to continue his fine run of form.
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Ronnie O’Sullivan romped to victory in the Shanghai Masters then revealed he wants to carry on playing for another decade.

The 41-year-old swept aside the challenge of Judd Tump in China, winning 10-3, to continue his rich vein of form.

He stormed to the English Open title in Barnsley a fortnight ago, and reached the final of the Champion of Champions event in Coventry.

Victory in Shanghai on Saturday – a 30th career ranking title, six behind all-time leader Stephen Hendry – confirmed O’Sullivan is the man to beat heading into next week’s Betway UK Championship in York.

“People talk about beating Hendry’s records, but it doesn’t really enter my thought process,” said O’Sullivan, who won his first ranking title 24 years ago, with the 1993 UK Championship.

“The main thing for me is to enjoy playing and to keep it going as long as I can. I’m not one for setting myself targets, but there’s nothing that can’t be done.

“If you said to me I would have another ten or 15 years playing snooker and be happy, but not get (Hendry’s) record, I would take that. I’d prefer that to playing for two or three more years and getting to 38 titles.

“It’s all about longevity for me. I enjoy the tour and the travelling and having a good life.”

Trump had been in impressive form in Shanghai, losing just three frames all week prior to the final. But O’Sullivan, who turns 42 next month, shows no signs of slowing down as he banked the £150,000 top prize.

“I knew Judd was in good form because he has been playing well all week,” said O’Sullivan.

“My mind has been as good as it has ever been this week. There were a few moments where it got a big edgy, but I managed to think my way through. I wasn’t at my best (in the final), but mentally I was in the right place. I have had a fantastic last four weeks. I feel a bit tired, but I don’t mind that if it means winning tournaments. I’ve got my titles in the bank.”

Before heading to York – where he plays Scotland’s Rhys Clark in the opening round – O’Sullivan travels to the Northern Ireland Open. He is chasing a £1m prize, the bonus on offer to any player who can complete a clean sweep of the four Home Nations events.

Tickets for the UK semi-finals and final at the York Barbican – which runs from November 28 to December 10 – are sold out.

Tickets are still available for the earlier rounds, when eight Yorkshire players Chris Keogan (Doncaster), Adam Duffy 
(Sheffield), Sanderson Lam (Leeds), David Grace (Leeds), Peter Lines (Leeds), Oliver Lines (Leeds), Paul Davison (Pickering) and Ashley Hugill (York) will be competing.

For tickets visit www.worldsnooker.com/tickets