JUSTIN: Snooker star named ‘most talented player’….

Snooker star named ‘most talented player’ Ronnie O’Sullivan has faced is stuck in a rut

One of Ronnie O’Sullivan’s rivals will be bidding to turn their form around at the World Snooker Championship


2024 Spreadex World Grand Prix - Day 7

                          Ronnie O’Sullivan has been majorly impressed with one of his snooker rivals. 

Ronnie O’Sullivan described Luca Brecel as the “most talented player” that he has ever faced but the Belgian is struggling for form as he prepares to defend his world title. Brecel defeated the Rocket on his way to Crucible glory in 2023, downing Mark Selby in the final to top off his barnstorming run in Sheffield.

Brecel trailed O’Sullivan 10-6 in the World Snooker Championship last April in their quarter-final, but took all seven of the next frames to seal his place against Si Jiahui in the final four. It was a performance that took the entire world by storm to eliminate O’Sullivan in his pursuit of a record eighth title, with the Rocket equally as impressed.

O’Sullivan reflected on Brecel’s run and lavished praise on his rival. He told Stephen Hendry’s Cue Tips: “I think he’s (Brecel) one of them, now that he’s won the World Championship and given him tremendous belief, as long as he sticks to thinking: ‘If I have five good tournaments a year then I can win three’.

“Don’t change your game. Because you (Stephen Hendry) was a bit like that and I was a bit like that with the way that we play. We might lose a few but when we were right we would win. Do you want to be a quarters, semi man every week or do you want to win three or four a year? You just want to win tournaments don’t you.

“As long as he keeps doing what he’s doing I think he’s going to become a stronger player. He’s only 28 as well, he’s an amazing talent. I think he’s the most talented player that I’ve played. He doesn’t care, he just plays. He just gets down, pots balls.”

But since defeating Selby in a classic final, Brecel has struggled to replicate that form and it is looking increasingly unlikely that he’ll claim back-to-back titles. He has not made the quarter-finals of a single rankings tournament since, going out in the last 16 of the UK Championship and Masters

He most recently was defeated 5-2 by world No. 96 Ishpreet Singh Chadha in the first round of the German Masters.

Brecel would need a drastic change in form to compete with the likes of Crucible favourites O’Sullivan, Selby and Judd Trump and admitted that he had found it difficult to maintain his focus after winning the £500,000 prize last time out.

“I bought two more cars, so I went from a millionaire to a non-millionaire,” Brecel explained. “It was a conscious decision to buy the cars and maybe feel that bit of pressure again, to recreate the feeling I had of just starting my career.

“I didn’t go lazy, but I just didn’t feel that hunger or motivation going from tournament to tournament. I don’t like that feeling and I had to change something. I wasn’t feeling any pressure any more. I was just playing and if I lost I was happy to be home. It’s not a good mindset to have.”

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