Masters snooker: O’Sullivan favourite despite rankings drop

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Ronnie O’Sullivan has spoken out again with regards to the ‘lonely existence’ the sport of snooker has forced on him.

O’Sullivan has outlined a desire to cut back on his participation in the sport, citing a hectic travel schedule as a leading reason for his failure to settle down with his family.

However, ‘Rocket Ronnie’ appears to be fully focused in his efforts to claim a fifth Masters title at Alexandra Palace.

With son Ronnie junior and daughter Lily Jo looking on, the 7/2 favourite to win the championship was impressive in racing into a 4-1 lead over Ding Junhui, before eventually conquering the Chinaman 6-4 to progress.

The three-time world champion scored a tremendous 125 break to clinch the match and advance closer to the £150,000 prize reserved for the tournament winner, but he remains sceptical with regards to competing full time as he has done for several years.

Having dropped to 16th place in the world rankings after pulling out of several recent tournaments, O’Sullivan told BBC Sport, “I’m not prepared to travel 28 weeks a year living out of a suitcase anymore so I have decided that if I have to qualify, I have to qualify.

“I do want to play snooker. I just want it on my terms. My son and daughter are what’s important so if I can get a bit of both, that’s what I’m going to do.”

Keeping this in mind, and O’Sullivan’s obvious desire to pick and choose which events he participates in going forward, he would love to achieve another success in a tournament as prestigious as the Masters, one of the finest titles he has won during his long and storied career.

A bet on Ronnie O’Sullivan to win the 2012 Masters championship looks an attractive proposition, as he attempts to add yet another accolade to a career that could be drawing to a close.

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