Ronnie O’Sullivan slammed by rival Judd Trump – ‘No one’s scared to play him’

Ronnie O'Sullivan clashes with Mark Allen during tense game

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Judd Trump has slammed rival Ronnie O’Sullivan ahead of the Champion of Champions event in Bolton this week, claiming that the six-time world champion doesn’t possess that fear factor anymore.

The Champion of Champions event is set to get underway at the University of Bolton Stadium on Monday and one of the pre-tournaments favourite Trump, has taken a jibe at another bookmakers’ fancy in O’Sullivan. 

O’Sullivan has been recognised as the dominant force across the sport this century, however Trump believes that this supremacy is beginning to fall away.

He said: “No one’s that scared to play him [O’Sullivan], anyone’s game is good enough to beat him on their day, that’s what’s happened over the last year.” 

The 32-year-old also took aim at the Rocket’s recent title drought, and believes the key to his arch rival’s recent struggles lies with the loss of belief in his game.

Trump added: “You are just happy to win tournaments these days, it is very hard to win any tournament for all the top players, Ronnie O’Sullivan included. 

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“Look at Ronnie, he can’t win an event to save his life at the moment. Even the so-called smaller events have all the top players still in them.  

“I just think he’s lost a little bit of the belief. When you don’t win you don’t have the belief and people aren’t scared to beat you.  

“He’s still getting to finals and he’s always going to breeze through the first few rounds because he’s that good.  

“When he comes up against a top player there’s just not that gulf in class, I don’t think, anymore.”

O’Sullivan has been heavily critical of the standard of the sport in recent years, taking jibes at both the playing quota as well as tournament organisers.

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Most recently the 45-year-old slammed the German Masters, after he was required to play in a qualifier against Hossein Vafaei, who whitewashed the six-time world champion 5-0 in under an hour.

As a result, Trump also passed comment on O’Sullivan’s recent critical views, confirming that they do not ‘bother him’ because he’s ‘used to it’.

The 2019 world champion said: “The things he says don’t bother me because I am used to them. Look, there are so many different sides to him, he can be the nicest person in the world.  

“It’s just some of the comments he makes are a bit derogatory towards snooker and there is no need for it really. There is no need to put it down, none of the rest of us put it down.

“It’s just something he likes to do to try and pretend he doesn’t love snooker, but deep down it means so much to him, and the records do too. He gets a huge buzz off it.”

Trump also added that he likes to use his position of power within snooker to paint the sport in a positive light, rather than tarnish it.

He continued: “So if you haven’t got anything good to say about the game, don’t say anything. 

“For me, I’d like to put myself to good use for snooker even when I’m not playing, and make it as big as I can and help grow the sport. I don’t want to destroy the thing that gave me so many opportunities to try other stuff.” 

The 32-year-old will kick off his tournament in Bolton tomorrow afternoon by taking on fellow Englishman David Lilley.

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