‘Stressed’ O’Sullivan pulls out of snooker tournament and issues public apology

Ronnie O’Sullivan has withdrawn from the 13th edition of the Champion of Champions tournament due to feeling “mentally drained” and “stressed”. O’Sullivan was scheduled to play Zhang Anda in his opening match of the invitational on Wednesday at the University of Bolton Arena.

However, he has since pulled out of the competition, which he won last year, in order to take care of his mental health and body. “Hi guys, just wanted to let you know I’m unfortunately withdrawing from the Champions of Champions event tomorrow,” wrote O’Sullivan on X, formerly Twitter.

“I’ve been around a long time. I’m not getting better and if anything I’m not the player I was. Players are all striving to achieve, young and hungry. It is harder now. Normally I would win tournaments quite easily and wouldn’t drop many frames even against the top players.

“It is tough now. I enjoy any win I get. Ali is one of the in-form players this season. He is the in-form player and I managed to beat him. So for me, it is a great win.”

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O’Sullivan has never shied away from the possibility of retiring from snooker, particularly over the last couple of years, and his recent withdrawal coupled with his many re-occurring injuries has poured doubt on his future once again.

The seven-time World Champion battled through a nasty elbow injury at this year’s English Open which he admitted could become “career-threatening”. O’Sullivan insists he is desperate to win another ranking title but he must rely on his body not betraying him for that to happen.

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