I’ve long been a huge fan of Ronnie O’Sullivan. A living legend. GOAT, as they say.
He’s so cool when he’s sitting there in between points, yet so emotional in his reactions – which are facial mostly – and when he’s being interviewed. A complex character indeed.
His way of being is an inspiration.
It’s not that I play any snooker myself, but whether I’m teaching, playing chess, writing poetry, or singing my songs, this man is an example of how to perform. He’s very strong when he’s got his tail up, but he’s also the fiercest of contenders when he’s on the back foot. Despite his volatile emotions, he manages to concentrate on the job at hand. He radiates the message, “I’m a man of ice.” This gives him a huge psychological advantage over his opponents. No one can quite match his indomitable spirit.
He can be a bit loose at times. but he has this x-factor. Even his most workmanlike opponent is at a loss when things get out of hand. He excels in the rough and tumble. He doesn’t always win, of course. But he’s the comeback kid if ever there was one, never someone to crumble under pressure.
I’ve just watched him being beaten in the Championships League by my fellow countryman, John Higgins, who’s been in fine form of late. Playing at his very best, Higgins punished the maestro at almost every opportunity. There were a couple of browns that Higgins missed in the third frame, leading to the suspicion that we might see him start to wobble. But it was O’Sullivan that slipped up subsequently on both occasions, and Higgins won 3-0.
Nevertheless, surely anyone can see it’s O’Sullivan who has raised the level of the game.