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Ronnie O’Sullivan is ‘easier’ to play as snooker star claims Rocket ‘doesn’t intimidate me’


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Mark Selby claims he is not intimidated by Ronnie O’Sullivan and says the Rocket is ‘easier’ to play than other snooker players.

Selby and O’Sullivan have had many battles over the years and will resume that rivalry at the Players Championship on Thursday evening.

The pair will go head-to-head at the International Centre in Telford at the quarter-final stage after they both won their first-round matches.

O’Sullivan will be aiming to win his fifth tournament of the season and is currently on a winning run of 16 matches dating back to last November.

Ronnie O'Sullivan

Mark Selby says Ronnie O’Sullivan is not intimidating to play


Selby has battled O’Sullivan for over two decades and can boast of having beaten the 48-year-old in the final of all three Triple Crown events.

The 40-year-old hasn’t been in the best form this season but put in an inspired display to beat Barry Hawkins on Wednesday.

Selby says he will go into Thursday’s game against O’Sullivan with no fear, knowing the size of the task he has in front of him.

He told Sportsboom: “My game hasn’t been in a great place, that is probably the best I’ve felt for a long time this season.

“I won’t approach the game any different. I’ll just go in there, try my hardest as always, going with a bit of confidence from today and just try and play my own game.

“In a way playing him makes your job a lot easier, as you know you need to go in there and play somewhere near your best, and if you don’t, you’re going home.

“We’ll see what the game brings, but he doesn’t intimidate me.”

Selby says playing against O’Sullivan will show a good marker at where his game is currently at.

He told reporters: “No [not intimidated] at all. What he’s done in the game is phenomenal really, it goes without saying.

“I don’t have to speak highly of him because obviously his record says that.

“Every time I play him it’s always been a good game and I’ve always seen it as a challenge because he’s the greatest player to play our game. So it makes you realise where your game’s at when you play him.

“My game before today hadn’t been in a great place but I found something after the interval and hopefully I can carry that on for [Thursday]”


Mark Selby

Mark Selby will take on Ronnie O’Sullivan in the Players Championship quarter-final


O’Sullivan is participating in his first tournament for a month after taking a brief break from competing.

He says he will continue to pick and choose which events he enters in the coming months.

O’Sullivan told ITV: “I’ve always been refreshed, yeah, that wasn’t the thing. I’m just trying to get away with playing as least as I can.

“I feel happier doing that and just treat it like a bit of match practice, take what I can from the tour and that’s it really.

Ronnie O'Sullivan

Ronnie O’Sullivan is competing at his first tournament in a month


“I’ve been [picking and choosing tournaments] all my career so that’s not really the reason why [I took a break], there’s other reasons why.

“But like I said I came here to try and get a bit of match practice, try and take what I can out of it and just make sure I’m sharp for when I’m doing my other bits and pieces.

“This is all icing on the cake for me, whatever I get off this tour. I’ve got my exhibitions, I’ve got my ambassador work and that’s my main thing. I just fit in a few tournaments around that, you know.”

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Written by: radioroxi

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