- The 48-year-old has further explained why he is missing the Welsh Open
- Ronnie O’Sullivan is covering the event in Llandudno as a television pundit
- O’Sullivan previously admitted that he has been struggling with ‘stage fright’
Ronnie O’Sullivan has opened up on his decision to not play in this year’s edition of the Welsh Open.
The 48-year-old serial champion starred by winning The Masters earlier in the year and was one of the favourites for the ongoing tournament but opted to withdraw after revealing he was suffering from ‘stage fright’.
O’Sullivan was in the Eurosport studio as the tournament got underway in the scenic coastal town of Llandudno and explained why he didn’t want to be competing with other players.
It’s rare to see top individuals sit out of tournaments and with O’Sullivan not carrying any injury, his decision has certainly raised some eyebrows.
However, the outspoken star – who previously admitted he has considered from retiring from snooker after dominating the circuit for so many years – explained he is wanting to play as little as possible at the moment.
Ronnie O’Sullivan has further explained why he is missing this year’s edition of the Welsh Open
The 48-year-old star is working as a television pundit covering the tournament in Wales
Speaking on the coverage of the event, O’Sullivan elaborated on his previous explanation to sit out and stopped short of confirming when he would return to action.
‘I think it’s a great tournament and a great venue, really nice to be on the coast, it’s always a great week and I think everyone loves coming to this tournament,’ he told Eurosport.
‘The key for me is if I can get away with playing the least amount that’s great for me and just try to stay in the rankings, free some time up and enjoy myself.
‘I don’t want to be on the treadmill every week.’
Fellow long-term players John Higgins and Mark Selby are now amongst the top favourites to claim the title in O’Sullivan’s absence.
Posting last week in the build-up to the Welsh open getting underway, O’Sullivan wrote on his X account, stating: ‘Morning guys, I wanted to let you know that I’ve decided I’m not able to play in Llandudno next week. It’s hard to explain but for years I’ve suffered from stage fright at times, brought on by anxiety.
‘It’s not something I can predict or control but I try to manage it as best as I can.
‘I’m sorry to everyone who’s bought tickets but I just can’t get my cue out when I feel like this and I think this what’s best for me right now.
‘I still want to be around the tournament so I’ll be doing some work with Eurosport and I hope to see you all there.’