Ronnie O’Sullivan appears to have sarcastically shrugged off suggestions from Judd Trump that he is lacking belief and that his rivals are no longer scared to play him.
O'Sullivan has gone 15 months without winning a major snooker title because nobody fears playing him, according to the world number two.
“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," Trump told reporters.
World Championship
Key dates and schedule for 2022-23 snooker season as O'Sullivan defends world crown
13/05/2022 AT 11:44
“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.”
Ahead of the Rocket's bid to win a record fourth title at the Champion of Champions and a £150,000 top prize in Bolton this week, he has hit back at suggestions he does not believe he can win a tournament.
“Yeah maybe, maybe I’m lacking belief,” the six-time world champion said before letting out a chuckle as reported by the Metro.
Yeah, I dunno, maybe he’s right, who knows? Who knows?
Trump opens the Champion of Champions tournament against world seniors champion David Lilley on Monday afternoon while O’Sullivan gets underway against Stuart Bingham on November 18.
Neil Robertson, who comes in fresh from winning the English Open, was the defending champion at this event last year, having defeated Judd Trump 10–9 in the 2019 final.
The Thunder from Down Under made the final once more in 2020, but lost to Mark Allen 10-6 as the Northern Ireland Open champion won the tournament for the first time.
Alongside O'Sullivan and Trump, Mark Selby, Shaun Murphy, Mark Williams and Kyren Wilson will all be in action.
Snooker
World Championship qualifiers to be played over 19 frames
13/05/2022 AT 07:43
Snooker
Opinion: O’Sullivan has found a formula for success that can bring more glory
12/05/2022 AT 13:11