Ronnie O’Sullivan joked that John Higgins would have given up before starting his career if he was told he had to reach 127 semi-finals as a professional.
Higgins reached that impressive total at the Northern Ireland Open after making it through to the last four, with even the 46-year-old surprised at the statistic.
“127 semi-finals? No way… Honestly?” he said during a Eurosport interview after it was highlighted by Alan McManus.
‘Go on Ronnie!’ – Barbican serenades O’Sullivan on his birthday
It shows you how old I am, Alan!
And O’Sullivan, speaking ahead of Higgins’ clash with Yan Bingtao in Belfast, praised his fellow Class of ’92 member and said the data proved his longevity.
- Allen reaches final after Jekyll and Hyde encounter with Walden
- ‘You could envy him’ - O’Sullivan on the ‘baby’ everyone should fear
O’Sullivan backs Yan to win three world titles, admitting ‘there isn’t really much co
“That’s quite scary when you see how shocked he was”, O’Sullivan said in the Eurosport studio about Higgins’ interview.
“If at the start of his career someone said, ‘you have to make 127 semi-finals’, he would have just given up. It would be such a mountain to climb.
“You have to judge a player over his career and he’s been at it for 30 years now. It’s the longevity which is impressive. He’s got tremendous faith in his ability but you would do if you played snooker like John Higgins.
“He’s just a strong all-round player, a very good temperament, probably one of the best in the game. A fantastic player who still looks like he’s playing dream snooker at times, especially in this tournament.”
O’Sullivan bowed out in the last 16 to Yan Bingtao, who he has tipped to win three world titles.
The Rocket also revealed the best snooker player he has ever seen and, in his opinion, the two greatest sportspeople of all time.
O’Sullivan tells fan to 'sit down' in Northern Ireland Open outburst
- - -
Stream the Northern Ireland Open live and on demand on discovery+, the Eurosport app and eurosport.com
Zhao powers on in evening session to crush Brecel and win UK Championship
Is this a new era for snooker as Brecel and Zhao clash in epic UK final?