Snooker news – What does Ronnie O'Sullivan have to do to win seventh world title? Tony Knowles knows
Ronnie O'Sullivan paid a heavy price against Anthony McGill for missing a tough red in the final frame of his 13-12 defeat to the Scotsman in the World Championship last 16. The six-times champion trailed 10-5, but recovered to lead 12-11 only to squander his chance to claim victory by pushing the boat out. Former world number two Tony Knowles believes O'Sullivan must sense when to be patient.
Published 27/05/2021 at 11:54 GMT | Updated 28/05/2021 at 05:46 GMT
Ronnie O'Sullivan has to play more of waiting game to claim a seventh world snooker title, according to the three-times Crucible semi-finalist Tony Knowles.
Knowles feels O'Sullivan paid a heavy price for pushing the boat out in his 13-12 defeat to Anthony McGill in the last 16 having recovered from 10-5 behind to lead 12-11 as his title defence ended in a sense of regret and frustration.
An unforced safety error in the penultimate frame that saw McGill compile 136 was compounded by O'Sullivan missing a tricky mid-range red having rolled in 42 and apparently on the cusp of victory as McGill pounced with a run of 85 to seal the win.
Bolton favourite Knowles feels O'Sullivan will equal Stephen Hendry's Crucible record of seven world titles, but is convinced the six-times champion could make life easier for himself in key moments.
"Ronnie underestimates how good he is, he thinks he has to do this that and the other to win his games and he doesn’t. All he has to do sometimes is sit and wait," said Knowles.
'Wow!' - O'Sullivan, Selby and Murphy with Shot of the Tournament contenders
"He starts playing okay then pushes the boat out a little too much, all he has to do is control his game a little bit better and he’d be unbeatable.
He complicates things without working to his strengths. If he worked to his strengths, which he’s got a lot of, he’d be unbeatable on the table.
"There’s just that area of the game he lets slip away, or that one session and then he doesn’t really want to play or compete.
"The trouble is in them areas he has to fight and he doesn’t really want to, he just wants to play the way he sees it."
O'Sullivan explains key to winning world titles in Crucible finals
Knowles – who famously destroyed defending champion Steve Davis 10-1 in the first round of the 1982 World Championship – believes O'Sullivan is the most talented player in history, but also feels John Higgins is the most complete cueman of all time.
John Higgins is top of the list, I have said that for the last 10 years. John Higgins, for me, is the best all-round player there’s ever been.
"Apart from (Australia's former world billiards champion) Walter Lindrum, best ever cueist all-round ever is Walter Lindrum. Hendry’s one of the best break-builders there’s ever been, but not all-round."
Tony Knowles reached world number two in 1984.
Image credit: Eurosport
Knowles has praised world number one Judd Trump for learning how to control matches as he matures, but believes he can study world champion Mark Selby, Higgins and UK winner Neil Robertson in how to enhance aspects of game management.
The Bolton favourite also believes Stuart Bingham was the best player at the World Championship and is surprised he didn't manage to add to his success in 2015 after losing 17-15 to Selby in a semi-final epic.
Watch the moment Selby clinches fourth world title at Crucible
"I think Stuart Bingham was the best player at the World Championships, he outplayed Mark Selby," added former world number two Knowles.
"Just one or two slight errors, but in terms of break building, control, he was the best player. Very consistent, very good all round."