Ronnie O’Sullivan has said he will get a new cue rather than soldier on in the future if he loses a tip in the middle of an event.
O’Sullivan famously bit his tip off during the Scottish Open towards the end of last year and struggled through the remainder of the tournament after replacing it on a couple of occasions.
The world champion said some players are adept at using a new tip, but he says it is not something he can master and will get a second cue in reserve to ensure his game is in top shape should it happen again.
- Selby opens up about depression, encourages those struggling to ask for help
- Exclusive: 'I was absolutely gone' – Why Rocket Ronnie changed his Masters plan
“I was playing well up until my tip went wrong,” O’Sullivan told Eurosport following his win over Ding Junhui at the Masters. “The UK [Championship] was a write off.
“I had overdone the running and was absolutely fatigued. I am not making excuses but I was exhausted. Running took number one priority but after that I played pretty well until the tip came off.
I am not good with new tips. Some players can just get on and use them but after that my performances got worse and worse and I could not wait to see the back of the season.
O'Sullivan on tense win over Ding: 'I just had to hang in there'
“You have to learn and I am just going to get another cue now so if it happens again and the tip comes off I will use another cue as that was so bad, it was horrible.
“I should have lost every round in that Scottish Open, I was useless.”
His victory over Ding was the best game of the tournament to date, and O’Sullivan said he won through due to a strong mentality.
“I just had to hang in there. He started off well and I did not get into the game,” he said. “I just tried to nick a couple and when it got to 3-2 I thought it could get exciting but then he pulled away again and I thought ‘am I capable of putting three good frames together against someone like Ding?’
“I just had to ignore that and focus on one ball at a time and see what developed.
'Don’t get any harder than that' - O'Sullivan pots astonishing shot
"You have got to try and put pressure on your opponent. I did not do that early in the game, but Ding played well. You can only play as well as your opponent allows you to and it is a mental battle out there. It always is.
"If you can get the mental skills right, whether you play well or not, you will be tough to beat.”
Although he knocked in his 75th Masters century during the win over Ding, a 60 in frame five was one of the highlights of the match as he crafted the break despite pink and black being out of commission.
“I had to go for them,” O’Sullivan said of the break. “I struck the ball well and controlled the ball well. I just had to make something happen.
“Breaks like that get you to the next level of play. If you can make something from nothing you feel really good.”
Watch O'Sullivan close out victory over Ding after comeback
O’Sullivan had been working hard in practice prior to the Masters and is happy that the graft is paying off.
“I am doing six hours a day and not seeing family and friends,” he said. “It does not always work out. I have put in loads of graft before and not got a result for two years.
“I did seven hours one day with Gouldy (Martin Gould), it was epic. I’ve never played that long before and it nearly killed me. I was ‘Martin please can I go home?’”