Ronnie O'Sullivan has told Eurosport in an exclusive interview ahead of the World Snooker Championship that he sees himself at this stage of his career as similar to Roger Federer and Tiger Woods, with nothing to prove.
The 44-year-old, who has already won five World Championship titles in his illustrious career, spoke candidly about his ambitions and prospects ahead of an unusual edition of the tournament amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking on a new episode of The Break - Eurosport's snooker podcast which will run throughout the World Championship, hosted by Rachel Casey - O'Sullivan said that he regards the stage he is currently at in his career as being similar to those of Federer and Woods, legends of arguably similar statue in tennis and golf, respectively.
"I think if I was to compare where I am in my career at the moment it's maybe a bit like Tiger Woods and Roger Federer in many ways," O'Sullivan said.
Kind of like you've got nothing to prove, probably not the best player in the world, but they bring a certain energy to a tournament. If they are in it and they are playing well, it is a different buzz or a different vibe.
"I just think I kind of look at it from that perspective and go, 'don't be too hard on yourself if you don't win', you know.
Ronnie O'Sullivan: 'I know I'll pull something magical out of the bag at World Championship'
"I don't play as much as the others. I'm not as match fit as the others. But on my day and if everything goes well, and I get a bit of luck and whatever, and I can build some momentum, then I'm a handful for anybody.
"So I kind of get my buzz knowing that, you know, there are only certain people that can create magical moments. There is only very select people that can do that. I just know that it might be a 147, it might be that I win the World Championship, but I know that I'll pull something out of the bag.
"That is the buzz I have to go with, that as long as I leave my mark on the tournament in some way or another - hopefully it's not getting beaten [in the] first round like I did last year! - but I still think I am capable of producing something given the circumstances."