Ronnie O’Sullivan has advised his close friend Jimmy White to take snooker a little less seriously and enjoy playing the game.
White was beaten by Stephen Hendry on Monday to end his hopes of a first appearance at the World Championship since 2006.
The Whirlwind faces a nervous time to discover if he will retain his playing status for next year, otherwise he will have to enter Q School.
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White cut a frustrated figure during his defeat to Hendry, as he missed a string of simple pots, and he admitted after the match that he may have overcooked himself in practice.
O’Sullivan watched bits of the match, conceding he did not want to get too involved as he felt it would be a tough spectacle on account of the history between the pair.
What he would like to see is White taking a step back and enjoying the game, as opposed to trying too hard to win matches and find form.
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"I think Stephen [Hendry] is bang right [to say he should take it less seriously and enjoy it more],” O’Sullivan said on Eurosport’s The Break podcast.
I like what Stephen has to say even about his own performances. It’s a pretty good judgement call, he’s pretty much on the money the whole time.
“Stephen has been through his own problems with snooker and to come back you need to have a different perspective.
“Like Stephen said, if he starts getting good and starts getting better my expectations will raise a bit. He’s looking at it the right way. But with Jimmy it’s really difficult.
“If I were Jimmy White, I’d be looking at someone like Mark Williams. He looks like he’s enjoying it.
“You’ve got to sometimes just throw your cue at the ball and just come out swinging and play as if you’ve got nothing to lose instead of thinking you’ve got everything to lose.”
Reflecting on the meeting between Hendry and White, O’Sullivan said: “I watched about an aggregate of a frame, a bit of the start and a bit towards the end. I didn’t watch the whole match.
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“I didn’t really want to watch the whole match because I knew it was a horrible match for both of them, more so for Jimmy because he’s obviously been on the Tour and put the work in.
“Hendry has come in, not played for years, nothing to lose really, and you could see Hendry was a bit more relaxed out there, where Jimmy looked tight.
“It was a horrible match for Jimmy. If he had played somebody else, like myself, he probably would have played really well. So I wouldn’t read too much into that.
“If I were Jimmy, I wouldn’t read too much into that. It’s just not a nice match for him to have to play in the first round of the World Championships.”
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