Ronnie O’Sullivan has admitted that he needs to be playing well to win tournaments, whereas in previous years he has got over the line when being below his best.
O’Sullivan advanced to his eighth World Championship final with a win over John Higgins, and he has produced some of his best snooker of the season over the past fortnight at the Crucible.
It is likely he will need to raise his level again when he takes on Judd Trump in the final, and the world No. 1 is aware of the need to keep his standards high.
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"I can’t pot as well as Neil Robertson, Judd,” O’Sullivan told Eurosport. “I have to play tight cue-ball control, good safety and manage my emotions.
“Before I used to have it pretty much in my own hands. The last two or three years it has not been the case, and I have played alright.
“I used to play alright and win tournaments, now alright is not enough. I have to play well, so there's a lot less margin for error in my game.”

'I can’t pot as well as Neil or Judd' – O’Sullivan on why there is ‘less margin for error’ now

In beating David Gilbert, Mark Allen, Stephen Maguire and Higgins to reach the final, O’Sullivan has produced some of the best snooker of anyone at the Crucible and he claimed the key to success in Sheffield is not to have a bad session.
“All through the tournament I have been in and out as I have not been at my best,” the 46-year-old said. “I have been steady and I have always said steady wins this tournament.
“If you can play 70% for 80% of this tournament you have a great chance of winning it.
“It is when you play well for 50% and go missing for half, that’s when it gets a bit dodgy - you can end up playing catch up.
“It is important to be steady in this tournament and not brilliant.”

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Reflecting on his win over Higgins, O’Sullivan said: “It was a tough match. John was granite.
“I could see he was not performing at his best, so it was hard as he was battening down the hatches and it was hard to not get sucked in and just try and play my game, keep my flow, keep my rhythm.
“You know what he is capable of, so you can never relax.”
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