Snooker News: “Ronnie O’Sullivan’s the only player I’d pay for” – Mark Williams on why Rocket is the GOAT


Ronnie O’Sullivan is the undisputed greatest player of all time and the only three-time world snooker champion Mark Williams would pay money to watch.

Williams made an impressive start to the new campaign by winning the British Open title in August, but expects 37-time ranked record winner O’Sullivan to return to the winning habit after a rare trophy-less campaign last season.

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O’Sullivan reached five finals last season and is ranked third in the world ahead of next month’s Northern Ireland Open LIVE on Eurosport.

“He’s the best player I’ve ever seen in my life,” said Williams.

I’ve played with him since I was 10 and he still walks like me. He’s probably the only snooker player I’d pay for.

Williams is celebrating his 30th year as a professional alongside his great rivals O’Sullivan and John Higgins in January and don’t expect these green Baize icons to slow down in the hunt for further fame.

With 13 world titles since 1998, they have won more than half of the Crucible titles in the past 23 years.

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“The players who come through are not good enough to knock us off the shelf, if you want to put it that way.” said Williams on WST.

“We also got a lot of grounded growing up, but these youngsters don’t have decent amateur tournaments to actually participate in.

“They just become professionals, compete against the top players and get beaten. We had a really good base. There were tournaments everywhere. U18, U21 … every weekend was something.

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“That has something to do with our longevity. The other reason could be that the other players just aren’t good enough to knock, especially Higgins and O’Sullivan.

This pair could stay at the top of the rankings for as long as they want to be. There is no question.

“It’s all about how much work you want to put in to stay up there.”

At the age of 46, Williams has his own goals for the new campaign and the world number eighth believes he will be able to stay at the top of the game

“I think if I did that I know I could get to the very top of the rankings,” added the Welshman, world champion of 2000, 2003 and 2018 on a show of amazing longevity. “Maybe not number one, but I could be close.

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“But I’m not ready to do what I have to do to get this high. I do two hours a day instead of worrying about winning the tournament and just enjoying it.”

I’m saying now that I won’t be playing six or seven hours a day, but that could change. In six months, I could say I’ll be playing nine or ten hours a day again.

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September 27, 2021 at 9:38 pm


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