'My worst nightmare come true' – Ronnie O'Sullivan reveals what he hated most about winning seventh world snooker title

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Ronnie O'Sullivan has revealed he would rather have not won a seventh World Championship than be forced to attend the official after-party event in Sheffield. O'Sullivan equalled Stephen Hendry's haul of seven Crucible crowns in May, but admits he cannot stand the "circus" that envelopes the sport's blue-chip event. "Going to the after-party is what annoyed me," he said.

Ronnie O'Sullivan has slammed the World Championship "circus" and revealed he hated being forced to attend the official after-party event in Sheffield.
The game's greatest player completed an 18-14 win over Judd Trump in May to pick up a £500,000 winner's cheque in equalling Stephen Hendry's modern era record of seven Crucible crowns.
Despite his latest epic success, to go with his other rousing victories in 2001, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2013 and 2020, O'Sullivan revealed he detests the demands that accompany the sport's most draining tournament.

Particularly having to head across the street from the Crucible after the final for the traditional knees-up.
"I just disengaged about seven or eight years ago with anything that didn’t make me feel comfortable in snooker," said O'Sullivan, who astonishingly claimed the sport's world No. 1 spot two decades after first scaling the summit. "There’s no amount of money in the world someone can offer me to do something I don’t want to do.
"It was great. I knew I could have a longer career, more enjoyable, more happy, more fun. Still compete, still be in the top eight in the world because it’s easy for me to be in the top eight, I’ve just got to be 50 per cent, really.
"I go 100 per cent and I go back to No. 1, like I have done. But I don’t want to be at 100 per cent, I don’t want to be that animal anymore, it’s exhausting, it’s tiring and I’ve done it.
"Having won the world title and having got back to No. 1, it’s not a good place to be for me, personally.
"I’m happy with a cup of tea, coffee, a few friends, I don’t want a lot out of life to be honest with you.
"Going to the after-party is what annoyed me. I’m just like, I don’t need this, I just want a cup of tea and go to my bed.
"That’s why I enjoyed it when I won it in Covid in 2020, there was no crowd, no party, just whoever happened to be there with me," he told The Climb podcast.

O'Sullivan ran out a dominant winner of the title in moving onto a record 39 ranking victories since turning professional in 1992, but confessed the success prompts mixed emotions about the yearly demands of competing in Sheffield.
"I just can’t be doing with the circus, the circus is what drives me crazy. The World Championships is the biggest circus of all," said the Essex icon, who has withdrawn from the European Masters next week due to medical reasons.
"After looking back on it, I actually wish I hadn't have won it. The question I get asked more now than anything is, 'do you still play snooker?' I want to say to them, no.
"I want to say I've retired, I do little bits and pieces, it's great and I slip under the radar.
"All of a sudden when I've won this, I've got 600 messages on my phone, everyone's saying well done and asking when I'm going for the eighth.

"It's like my worst nightmare come true again."
O'Sullivan became the oldest world champion of the professional era at the age of 46 years and 148 days, but insists he is no longer motivated by success in snooker.

"I didn’t want to get in the pit again, but I did," he said. "The reason for it was I had a film crew following me about, so that kind of spurred me on to do as well as I could.
"Probably if they weren’t following me about I might have made the quarters or semis and thought that’s enough because I don’t like going so deep anymore.
"On reflection, it was great to win it, but I was never driven by records or awards. Things that a lot of people seem to think is important in sport, for me it’s about loving what I do and enjoying just playing for fun, treating it like a hobby.
"But to win the world title you can’t enjoy it, you have to go deep and find some reserves from within, you find something within you to push forward."
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