O’Sullivan ‘happy with how things are’ despite Championship League withdrawal

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Ronnie O’Sullivan is enjoying his newfound balance to life after reducing the amount of competition snooker he is playing, he recently revealed. The 45-year-old withdrew from the Championship League this year ahead of the second pool stage which got underway on Monday.

That withdrawal came as a surprise to some, particularly given that he had won his opening group in the tournament. O’Sullivan had already decided not to play in the British Open which starts next week.

While O’Sullivan has been decreasing how much competitive snooker he plays, the West Midlands native has been enjoying a schedule filled with exhibition matches, the most recent of which came in Melton last weekend.

Speaking to the Melton Times after that event, O’Sullivan announced his contentment with his new schedule. He said: “During the past few years I’ve been playing more exhibitions as well as the tour.

“I’m happy with how things are at the moment. It’s good to have balance.”

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The event in Melton was held at a local snooker hall named Jackson’s. O’Sullivan played some trick shots to warm up the audience before eight local players challenged the six-time world champion to a match.

Unsurprisingly, ‘The Rocket’ came out on top against all the opponents with professional referee Brendan Moore on hand to oversee proceedings.

The event helped to raise money for mental health charity MIND.

Mental health in sport has been a huge topic of debate in recent weeks and months, with Simone Biles, Naomi Osaka and Ben Stokes all deciding to take breaks from their respective sports in order to protect their wellbeing. 

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On the issue, O’Sullivan spoke candidly. He said: “It’s good that people are talking more about these issues and considering people’s well-being.

“Sports people struggling with mental health problems shouldn’t be penalised.”

O’Sullivan is next expected to be in more professional action at the Northern Ireland Open, which starts on October 10.

So far the Championship League second round has not seen too many surprises.

The final day of the second round takes place today, with world number one Judd Trump looking to book his place on finals day as he battles with Tom Ford, Stuart Carrington and Jimmy Robertson.

Already into the final stage are Kyren Wilson, Bai Langning, Can Yupeng, David Gilbert, Ryan Day and Ali Carter. 

The attention of the snooker world turns to the British Open next week, with the event taking place for the first time since 2004.

John Higgins is the defending champion, having won the final 17 years ago against Stephen Maguire.

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