You ask the questions: Ronnie O'Sullivan

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The Independent Online

Ronnie O'Sullivan was born in Chigwell, Essex in 1975. He made his first century break when he was 10 years old and at 15 became the youngest player to make a maximum break in tournament play. He turned professional in 1992 and has since won 10 major tournaments, including the World Championship earlier this year. Famous for occasionally playing left-handed, O'Sullivan has earned the nickname "the Rocket" because of the speed of his game. In 1998 he won the Irish Masters but was later stripped of his title after testing positive for cannabis. O'Sullivan, who lives in Essex, is ranked number one in the world.

What goes through your head when you're at the table on a difficult, match-winning shot?

K M Siddell, Lancaster

Please go in!

Players clearly try to out-manoeuvre you by slowing you down. Is this a weakness and how do you overcome it?

Sarah Minster, by e-mail

When that happens I know a player is scared and I think that he feels he can't compete against me equally. In possibly one out of 10 situations that tactic may succeed, but usually the player loses.

What was the trigger event(s) for you to "get your life in order'' over the past year?

Trish Mallard, Luton

There was no specific event or moment. I just didn't feel happy with myself and I wanted to change things in my life.

How do you like to relax? What is your favourite film, book and pop group? And why?

Celia Hall, West Yorkshire

I relax by playing golf, running and keeping fit. My favourite film is Gladiator, favourite book is the story of the life of Howard Hughes and U2 are my favourite group. I just think they are the crème.

Have you ever made a 155 break?

Stacey Fuston, by e-mail

In my dreams!

Why, when I'm playing pool in the pub with my friends, am I much better when I'm drunk?

Clive Newton, Cardiff

You just think that you're better when you're drunk, but you're probably not!

Did you spend all your childhood years in snooker halls, and if so, what if anything do you think you missed out on?

M Hann, by e-mail

Yes, I did spend all my spare time in the snooker halls, but my mum made sure I went to school. I don't feel that I missed out on anything.

How do you respond to critics who say, commenting on your reported problems with depression, that you should just cheer up? Did your stint in the Priory help in any way?

Simon Hughes, Bristol

It's not as simple as just "cheering up'' – depression is an illness which, thankfully, can be treated. The Priory helped me big time.

If you weren't a snooker player, what do you think you would be doing today and how do you plan to retire?

C Waugh, Leicester

I'd like to think I'd be playing alongside David Beckham at Manchester United. I had trials for Tottenham and always hoped I'd be a professional. I'm 25 and I'm not thinking about retirement quite yet.

Who are your heroes?

Sara Hamilton, by e-mail

Tiger Woods, Michael Schumacher, Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, John McEnroe and Howard Hughes.

I'm planning a big night out in Essex; what would you suggest?

Carolyn Forster, by e-mail

My favourite haunt is Danni's Bagels in Chingford. A nice dinner at Neal's or Tuscany in Loughton, then rent a good video from Vid Biz – that's my perfect big night out.

As clearly the sexiest snooker player that we've seen for years, how do you cope with all the female attention?

Laurence Mattle, London

The female attention – I lap it up! The most memorable fan was in the final of the Benson & Hedges tournament. Suddenly this girl emerged from the crowd, took all her clothes off, shouted "Ronnie" and dashed across in front of me.

How do you deal with feelings of tension, anger and boredom when you are a) watching your opponent play, and b) in a mid-session interval?

Nicholas E Gough, Swindon

a) I just try and switch off but also try to keep my concentration for when my opponent misses and I'm back on the table. b) I just relax, chat and have a nice cup of tea with my mates Mickey and Del.

Can you remember the time you first picked up a cue?

S Earle, London

I was six or seven and it was at my Uncle Peter's on a 6ft by 3ft table. I didn't need any encouragement – I just loved it.

Is your private face a lot different from the one the public see? What makes you happy?

Dean Vine, Croydon

Not really – what you see is what you get. I'm happy cooking, doing a barbecue, watching TV or having a night in playing backgammon.

Ronnie O'Sullivan is playing in the Champions Cup in Brighton from 11-19 August