Snooker: O'Sullivan claims he would 'relish' life outside top 16

Ronnie O'Sullivan has cast himself as the man no one will want to face in the first round of the World Championship should he fail in his bid to salvage the top-16 place that guarantees entry to the Crucible showpiece.

The three-time world champion has been battling hard at the German Masters in Berlin this week to rectify a points deficit that could see him out of the elite for the first time in 18 years.

"I don't want to have to qualify for the World Championship," he said. "However, my decision not to play in all tournaments makes that a real possibility. I may have to qualify for lots of tournaments in the future.

"If it happens, so be it – I wouldn't want to be a top seed having to face me in the first round, because I'd be well up for it. Maybe coming through as a qualifier to win a title is the challenge for me, and I would relish that."

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