Ronnie O’Sullivan reveals he suffers from ‘snooker depression’ following matches

The six-time world champion edged past Zhang Anda in the European Masters at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes.

Ronnie O’Sullivan, a six-time world champion, opened up on his post-match issues (Mike Egerton/PA)
Ronnie O’Sullivan, a six-time world champion, opened up on his post-match issues (Mike Egerton/PA)

Ronnie O’Sullivan revealed he gets “snooker depression” for a couple of hours following matches after he booked his place in the second round of the European Masters in Milton Keynes, where world number one Mark Selby suffered a shock early exit.

After completing a qualifying-round victory over Nigel Bond at the Marshall Arena, O’Sullivan had suggested he “couldn’t give a monkey’s” about going on to securing another world title and felt his continued success had got somewhat “boring”.

The six-time world champion was again in the spotlight during Tuesday’s afternoon session, where he edged past China’s world number 104 Zhang Anda in a deciding frame.

O’Sullivan, who appeared troubled by a glare from lighting around the arena when sitting in his chair, had opened up a 4-2 lead following a break of 128.

Zhang, though, produced runs of 114 and 91 to force a decider, which O’Sullivan took 96-44 to move into the last 32 where he will play Wu Yize.

When reflecting on his performance, O’Sullivan told reporters: “I find it hard to talk about my games, I have snooker depression for two or three hours after my matches. Talking about it puts me in a bad place.

I call it snooker depression because it is depression due to snooker

Ronnie O'Sullivan

“I call it snooker depression because it is depression due to snooker. I don’t just wake up and say ‘I’m depressed’ – you aren’t when you are doing something you enjoy.

“You might afterwards, but you can get it doing this job if it bothers you and you are not enjoying it. And that happens to me, snooker plays on the mind.

“If you love your job, any job, then you won’t suffer with it – unless you are totally detached from your feelings. Let’s call it sports depression, across the board.

“It’s up to you to find ways to deal with it – and I am going to smash the gym, feel better, eat nice food, get into my spa and sauna and watch it disappear.”

On the other tables, top seed and holder Selby suffered an unexpected early exit after a 5-3 defeat by Jordan Brown.

The world champion – who admitted he was struggling with his own mental health after defeat in the quarter-finals of the Masters last month – had levelled the match with a 128 break in the sixth frame.

It was Brown, though, who went on to claim victory, edging a close eighth frame 68-55 after Selby could not make the most of a half-century break.

Martin Gould, runner-up last year, was among the winners on Tuesday afternoon (Nigel French/PA)

There were also victories for last year’s runner-up Martin Gould, Ali Carter and Ricky Walden, who beat Welshman Matthew Stevens 5-1.

Earlier, Scotland’s John Higgins had coasted into the second round with his own 5-1 win over Jamie Clarke, making three half-century breaks.

China’s Wu missed out on a maximum attempt with a clearance of 112 in the third frame of his 5-3 victory against Fergal O’Brien, while compatriots Liang Wenbo, Pang Junxu and Yuan Sijun all safely progressed to round three.

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