O’Sullivan’s manager shares feelings over Brecel’s world title win

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Ronnie O’Sullivan was ‘gutted’ to have been dumped out of the World Snooker Championship in the quarter-finals, according to his manager Jason Francis. The 47-year-old was beaten by Luca Brecel, who then went on to win the entire tournament.

O’Sullivan was fancied to land his eighth success in the competition this year but was handed a shock 13-10 defeat by Brecel, throwing away a healthy lead in the process. ‘The Rocket’ led 10-6 at one stage but struggled to land a blow and lose seven successive frames to bolster Brecel’s reputation once again.

The Belgian then went on to win the entire competition, despite refusing to kick his partying lifestyle to the curb throughout. Brecel then capped off a remarkable few days with victory over Mark Selby in the final, winning 18-15 at the Crucible.

Though O’Sullivan is said to be unhappy with his performance and how he threw away his lead, says Francis. He told the Talking Snooker podcast: “I think he was gutted. I think that one thing I don’t have to tell you is he knew he was in a winning position.

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“But that takes nothing away from the way Luca played, I’ve never seen anyone play like that against Ronnie here. This place, Sheffield, it either makes you or it breaks you and I think the people who come through and can handle it, they become real champions.

“People say it defines their career if they’re successful here, but it can also define the way they play in the future because there’s no harder place to play. So I think he came up against someone who played unbelievably well, but I also think that he’s incredibly disappointed, because if you look from the outside there was an opportunity there this year.”

O’Sullivan made it no secret that he was not pleased with his performances throughout the year when speaking after his shock World Snooker Championship exit. He told Eurosport: “I’ve got to have a better year than I have this last year. Otherwise, you won’t be seeing me!”

The seven-time world champion then went on to explain that he would be working on his fitness in preparation for next year by committing to running more frequently, continuing: “I’ll try and get my 5k time down to near 18 minutes to get myself fit. [I will] spend some time at home with the dogs, Layla, family, kids – all that sort of stuff. A bit of work in between. Then back playing snooker around August time.”

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