Tuesday, January 19, 2010

O'Sullivan downplays Selby's snooker world title hopes

LONDON — Ronnie O'Sullivan has dismissed Mark Selby's chances of winning the world title because his fellow Englishman suffers from the same faults that afflict his own game.
Selby won the last four frames to regain the Masters title from O'Sullivan, who beat him in the 2009 final, 10-9 in a thrilling climax at the Wembley Arena here on Sunday.

O'Sullivan, three times a world champion and four times a Masters winner, believes Selby lacks the consistency to win over the course of the 17-day world championship at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre.
Not that 'The Rocket', who has a history of talking down his own game, gives much for his chances of adding to his world title tally.
"As far as winning world titles, that is mission impossible for me," he said. "I'm too hot and cold to go in with any confidence in doing it.
"I don't think Selby has the game either to win a world title because of the same reasons. That is why it is tough, you are up against players that have that relentlessness."
O'Sullivan, widely regarded as the most talented player currently in the professional game, was frustrated by what he said was his "hot and cold" play, saying that if he could produce a better general standard he would "demolish" plenty of opponents.
"I've been playing like a plum for 17 years," he said. "I've had my struggles and a lot of people have put it down to depression or my demons but it has nothing to do with demons.
"The hot and cold snooker did and does make me depressed. I felt myself getting sucked in during the final but said 'don't go there, you've had a good week'. I don't have those expectations any more.
"It's sad for me because if I was able to put my finger on it and get it right I would smash all these players up - I would demolish a lot of them."
O'Sullivan added: "For me to win three world titles is a miracle in itself. I didn't think I'd win one because over 17 days it requires you not to have bad spells.
"If I didn't have my problems with the game over the years maybe I could have possibly chased (Stephen) Hendry's record of seven, but I've just got to be happy that I've had quite a successful career when I've either been really good or really poor."
Meanwhile Selby, who is from Leicester, central England, said his relationship with Vikki Layton, one of Europe's top female pool players, had been a big factor in his success.
"We've been together for just over three years and before I was living on my own and didn't have the stability that she has brought," he said.
"She's moved down to Leicester and we've got a house together, and that has been the making of me.
"That was all I needed because after I won the Regal Scottish final when I was young but went off the rails for a few years, I needed the stability of someone to come to tournaments with me and someone to go home to.


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