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Ronnie The Rocket Reaching the Comet!

Ronnie O’Sullivan became the first snooker player to make 1,000 career century breaks after successfully defending his Players Championship title with a convincing 10-4 victory over Neil Robertson.

He teased the fans by stopping his approach while on 99 before potting the red left-handed and recording a 134 break – even though he potted the white after sinking the final black to deny him a superb 141 finish.

Every one of us knows the achievement of this superstar which are reproduced here below:

 

I am also attaching the article of Ronnie O’Sullivan participating in One Snooker Championship in Bangalore at the age of mere 14 published in my magazine Cue Sports in May-June 2001 issue also attached title cover of the said issue.

At the age of 43, I am sure 5 time World Champion Ronnie has many more years in professional circuit and the magical figure of 1500 century breaks can be achieved.   

By Ravindra Kumar Gupta 

                                                                  Image may contain: 2 people, text    

Ronnie O’Sullivan “SULTAN OF SNOOKER”

He is snooker’s child prodigy in the real sense of the world.  He was barely ten when he rattled his first century!  Few onlookers hailed him as the future world champion.  His touch was astonishing, his cue ball contact already cultured.  In fact, he was so tiny that it was impossible for him to put the blue ball on the spot.  He won his first pro-am title, at the age of twelve.  He astounded the whole world by amassing the maximum 147 in English Amateur Championship in 1991 at the age of 16.  The name of the sensational child prodigy is Ronnie O’Sullivan.

I distinctly remember his heroic exploits in Bangalore during the World Under-21 Championship.  The moment he fired his first century, he became the toast of the Snooker crazy fans of Bangalore.  He played stupendous snooker, his play was very crisp and his potting very refreshing.  The Bangalore people further recall the awesome talent in this ambidextrous lad.

Once he was waiting for a scooter at the MG Road and I was passing through the MG road.  I halted my scooter there and asked him to hop in which he promptly did.  He quipped, “How do you manage to sit in that box?”  He could only understand the language of snooker.  Potting alone was not his forte, he could make or break a snooker with hawk-like eyes, subtle wrist work and very alert mind.  One could not easily visualize that he was going to be the greatest player of all times.

He turned professional at the age of sixteen and made a terrific impact.  He won his first 38 matches in a row, 74 out of 76 !  The champion has finally arrived.  He qualified for the Crucible but soon after received a severe jolt which shattered his social structure and mental peace.  His father in a fit of rage stabbed a man in a drunken brawl at the bar.  He was awarded imprisonment for eighteen years.  Ronnie O’Sullivan’s world shattered completely.  Perhaps, that was only the initial shock.  At first, this trauma did not affect his career as he won several titles including the U.K. Championship beating the legendary Stephen Hendry in the final. 

Now the prodigy was turning into a man.  It is a difficult transformation which can make or mar many careers.  It was difficult to sustain the excellence which he showered to the world of snooker.  In a magnificent burst of sheer talent he made a stunning break of 147 in five minutes and twenty seconds in the Benson & Hedges Master in 1995.  Ronnie missed several tournaments in 1998, suffering from ‘mental and physical exhaustion’ but today he is a rejuvenated man after claiming the Embassy World Snooker 2001.

There have been strings of controversial incidents.  He was summarily stripped of the Irish Master Title in 1998 when a random drug test revealed traces of cannabis.  He was also fined 20,000 pounds for assaulting an official at the Embassy World Championship.  He is moody, whimsical and temperamental.

He knows that things have taken a turn for the betterment.  He has the world at his feet.  Throughout his professional career, he was striving for the coveted World Championship.   He got it after eight years of turmoil and sheer doggedness.  It will not act as a tonic to his already magical play but also to his behaviour.  He is the youngest player to compile 200 centuries in the professional circuit.  Out of 29 appearances in the final, he came out victor 21 times and thus holds an enviable record.  He is a sheer raw genius in the classical mould of Alex Higgins and Jimmy White.

A week after his epic triumph, he did maul Stephen Hendry in U.K. Premier League Final to win 60,000 pound which swelled his earning this year to £6,84,130.  Only Stephen Hendry, with £7,40,194 in 1995 and £6,94,056 in 1991 has pocketed more pound sterling.

If Ronnie had been granted one extra wish, it would have been to have his father with him.  He eloquently said, “Dad is proud, very proud of what I have achieved and hopefully I will get to see him as soon as possible.  I will take the trophy to the prison.  “Peter Ebdon, beaten by O Sullivan in their semi-final, says he is nothing short of a genius.  He is snooker’s equivalent of Mozart, “said Ebden.

“The 108 break he made to level things against me in our semi-final was magical, class personified. You couldn’t better it-it was poetry in motion” John Higgins hailed him as the greatest in the game.  Ronnie’s problem is that he is too good, said Clive Everton, the BBC snooker commentator.  Anything less than brilliant has been regarded as a failure by Ronnie.  He has had to learn to accept not playing his best all the time.

I could barely envisage in my wildest dreams that the boy whom I gave lift in Bangalore will become the Sultan of Snooker.

 

Written By : Yashbir Sharma

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