Ronnie O'Sullivan gushes over hero Stephen Hendry and love of snooker
Ronnie O’Sullivan appears to be in an emotional mood at the Crucible this year, at least after his first round win, as he hailed his ‘hero’ Stephen Hendry and declared his love for snooker.
The Rocket beat Pang Junxu 10-7 in his opener, battling through illness to down the impressive Chinese debutant in Sheffield.
He is looking to win an eighth world title this year, having won a record-equalling seventh last year and sitting level with Hendry’s haul in the 1990s.
While winning that seventh Crucible crown, a documentary was being filmed about O’Sullivan which is yet to be released, with the Rocket saying he is due to watch it for the first time this week.
Asked how he hopes he is portrayed in the film, O’Sullivan recited something of a love letter to his sport and his heroes within it.
‘I want people to go away from watching it thinking that I am a winner,’ he said.
‘It is all I have ever wanted to do, I have tried my hardest all my life to compete and be the best I can be, to give my whole life to snooker.
‘I love it so much, I am grateful for what it has done for me, it has given me an amazing life with amazing moments. I have been the most successful player, along with Stephen Hendry.
‘He was my hero and I am happy to share the seven world titles with him. But I am up there, and I have to pinch myself. As a kid I used to rush home from school to watch World Championships.
‘There was Joe Johnson and I went to see Steve Davis when I was 14 beat John Parrott in the final session. And now I am here playing.
‘Maybe you get to a point where you take it for granted and I don’t want to, but it is hard when you have been doing it for as long as I have been. And all the media have been part of my life too, and I love you all.’
The release date of the documentary filmed a year ago is still be confirmed, but O’Sullivan is watching it on Monday and is not entirely sure what to expect.
‘I’m going to watch it on Monday for the first time,’ he said. ‘We have got it down to two hours and it needs to be an hour and 45 minutes apparently. It is the first time they have let me see it – I hope I don’t hate it!
‘But I know they have done a good job on it – the people working on it can make anyone look good. I will go in there trusting the people charged with it have done it well.
‘I gave it my all, and gave them every bit of access I could do to make their job easier. Hopefully it made them think “Oh, we weren’t expecting this”.
‘And I do know it has changed, from what they thought it was going to be. I have been told it is definitely not what the director thought. That can happen in a documentary. He said “I think you’ll be surprised”.’
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