2024 Players Championship: Snooker’s Rebel Ronnie O’Sullivan Continues to Rattle Tradition

In a compelling turn of events at the 2024 Johnstone's Paint Players Championship, Ronnie O'Sullivan's 6-2 victory over Zhou Yuelong not only secured his advancement but also shed light on his unconventional approach to the game. Despite his seemingly indifferent attitude towards his performances, O'Sullivan's post-match interview with unveiled layers of complexity, revealing his reliance on spontaneity over strategy and his nonchalant stance on discussing rivals like Judd Trump.

Louis Hobbs
Louis Hobbs

Last Updated: 2024-02-21

Wade McElwain

6 minutes read

Ronnie O'Sullivan drinking water

Unconventional Post-Match Remarks

Ronnie O'Sullivan's journey through the 2024 Johnstone's Paint Players Championship took an intriguing turn following his 6-2 victory over Zhou Yuelong in the first round. While his performance on the table secured his advancement to the quarterfinals, O'Sullivan's post-match remarks shed light on his unconventional approach to the game. 


In an unconventional post-match interview with, O'Sullivan appeared to maintain a facade of nonchalance towards his performances, despite being in arguably the best form of his career. He stated, "I don't really care about my performances anymore to be honest with you. I'm happy to be through, it's just a bit of practice for me." This portrayal of indifference may suggest O'Sullivan's deliberate attempt to downplay his dedication to the sport, despite his evident commitment to maintaining top-level performance through tournament play.

Spontaneity Over Strategy

Interestingly, O'Sullivan disclosed his decision to withdraw from the Welsh Open, citing a lack of inclination to compete. He remarked, "I didn’t feel like playing, so I took the Welsh Open off." However, dismissing the notion of a meticulously crafted plan of him taking a break to help him progress in the latter stages of future tournaments, O'Sullivan asserted, "I don't ever have a plan, to be honest with you." Addressing perceptions that he operates with a calculated strategy, he clarified, "Some people think I must have some master plan going on, but I don’t." 


Instead, O'Sullivan highlighted his reliance on intuition and spontaneity, stating, "I just make it up as I go along so there's no rhyme or reason for it. I just go by how I feel." This revelation sheds light on O'Sullivan's unique approach to the sport, characterised by flexibility and a willingness to trust his instincts over preconceived strategies.

Battle for Supremacy

In addition to addressing his rivalry with Judd Trump, Ronnie O'Sullivan elucidated his stance on discussing other players on the tour, stating, "I don't talk about other players anymore, so I just don't want to get involved in it to be honest with you." 


This perceived arrogance comes amidst a year-long battle between O'Sullivan and Trump for supremacy in the world rankings and one-year list. Their continuous competition has seen them go head-to-head in numerous tournaments, each striving to assert their claim as the best player currently in the world. 



Ambivalence Towards Tournament Participation

The 48-year-old’s perspective on his involvement in the tour portrays a somewhat indifferent attitude towards the competitive aspect of the sport. He stated, "I just want to take what I can from the Tour, keep on doing my other bits that I enjoy." O'Sullivan seems to view tournament participation as more of a secondary pursuit rather than a primary focus of his career. He added, "Playing in these tournaments are just a bonus for me. I can have a bit of a laugh; bit of fun and the practise keeps me match sharp."


Furthermore, he mentioned, "My main hobbies are away from the table now, I don’t have a plan for the season. If I win, great, but that’s it for me really," indicating a lack of strategic planning or ambition for significant accomplishments in the sport.

Enthusiasm for the Saudi Tournaments

Contrary to his seemingly nonchalant demeanour throughout the rest of the interview, O'Sullivan displayed genuine enthusiasm when discussing his plans for the upcoming Saudi tournaments. Expressing excitement for the invitational events where he is contracted to play, he emphasised his commitment to giving his all, stating, "When I’m out in Saudi, I’ll be giving it 300%." 


This unexpected fervour contradicts his earlier remarks, highlighting O'Sullivan's genuine appreciation for tournaments where he feels valued and appreciated, and suggesting a deeper level of engagement and motivation than initially conveyed.

O'Sullivan's Enigmatic Journey

As Ronnie O'Sullivan progresses through the 2024 Players Championship, his enigmatic persona continues to captivate fans and critics alike. Despite his seemingly nonchalant attitude towards his performances, O'Sullivan's somewhat hidden commitment to the sport still shines through, particularly as he eagerly anticipates the upcoming Saudi tournaments. 


Facing either Barry Hawkins or Mark Selby in the next round, O'Sullivan's unpredictability both on and off the table adds intrigue to his journey in the championship, showcasing his formidable presence in the snooker world.


Image credit: World Snooker Tour (WST)

Louis Hobbs
Louis HobbsLead Journalist

Meet Louis Hobbs, our esteemed authority on all matters sports-related. With a wealth of knowledge and experience, Louis effortlessly emerges as our go-to expert. His particular expertise in the realms of darts and snooker sets him apart and brings a level of insight that goes beyond the ordinary. Louis also holds a deep affection for all things related to US sports, with a special emphasis on basketball and American football, which stand out as his particular favorites. His content may not resonate with you, if you don't consider Lamar Jackson the most skilled player in the NFL.