Ronnie O’Sullivan conducting snooker experiment: ‘What is possible in this game?’

Ronnie O’Sullivan is still taking his game to new limits (Picture: Getty Images)

Ronnie O’Sullivan says he has already broken the rules of snooker by excelling at 48 years old and is now seeing how far he can push the boundaries of the game.

The world number one despatched Jackson Page 10-1 in his World Championship opener, strolling over the line in Thursday’s afternoon session.

Speaking positively about his game afterwards, he told the BBC: ‘Played well, cued well, which is good. Jackson’s a really good player, I knew I had to be on my game, one of the hardest first round draws I could have got. Pleased with my performance.’

The Rocket has already won five titles this season but has been frustrated with his performances over the last couple of years, despite his immense success.

‘I don’t lie when I say I’m not playing well, I know a lot of people think I am but I’m not a liar, I think most people know what by now,’ he said.

‘I say what I feel and I don’t care if I leave myself vulnerable. I have the confidence to back it up, I know the ability is there. It’s just about finding the right formula. That’s what I’m always trying to do. Just keep going.’

Still sitting top of the world rankings ahead of turning 49 in December, O’Sullivan says he has already ripped up the rule book and is now seeing how far he can take his immense career.

Cazoo World Snooker Championship 2024 - Day Five

Ronnie O’Sullivan made very short work of Jackson Page at the Crucible (Picture: Getty Images)

‘I’ve already broke the rules for snooker. I’m still going at 48,’ he said. ‘I’m just seeing what’s possible now. What is possible in this game? How long can you keep going for? Can I win a World Championship at 50? Who knows? I’m probably the only player that’s able to do that so let’s see, let’s have an experiment.

‘To do what I’ve done in this season in your whole career, over a 30 year career, to win what I’ve won this season, you’d have had a great career. I’ve been doing that for 30 years.

‘I’ve had the greatest career of any other snooker player. How many people can say they’ve been the best or most successful at their job ever? I have to pat myself on the back because I don’t, I’m always pretty hard on myself. But the reality is no one’s achieved what I’ve achieved on the table statistically. I’m not a statistics guy, but I know you people are so you like to hear numbers. For me I just want to enjoy it. Keep playing. But what’s possible? I don’t know.

Jackson Page couldn’t keep up with the Rocket (Picture: Getty Images)

‘If I’d had my head straight for 30 years I could have won 10 or 12 world titles, who knows. But it’s great to find out, let’s see what can happen.’

Concerningly for his rivals, O’Sullivan feels he is now playing as well as he has done for some time, crediting his work with coach Nic Barrow.

‘I’ve just started working with Nic Barrow, my coach who knows my game inside out,’ he said. ‘[Barrow] Worked a lot with Frank Adamson who’s not with us anymore, but was an amazing coach.

‘I’ve decided I can’t really coach myself anymore, but I’ve felt pretty much as good the last couple of weeks on the practice table as I have the last six or seven years.’

Ronnie O’Sullivan demolishes Jackson Page in World Snooker Championship opener

MORE : Ronnie O’Sullivan’s immense success ‘an anti-climax’ but he’s working hard for more

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