There are Snooker players, there are great snooker players and then there's Ronnie O'Sullivan.
'The Rocket' has been wowing fans and pundits alike with his skills since turning pro at 16. Equally comfortable playing left or right-handed, O'Sullivan's natural talent enables him to take on, and beat, players who have to put in hundreds of hours' more practice just to keep up.
He is, unquestionably, a genius. And geniuses are almost always hounded by their personal demons. Ronnie has fallen in and out of love with snooker on so many occasions that it's a joy to see him when he's happy and focused on the sport that he can't seem to stand, or stand being away from.
And when he's hot, he's untouchable; a double-speed master of potting, positional play, angles and safety who makes the game look laughably easy.
A five-time world champion, he made his first century aged 10, his first 147 at 15 and knocked in another maximum at the 1997 Worlds in a ridiculous 5 minutes and 20 seconds. That equates to one shot every 8.8 seconds and is – and probably always will be – the fastest-ever 147 break.
Depressive episodes, drugs issues, relationship breakdowns and anguished perfectionism have dogged Ronnie throughout his career. But the man is snooker box office, an entertainer, a genius.
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