O’Sullivan hints at retirement despite final berth
Ronnie O’Sullivan reeled off the two frames he required to book his place in the final against Ali Carter, then suggested this could be his last ever Crucible appearance.
The Rocket lost the opening frame of the session after Stevens made a brilliant 116 but he responded with his own century and completed a 17-10 victory in the next.
“I’ve always said that I want to go out on a high and what better way than winning the World title and never playing again.
“I’ve weighed up everything and people close to me know what I’ve been going through recently and there’s a real possibility this is the last time I will play at the Crucible.”
He also said the work he has done with well known Sports psychiatrist Steve Peters has been a huge factor in his improved mindset at this year’s tournament.
“I’ve been working on the mental side of the game with Steve and it’s helped me massively.
Stevens, who moves back into the top ten after a run to the semis, said he just couldn’t live with O’Sullivans sublime play.
“I got it back to 5-5, and then I didn’t get a shot. He’s just so good to watch, I was sat in my chair admiring it.”
The three-time Champion is now the overwhelming 1/5 favourite with bookmakers Betfred to add another title to his CV. It will be a repeat of the 2008 final which saw O’Sullivan comprehensively beat Carter 18-8.
The first session of the final will start at 2pm on Sunday.
By Imran Sidat @ The Crucible, Sheffield