Ronnie O’Sullivan called John Higgins’ display in the Players Championship final a “masterclass” after being outplayed in Sunday’s showdown.
The Rocket was brilliant on his few extended visits at the table – including breaks of 144 and 110 – but came up against an inspired opponent as he went down 10-3.
“John was strong. I knew I had to play well today and maybe I put a little bit of pressure on myself, thinking I had to play as well as I could to have a chance,” O’Sullivan told ITV.
Players Championship
'The best ever' – Higgins lauds O’Sullivan after winning title
28/02/2021 AT 21:53
“Once you don’t punish John and he’s playing as well as he is, then you do a lot of sitting in your chair.
“There’s not a lot you can do sometimes when someone is as good as John and he’s tying you up in knots and making 70s, 80s, 90s, 100s. You just have to sit it out and wait for an early night.”
Higgins’ run to a first trophy in three years included a memorable quarter-final win over Mark Selby, where he restricted the three-time world champion to just seven points.
Meanwhile, O’Sullivan has tasted defeat in all four finals he has reached this season.
“All you can do is do your best. If your best is just good enough to get you to finals then you have to accept that,” said O’Sullivan, who also finished runner-up at the Northern Ireland Open, Scottish Open and Welsh Open.
“Then hopefully one week I’ll get it right on the final day and hopefully get a trophy. But you can’t be too disappointed. There are 126 players that would probably swap positions with me at the moment so you’ve got to try and take some positives from it.
“John was unbelievable this week, fantastic, played brilliant snooker. A masterclass today.”

'Get in there!' - The moment Brown shocked O'Sullivan to win Welsh Open title

Players Championship
Higgins races to Players Championship win over O'Sullivan
28/02/2021 AT 20:49
Players Championship
Higgins dominates O'Sullivan to take charge of Players Championship final
28/02/2021 AT 16:09