Ronnie O’Sullivan has admitted to reverting to his Mark Selby cue action during his win over Li Hang in the quarter-finals of the Scottish Open.
For the third match on the spin, O’Sullivan was forced to win a deciding frame to advance.
There were flashes of quality - some of his long potting was as sharp as it has been for some time - but there were plenty of errors, and he admitted to tinkering with his game.
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“I was not striking the ball well,” O’Sullivan said in the Eurosport studio. “I was searching for a cue action just to get something going. It was getting so frustrating. You just feel helpless out there.
“So much poor stuff and in the end you think to yourself ‘if I continue to play like that I’m not going to go much further in the tournament’.
This game is all about cueing and hitting the ball because no matter where you’re ranked in the world you will get found out.
“I went back to my Selby cue action.”
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When asked what that is, O’Sullivan replied: "It would be technical [to explain what it is], it’ll bore you but you just try different things other players do. It felt better but at least it gives me something to work with.
“I’m a tinkerer. I have been since I was 10 years of age. I can’t help it. It’s probably best if you don’t tinker.”
O’Sullivan feels he is currently operating a level below his best, and says it may be something he has to accept.
“For years I was beating opponents comfortably from round one to the final really,” he said. “I’m having to fight a bit more now. I much prefer how it was before when you could look in your rear mirror and say ‘they’ve got a lot of catching up to do'.
“At some stage you have to accept you’re not as good as you were but still not being at my best I can still compete. You have to find the positive in the challenge.”
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