Ronnie O’Sullivan is unsure how Stephen Hendry’s return to the snooker tour will play out, as he is concerned the Scot does not have the mentality to merely play and enjoy the game.
Hendry confirmed this week that he would end nine years in retirement with an appearance at the Gibraltar Open next month, having been granted a two-year card after floating the idea of coming back to the sport.
The 52-year-old is the game’s most dominant player, having won the World Championship on seven occasions, and O’Sullivan is concerned as to how he will approach his return to the sport.
UK Championship LIVE - O'Sullivan returns to the baize, Higgins later
O'Sullivan - a six-time world champion - feels at Hendry’s age he needs to embrace playing the game alongside his off-table activities, but believes the Scot may be consumed by his competitive instincts.
“Anybody finds it tough,” O’Sullivan told Eurosport when asked about Hendry’s return to snooker. “You have to play really well to get results.
“If Stephen can stick to what he’s doing - he does a lot of Instagram stuff, he has his TV punditry stuff. As long as he doesn’t say ‘right, I’m a full-time snooker player’ and invest 24-7 into snooker then he will be fine.
It is a grind. If he is enjoying life off the table and comes to tournaments and enjoys it and has a bit of fun then he will enjoy it.
‘Two delightful shots!’ – O’Sullivan shows his class against Gould
“I just don't know if he is that kind of animal. He just wants to win, win. If it’s me I just want to play. But Hendry is a different monster. He’s like Tiger Woods.”
The 2021 Welsh Open is live on Eurosport. Watch it on eurosport.co.uk and the Eurosport app. You can download the Eurosport app for iOS and Android now.
'He's too good' - O'Sullivan offers help 'free of charge' to beaten White
'Anybody hurt?' - O'Sullivan smashes cue ball to scatter reds