The Rocket dominated the final day’s play at the Crucible – winning eight of nine frames – to beat Kyren Wilson 18-8 in the final.

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While he wasn’t at his stylish best for much of the tournament, he revealed that he is feeling as sharp as ever mentally after stepping up training with Peters, who he has worked with since 2011.

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“I’ve worked with Steve Peters and three months ago I said, 'I really want to give it a good go',” O’Sullivan told Eurosport.

“He’s like a father figure, such a lovely human being. We did a lot of Zoom and FaceTime because of lockdown and I had a few mental thoughts that I could carry with me so every time I felt it was getting a bit out of shape I went back to what we were working on and it just kept me present.

O'Sullivan has worked with Steve Peters for several years

Image credit: Eurosport

“Some of the sessions where I wasn’t too good or in the groove or finding that slot, I was able to not sabotage and stay in the match and recover for the next session.

“Before every match I have not gone on the practice table, I’ve got my phone out...watched a bit of Fools and Horses, and Storage Wars, and just enjoyed it.

“The worst thing is waiting to play so I thought if I could make that part as enjoyable as possible…I found ways to get through the moments where the mind can wander because I have a very overactive brain.

I put it down to Steve Peters really. The mental side has been a big change for me.

O’Sullivan last won the World Championship in 2013 and is now one behind Stephen Hendry’s all-time record of seven.

He says he felt less pressure this year with fans not allowed into the Crucible until the final due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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“I really struggle with the mayhem and crowds at this tournament. I thought it was the pressure of the World Championship but it wasn’t.

"Up until the final it was like playing at home. I notice a difference when they let in a crowd. I get a lot of support but I am better without the crowd because it’s too much pressure. I feel the weight of them wanting me to do well.

“The final we both had our supporters but I preferred it when it was empty. That’s just me, I don’t deal with feeling like I have to deliver and perform, it’s hard.”

He also says that exercise has been key to improving his wellbeing.

"I feel very fit at the moment, I’ve done 17 weeks of running. I’m in half decent shape and I hope to get in even better shape because the running has been fantastic for mental health, I can eat a bit more and not worry about piling on the pounds."

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