World Championship

O'Sullivan reveals reason behind shock Masters withdrawal

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Ronnie O'Sullivan

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10/05/2020 at 16:59 | Updated 10/05/2020 at 17:59

Ronnie O'Sullivan has revealed he decided to miss the Masters in January because he can't be bothered with the media commitments at the event.

O'Sullivan was a shock withdrawal from one of the sport's biggest events at Alexandra Palace, but admits he was already thinking of giving it a miss after losing 10-4 in the 2019 final to undisputed world number one and world champion Judd Trump.

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The five-times world champion O'Sullivan has won the Masters a record seven times, but admits his patience snapped after a 6-3 win over Ding Junhui in the semi-finals due to the demands on his time.

O'Sullivan's withdrawal allowed fellow Englishman Ali Carter a place at the event. He took full advantage by reaching the final where he lost 10-8 to Stuart Bingham.

White: Even Hendry would tell you O’Sullivan is the greatest


"It wasn’t playing in the Masters it was all the stuff that goes with it," said O'Sullivan on Instagram. "There’s the press and the media. After each match you have to do six or seven interviews.

"After last year’s semi-final they kept me there for three hours doing interviews for the next day’s match. I went 'you know what, I don’t really want it that bad, I just want to play in the tournaments I enjoy.'"

O'Sullivan plans to commit to more events in China next season because he feels the tournament promoters "don't abuse you". His solitary tournament win of the 2019-20 campaign came with an 11-9 win over Shaun Murphy at the Shanghai Masters in September, his fourth victory in the Chinese city.

He has not won an event in the UK since beating Neil Robertson 13-11 at the Tour Championship final in March 2019.

O'Sullivan: Personal reasons not behind Masters absence


"I know it’s a bit of a hassle getting there. The flight and travelling but once you get there, they look after you fantastically well, you might do one interview after the match, which is fine, but they don’t abuse you," said O'Sullivan.

They want to work with you, I love playing in China. Shanghai is fantastic, they have proper promoters out there, they know what they’re doing. ‘When you work with proper promoters, they want to look after you. You look forward to seeing them because they’re good fun and it’s going to be a good week.

"I prefer Shanghai as a place, it’s a fantastic place, but Beijing’s great. The only place I didn’t like going to in China was Yushan (the World Open), the people were great, it was just a nightmare to get to so I don’t think I’d be going back there. I’m not sure I’d go there again unless they got their chequebook out."

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