The world number one and five-times world champion, who suffered a shock 10-8 first-round loss to qualifier James Cahill at this year’s tournament, has suggested he will barely play on the tour next season and will skip all three of the “Triple Crown” events due to dissatisfaction with media commitments.

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He told the Daily Telegraph: “I only want to play a few games to keep a bit of interest. Maybe three or four tournaments a year – low-key ones, where there is no media (duty).

So I will miss the Masters, the World Championship and the UK (Championship). I don’t even want to play in the World Championship – all the press and media they want you to (do), I’m not here for that. I’ve won it five times. It ain’t worth the blood, sweat and tears to me now. That tournament? Probably not for me any more.”

O’Sullivan has made frequent threats over the years to retire outright, and won the 2013 World Championship despite having played just one match since winning the previous year’s title.

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He added: “It’s like a broken marriage. They don’t like me, I don’t really like them. We are living under the same roof, just trying to be nice and tolerate each other.

“But if they want to overstep the mark and make my life too unhappy, I’m off. You are going to lose out because I am not going to come to your tournaments. I’m going to lose out because, really, I want to play.”

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