Rocket needs boost as O'Sullivan drops out of snooker top 16 for first time
11:27 GMT, 26 September 2012
The latest World Snooker rankings have confirmed that world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan has fallen out of the top 16 for the first time since he entered it.
O'Sullivan, now 36, joined the game's elite 19 years ago but, despite winning a fourth world crown in May, is now out of the leading group.
That comes as a result of his self-imposed delayed start to the season, with his stalling over signing a player's contract meaning he missed the Shanghai Masters, the Australian Open and the Wuxi Classic.
On the slide: O'Sullivan's ranking has suffered after sitting out a number of events
World Snooker rankings
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His participation in ranking events remains, though, as he is automatically seeded second as a result of his Crucible win.
He will play at the International Championship in China next month.
O'Sullivan now sits 17th, with Mark Selby first, Judd Trump second and John Higgins up from fifth to third after his Shanghai win over Trump.