O'Sullivan's career in doubt after world champion pulls out of China tournament
22:30 GMT, 28 October 2012
Ronnie O’Sullivan’s snooker career looks to be on the brink after his latest tournament withdrawal.
The Rocket pulled out of his planned comeback from a six-month break at this week’s 600,000 International Championship in China at the weekend.
And the 36-year-old, who scorched to a fourth world title in May, now looks certain to lose his top-20 position.
End of an era Ronnie O'Sullivan pulled out of another event over the weekend
O’Sullivan has entered just one more ranking event this year, December’s UK Championship, with no guarantee he will show up.
And sources close to the player claim he has no intention of returning to the fray at the moment.
The player seems poised to snub next year’s Welsh, World and China Opens for which the entry deadline is November 12.
After such a magnificent display at The Crucible this year it seems inconceivable O’Sullivan would not defend his title there. But the world champion may have to do it with no match practice for a season, ranked in the 30s, and risking humiliation.
Six-time world champion Steve Davis, though, reckons snooker’s switch to a prize-money ranking list could yet save O’Sullivan.
That would enable the world No 17 to cherry-pick big-money events, rather than play all year.
Golden oldie Davis, 55, was in action at the Wyldecrest Park Homes World Seniors on Sunday.
He said: ‘Picking and choosing will suit Ronnie more than the current system. He may not be in the top 16 that qualify for the Masters, but he won’t be getting out of the game.’