Ronnie's return! O'Sullivan confirms he will defend World Championship in April
: 18-11 – Ali Carter
He has until the end of tomorrow to
submit paperwork to World Snooker to register for the tournament and,
although he has dropped out of the top 16, will be a top seed as
reigning champion and will not have to qualify.
O'Sullivan said: 'I was a bit bored.
It was nice to have a year out, I had a lot of fun and needed the rest.
But I thought it was time to get back to doing what I've done for a lot
of my life.
'I have a different perspective now and thought it was worth giving it another whirl.
Favourites: O'Sullivan with Jimmy White at his press conference
Decorated: O'Sullivan won his fourth world title in 2012 when he beat Ali Carter in the final
CAN RONNIE WIN IT YOU BET!
Ronnie O'Sullivan is now priced by at 8/1 to successfully defend his World Championship:
Judd Trump 11/2Mark Selby 11/2John Higgins 11/2Neil Robertson 11/2Ronnie O'Sullivan 8/1Ding Junhui 12/1Shaun Murphy 12/1
Odds supplied by Ladbrokes
'I certainly feel refreshed. I was never out of juice anyway. I could've kept going in snooker.
'I wasn't mentally exhausted I just needed to take time out.'
O'Sullivan hopes to play on for at
least two or three years, but did not rule out continuing beyond that
for another seven or eight. He said it depends on how he copes mentally
with the demands of the game.
He added: 'Even in my darkest moments of snooker, I'd probably take them back now.
'I just need to get back to potting some balls and getting back to winning.
'Snooker is a means to an end. You only get one life, want to make the most of it.'
1975: Born Wordsley, West Midlands, December 5.
1987: Wins his first pro-am tournament at the age of 12.
1991: Scores his first 147 aged 15.
1992: Turns professional.
1993: Becomes youngest winner of ranking tournament at 17, beating Stephen Hendry to win UK Championship.
1994: Wins British Open.
1995: Wins the Masters.
Asian Classic and German Open. Found guilty by snooker's governing body
of assaulting an official at the World Championship and handed a
two-year suspended sentence, a 20,000 fine and advised to donate
10,000 to charity.
Wins UK Championship for second time. Compiles the fastest 147 on
record in just five minutes 20 seconds during World Championship win
over Mick Price.
1998: Wins Scottish Masters. Tests positive for marijuana after winning the Irish Masters and is later stripped of the title.
Wins Champions Cup, Masters, China Open, Irish Masters and his first
World Championship – beating John Higgins 18-14 – before crushing Ken
Doherty 10-1 in UK Championship final in York.
2004: May – Beats Graeme Dott 18-8 at the Crucible to take second World Championship.
After winning the Masters, Welsh Open and Irish Masters, fails to
defend his World Championship title when losing to Peter Ebdon in
quarter-finals after being 8-2 ahead. Claims in his post-match press
conference that he will take a year off from the sport. But he plays in
every tournament of the 2005-06 campaign except the Malta Cup.
December – Loses 9-8 to Mark King
in first round of the UK Championship, sitting with a towel on his head
while his opponent is at the table.
April – Loses 17-11 to eventual champion Graeme Dott in World
Championship semi-finals and hands his cue to a member of the audience
December 14 – Walks out of his UK
Championship quarter-final with Hendry in York mid-frame when 4-1 down.
He is later fined 20,000 and docked 900 ranking points.
March – In a China Open press conference, O'Sullivan makes lewd
comments and brandishes a microphone suggestively. He later apologises
for his behaviour but is fined and docked ranking points.
May 5 – Beats Ali Carter 18-8 to win his third World Championship.
January 12 – Accuses snooker of being on a downward spiral, but wins
the Masters despite smashing up his cue the day before the tournament.
September 20 – Pots red against
Mark King at the World Open and then asks referee Jan Verhaas what the
maximum break prize is. The answer is nothing and O`Sullivan duly clears
to 140 before having to be persuaded to pot the final black.
2011: August – Records the 11th 147 of his career – a snooker record – at the Paul Hunter classic.
October: Courts controversy by
claiming he is being 'raped' and 'blackmailed' by the sport, comments
which he later apologises for.
May 7 – Wins his fourth World Championship title with an 18-11 win over
Ali Carter at Sheffield's Crucible. Announces he is to take a break
from the sport.
November 6 – Reveals he has
abandoned plans to return to the snooker tour and will miss the rest of
the season because of 'personal issues which he needs to resolve'.
2013: February 26 – Announces at a press conference that he will defend his world title in April after all.
FIVE MEMORABLE O'SULLIVAN MOMENTS
1997: Fastest-ever 147
O'Sullivan's promise had already been brought to the nation's attention by a 147 break at the age of 15 and a UK Championship title success at 17. It was at the Crucible that he really won the nation's hearts, though, effortlessly posting a maximum break in his first-round clash with Mick Price in the astonishing time of five minutes and 20 seconds.
2001: First world title win
O'Sullivan finally cashed in his potential to win the game's biggest prize by beating John Higgins 18-14. A number of near misses left some wondering if the crowd favourite would ever win in Sheffield, but he dispelled all those doubts before dedicating the win to his father, Ronnie Sr, who was then serving a life sentence for murder.
2007: Semi-final maximum
O'Sullivan's UK Championship semi-final with Mark Selby was not high on quality but nonetheless went to a 17th-frame decider. Rather than playing cagey snooker, though, O'Sullivan thumped in a breathtaking 147 and then admitted: 'I cheated a bit really. I had been counting the dots on a spoon to keep focused.' He beat Stephen Maguire in the final.
2009: New cue, same result.
Forever trying to set himself new challenges to recover his old self, O'Sullivan resorted to smashing up his cue on the eve of the 2009 Masters and set about trying to win the tournament – one of his favourite events – with a brand new cue. 'It was fun, I really went to town on it. I wanted an excuse not to play,' he said. He achieved his mission, though, beating Selby in the final.
2012: Fourth world title
O'Sullivan entered the year under something of a cloud, with further talk of retirement combined with his ever-sliding ranking. Needing a positive result at the German Masters to avoid having to qualify for the World Championship, he came back from the brink in his first-round clash with Andrew Higginson before going on to win the title with a final win over Maguire. He then maintained his form through to the Worlds, making light work of stellar names such as Mark Williams and Neil Robertson before dismantling Ali Carter in the final.