Ronnie O’Sullivan focussed and prepared for more Masters history

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Betfred World Snooker Championship - Day Seven

Ronnie O’Sullivan is aiming at an incredible eighth Masters title this year (Picture: Getty Images)

Ronnie O’Sullivan has let the world know that he has been working hard in preparation for the Masters as he looks to break his own record with an incredible eighth title this week.

The Rocket often claims to do very little practice ahead of events, but he was at Alexandra Palace and on the practice table as early as Sunday, with his first round game against Jack Lisowski not until Tuesday afternoon.

The 46-year-old was back at it again on Monday, posting a picture on social media of some more preparation in a clear sign that he at least wants people to know he is in London this week fully focussed on claiming the title.

The six-time world champion will be full of confidence again after winning the World Grand Prix last month and ending a title drought which ran back till the 2020 World Championship.

HIs old friend Jimmy White told Eurosport: ‘I think O’Sullivan desperately needed to win a tournament. Before the Grand Prix, it was the World Championship was his last tournament he won.

‘But he’d been practicing hard. For me, I think he really wants to win. He doesn’t want to admit it. But winning that Grand Prix will give him a confidence.

‘He has got every chance in this tournament.’

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The Rocket’s preparation caught the eye of Judd Trump, who gets his campaign underway on Wednesday against Mark Allen, believing O’Sullivan’s work on the practice table illustrates just how big the Masters is for players.

‘It’s an event that…even if you’re Ronnie O’Sullivan, I saw him practicing on social media at the arena on Sunday and he doesn’t play till Tuesday,’ Trump told Metro.co.uk. ‘If he’s there a couple of days early to check it out, despite playing in it 20-odd times, you know it’s a special event.’

O’Sullivan against Lisowski was one of the standout draws at the Masters and it is sure to excite the Alexandra Palace crowd, an audience that is always fully behind the Rocket.

‘Always a great atmosphere when O’Sullivan plays,’ said White on Eurosport on Monday. ‘He’s trying to win his eighth title. He’s just won the last tournament so it’s nice he’s been trying.

‘He got beat in all them finals [five last season] but won the last tournament he was in so he’ll have that extra bit of confidence.’

Former world number three Neal Foulds is not only tipping O’Sullivan to beat Lisowski but to go on to win the whole thing this week and go two clear of Stephen Hendry with the most Masters wins.

‘I do believe Lisowski is good draw for O’Sullivan who has dominated many of their past matches and clearly enjoys the open, aggressive way Lisowski plays the game,’ Foulds told Sporting Life.

‘I think O’Sullivan will have the edge again and he’s my fancy to claim what would be his eight Masters crown.’

O’Sullivan and Lisowski meet at 1pm on Tuesday with the winner going on to play Neil Robertson in the quarter-finals.



Most Masters titles

8: Ronnie O’Sullivan
6: Stephen Hendry
3: Mark Selby
3: Cliff Thorburn
3: Steve Davis
3: Paul Hunter
2: Alex Higgins
2: John Higgins
2: Mark Williams


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