Hungry Ronnie O’Sullivan reckons it’s about time he crashed the Judd Trump, Neil Robertson and Mark Selby party, writes Will Jennings.
The Rocket scooped a sixth World Championship last summer but is yet to taste silverware this season as world No.1 Trump, No.2 Robertson and three-time world champion Selby have dominated the circuit.
2019 Crucible king Trump has already won three titles, while Selby has claimed two and Robertson won a UK Championship final thriller against the Juddernaut in December.
O’Sullivan, the world No.3, is gearing up for a crack at an eighth Masters title next week and says it’s high time he got on the board and bolstered his trophy cabinet further.
The 45-year-old, who will face 2011 champion Ding Junhui in the first round on Wednesday, said: “I haven’t yet won a tournament since the World Championship. I’ve had a couple of finals which I’m happy with, a semi-final, but I haven’t won a trophy.
“I think those three [Trump, Robertson and Selby] have dominated the season so far, so I’d like to win a bit of silverware at some point.
“I’d take any tournament – I’ve always been greedy in that sort of sense. Obviously, the majors [World Championship, UK Championship and Masters] are great to win but sometimes it’s just nice to just get a W.
“Even with the Premier League tournaments I won – I could never say after winning a tournament I’ve not enjoyed it, but obviously the World [Championship], the Masters and the UK [Championship] are a bit more extra special. But a win’s a win, sometimes.
“I just go out there and play – it’s nice that [the Masters] is a chance and is a local tournament for me [at Alexandra Palace].
“I think I’ve got another three years, maximum, playing on the tour, so I want to enjoy it as much as I can before I decide to maybe move on to play at a different level on a different platform.”
O’Sullivan’s 20 Triple Crown titles – seven Masters, seven UK Championship and six World Championships – are a record and he will bid to equal Stephen Hendry’s seven Crucible crowns in Sheffield this year.
January’s Masters was due to host 1000 fans per session at Alexandra Palace but will now be held behind closed doors in Milton Keynes as coronavirus cases soar.
That means every tournament this season continues to be held at the Covid-secure Marshall Arena, based on a retail park and with players forced to comply with strict coronavirus restrictions on-site.
O’Sullivan will miss the atmospheric Ally Pally buzz and admits he’s ready for a change of scene from the monotony of the Buckinghamshire baize.
“Obviously it would have been nice to have a crowd,” he added.
“It’s nice to just go to different places – it’s just the same setup every day [in Milton Keynes].
“You’re just on a retail park – there isn’t a nice city centre or village to go and relax and unwind in.
“You have a Marks [and Spencer], a Nando’s, a Wagamama and that’s it! And a Kentucky Fried Chicken and a McDonald’s. After a while you get a bit fed up with that.”
Watch the London Masters live on Eurosport and Eurosport app from Jan 10