Another world title would be anticlimax' for O'Sullivan

London (AFP) –


Ronnie O'Sullivan insisted Friday he had no interest in equalling Stephen Hendry's modern-day record of seven titles on the eve of defending his world snooker championship crown.

The 45-year-old O'Sullivan is widely regarded as the most naturally gifted cueman in snooker history.

But the six-time world champion has often given the impression of being out of love with the game, with the Englishman saying he planned to treat his latest trip to Sheffield's Crucible Theatre as a "holiday".

"Winning the World Championship has always seemed an anticlimax to me, the same as walking out as defending champion," O'Sullivan said.

"It is what it is, it either floats your boat or it doesn't.

"I wish I shared your excitement about going for my seventh (title), but I don't," he also told reporters.

"It suits my lifestyle, and playing snooker is probably the one part of it that I like the least.

"If I could not play, that would be great, and I could just take the other benefits of snooker, but I suppose you're never going to love 100 percent of what you do, so I just have to suck it up and get through some of the playing parts."

O'Sullivan thrashed Kyren Wilson 18-8 in last year's world final.

But this season has seen the 'Rocket' lose all five finals in which he has been involved, including commanding defeats by Neil Robertson and John Higgins.

"I'm just here to enjoy it," added O'Sullivan ahead of his first-round match against Crucible debutant Mark Joyce.

"If I wasn't to do well in the tournament it's not the end of the world...I've just got to go and hit a few balls -- I'd rather not, but that is part of the job I suppose.

"It's always a grind here, and sometimes the earlier it's over the better."