Snooker: O’Sullivan ‘feeling better than ever’

PUBLISHED: 15:17 22 April 2018 | UPDATED: 15:17 22 April 2018

Ronnie O'Sullivan and Stephen Maguire at the 2018 Betfred World Championship at The Crucible, Sheffield (pic Richard Sellers/PA)

Ronnie O'Sullivan and Stephen Maguire at the 2018 Betfred World Championship at The Crucible, Sheffield (pic Richard Sellers/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

He is in the middle of his best ever season and the heavy favourite to win a sixth world crown, but Ronnie O’Sullivan says his secret is simple – a green salad and a jog.

The Rocket, once renowned for his hard-partying lifestyle, has transformed into the new Joe Wicks and plans to release a nutrition book in December.

And he needed all the extra energy he now has to reach round two at the Betfred World Championship, coming from 4-0 and 6-3 behind to beat Stephen Maguire 10-7 at the Crucible Theatre.

With main rival, the defending champion Mark Selby, already knocked out it is hard to see O’Sullivan being stopped in his quest of a record-breaking sixth ranking event title of the season.

And, to worry all his rivals, he says his new lifestyle will help stay at the top of his game for years to come.

“I feel like I could live to 200, I feel better now than I ever have done – it’s odd,” he said.

“I have tried all sorts of diets and if you don’t get it right then you can feel really bad. I know this one works and it will work for everyone. I am super-excited for the next 40 years.

“I was always fit but through injuries I could not run as much and I ballooned up to 15 stone and now I have lost two through eating differently.

“I am never hungry, I have massive amounts of energy and I just want to help as many people as I can and compared to the average Briton I will always look well because we are an unhealthy country.”

O’Sullivan is not in action again until Friday, when he will take on the winner of Mark Allen, who beat O’Sullivan at The Masters, and Liam Highfield.

And he will know he must improve after a dreadful first session on Saturday, where he gift-wrapped Maguire a 6-3 overnight lead.

He found his swagger yesterday and took advantage of multiple Maguire errors to win seven frames out of eight – including his 1000th at the Crucible.

“It was so embarrassing in that first session, I felt like giving the people all their money back,” he added.

“I was really gutted because they took a Saturday afternoon to watch some snooker and thank God Stephen potted some balls.

“I have been playing like that for a while in practice. You just want to battle though and I feel very lucky to be in the next round now.”

*Watch the snooker World Championship LIVE on Eurosport and Eurosport Player with Colin Murray and analysis from Ronnie O’Sullivan, Jimmy White and Neal Foulds.

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