Ronnie O’Sullivan has further elaborated on his decision not to play at the Welsh Open in an appearance in the Eurosport studio at the event.
O’Sullivan announced his decision on social media in a statement that read: “Morning guys, I wanted to let you know that I’ve decided I’m not able to play in Llandudno next week.
“It’s hard to explain but for years I’ve suffered from stage fright at times, brought on by anxiety. It’s not something I can predict or control, but I try to manage it as best as I can.
“I’m sorry to everyone who’s bought tickets, but I just can’t get my cue out when I feel like this and I think this is what’s best for me right now.
“I still want to be around the tournament, so I’ll be doing some work with Eurosport and I hope to see you all there.”
O’Sullivan had been due to face Liam Graham in the first round in the afternoon session on Monday, but instead he was in the Eurosport studio to watch Neil Robertson begin his campaign.
When asked by Casey about his decision not to play in the tournament, O’Sullivan gave an insight into his thinking.
“Yeah, it’s good [to be back], I think it is a great tournament, a great venue, and it is really nice to be on the coast,” O’Sullivan said.
“So it is always a great week and I think everyone loves just coming to this tournament. The key for me is if I can get away with playing the least amount, that is great for me.
“Just trying to stay in the rankings and free some time up, just enjoying myself. I don’t want to be on the treadmill every week, you know.”
Asked about fellow world champion Robertson’s form and relating that to his current decisions regarding his schedule, O’Sullivan backed the Australian to thrive.
“I know he hasn’t had any good results for him, but I don’t know why,” O’Sullivan said. “I just think if he just goes and plays the way he has been playing since he turned professional, he should be fine.
“I mean, we all have our ups and downs – little periods in your career when you don’t play as well. But it would not surprise me if either him or [Mark] Selby or someone like Ali Carter went on to win the World Championship.
“You can just have a dire time, but then it is just a tournament at the end of the day. You have just got to get it right for a week or two weeks and then back, you are flying.
“I think it will probably be the ones who haven’t done well who will probably start to do well now, you know.”
“Just touching on Ronnie and Judd, the fact is that winners can be choosers,” he said.
“That is just the way that modern sport, and certainly snooker, is. They are entitled to do [that], for whatever reason it may be week-on-week. They win, so they can pick and choose. It is as simple as that.
“The Welsh Open is a big title in its own right.”