O'Sullivan: 'I don't want to see Roger Federer having to qualify for..'


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O'Sullivan: 'I don't want to see Roger Federer having to qualify for..'

The five-time snooker world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan has reached the last 16 at the UK Championship, beating Zhou Yuelong 6-0 to stay on the title defense course. After the match, Ronnie had to speak about the grueling and extend season once again and his thoughts of forming some kind of "Champions League-style" Tour with eight players from the top, including John Higgins and the retired seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry.

O'Sullivan has been known as the player for big occasions and toughest possible rivals and he never liked the idea of extending the number of ranking tournaments and the fact they have to play all around the world with little breaks.

He is now ready to play on a regular basis but only at the greatest snooker venues and against the challenging rivals who would have drawn the best from each other right from the very first round. Ronnie has mentioned the examples from football (Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo) and the ATP Tour, speaking about his favorite Roger Federer and also Rafael Nadal :

"I am looking for seven or eight real top-quality players," said O'Sullivan. "I want to play in quality events, good venues against great players and that is what inspires me.

The tour is fantastic for a lot of people but it is not for everybody. The public will have the choice of the best playing each other every week. You don't see Leyton Orient turning up to play Lionel Messi at Barcelona. It does not happen.

It is demotivating. Messi would get fed up having to playing Huddersfield Town and Orient. He wants to play against Cristiano Ronaldo and wants to hear the Champions League music. It gets you excited. There is space for two tours.

Everyone loves choice. I don't need lots of top players, I am not looking for an alternative tour. I am looking for seven or eight real top-quality players, Champions League or ATP tennis style. Every match would be a final.

As a sportsman, I like to see the green jacket in golf, I like to see Roger Federer in tennis coming out looking slick at Wimbledon. I don't want to see Federer at Richmond Park having to qualify for Wimbledon. The guy deserves a bit more than that.

If they asked him to do that he would probably swerve it. John Higgins is no different to Federer or Rafael Nadal, they are in different sports but at the same level of class."