Ronnie O’Sullivan has gone six years without winning a world title (Picture: VCG via Getty Images)Whether Ronnie O’Sullivan’s ‘game is still built for the World Championship’ remains to be seen, according to Indian Open champion Matt Selt.
O’Sullivan is the clear favourite this year to win the world title for a sixth time, but without lifting the trophy since 2013, questions have been raised over the 43-year-old’s performances at the Crucible.
The Rocket is number one in the world and few would argue that he is not the best player on the planet, or even in history, but his paucity of Sheffield victories in recent years has created confusion.
David Gilbert has questioned his focus over long matches, but Selt does not see O’Sullivan’s attitude as the problem and is at a loss to explain why Ronnie hasn’t won more world titles this decade.
O’Sullivan is the clear favourite to win the title (Picture: VCG via Getty Images)‘Ronnie’s the man to beat, there’s no doubt about that,’ Selt told Metro.co.uk. ‘He’s number one in the world and even when he’s not number one in the world he’s the best player that’s ever lived.
‘Whether his game’s still built for a World Championship remains to be seen, he’s not won it for six years and he’s the best player on the planet, so you have to look at why he hasn’t won it.
‘It’s nothing to do with his attitude because that’s phenomenal nowadays.
‘It points to him every single year and every single year he’ll have a session where he’ll have a stinker.
‘What you’ve got to remember is, although he’s better than all of us, he is human. He’s playing three session matches against people. He’s probably going to win two out of the three, but when he loses one, it can cost him.
‘He hasn’t won it for six years and there’s a reason he hasn’t won it. Some people say he’s not interested but that’s a load of nonsense, who’s not interested in winning the world title?’
O’Sullivan himself believes that it will be either himself, Judd Trump or Neil Robertson who will win the world title this year, but Selt does not agree with that assessment.
The world number 34 has thrown another name into the hat, who he describes as ‘an animal.’
‘The other two, I can’t see Robertson winning it,’ continued Selt. ‘He’s only ever won it once, 2010 and a lot of it was down to the draw, he played one top 16 player.
‘This isn’t taking anything away from how good they are because he thumped me 6-1 this year, and played like an absolute machine, but I don’t think it’s them three at all.
‘I think it’s Ronnie or it’s one of 10 people. If I was to put my house on it I would back Ronnie to win it, but if it ain’t him there’s a handful of players who can win it.
‘Apart from Ronnie being the best player in the world, you can’t look away from Mark Selby. The geezer’s game is built for the World Championships.
‘Tactically, he doesn’t care if you’re playing half an hour, 15 minutes, he can win it potting 15 individual reds or one visit.
‘He might be going through a little bit of a lull but the geezer’s an animal, especially over them distances, he does not care how long it takes. He’s so mentally strong and fit so that will play a part.
‘I’d go Ronnie first, Selby second then anyone else can win it.’
The 2019 Snooker World Championship begins on Saturday 20 April at the Crucible, with the draw taking place at 11am on Thursday 18.
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