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‘Back to business’

‘Back to business’

Alex Livie

Ronnie O’Sullivan has got his focus back and is ready for the final stretch at the World Championship, Jimmy White has said.

O’Sullivan beat David Gilbert in the first round and crushed Mark Allen in the following match.

He threatened something similar when romping into a 6-2 lead over Stephen Maguire, only to struggle in the second session as he wrestled with tip issues. O’Sullivan somehow extended the lead to 11-5, and wrapped up the two frames he needed on Wednesday morning to book his place in the semi-finals.

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“He went 3-0 down to Dave Gilbert but looked really focused,” White said in the Eurosport studio. “He then played Mark Allen and took him apart.

“It has to be said against Stephen Maguire he went 6-2 up, in control of the match, and the next time he came out and looked all over the place and did not play in the second session.

“Ronnie ended up being 11-5 up, but it looked like he re-focused today. He came out, there was no looking at the tip, it looks like he has that sorted out now and is back to business.

“He looked very sharp today, took these two frames out in style like he had been doing in the first two matches.”

Alan McManus feels O’Sullivan has built his season around the World Championship, and believes he badly wants a seventh world title.

“He is good with it,” McManus said when asked about O’Sullivan’s ability to handle pressure. “He is old school in that he tries to bat the pressure off by saying things like ‘it’s a bit more practice and I’m not that bothered’. He is bothered, and he should be as it is as good as it gets.

“He will be feeling it, but he is playing well. You can see it in his eyes, he knows he is hitting it good.

“I have had a few conversations with Ronnie this season and it feels like he has been building to this.

“I think he wants it really badly. He would never say that. Why would you? Just play it down, the old school way, and let it come to you rather than chase it.”

Watch the World Championship and other top snooker live on Eurosport and discovery+.

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