Ronnie backed

O'Sullivan joint-second favourite for Crucible showpiece

By Jamie Casey - Twitter: @skyjamiecasey.   Last Updated: 27/02/13 4:23pm

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Ronnie O'Sullivan: 13/2 to retain his world title in Sheffield

Ronnie O'Sullivan: 13/2 to retain his world title in Sheffield

Sky Bet

Ronnie O'Sullivan is 13/2 with Sky Bet to defend his world title after announcing he'll return to snooker at the 2013 World Championship in April.

O'Sullivan, a four-time winner of the tournament who has battled depression in the past, withdrew from the 2012-13 season in November on medical advice, causing his world ranking to drop to 24.

However, being 2012 champion, the 37-year-old will enter the competition as the top seed, meaning he'll begin his defence on April 20, the opening day at The Crucible this year.

The Rocket is 7/2 to make the final of the Sheffield event, and the same price to be eliminated in the opening round, just two of a range of O'Sullivan specials on offer from the online betting firm.

Sky Bet's Ned Brooker said: "To not have the champion defending his title would have been a great shame, so I think everyone's delighted to have The Rocket back.

"We're hoping he weaves his magic at the Crucible and go 8/1 that he makes a 147, and 13/2 that he makes the highest break of the tournament."

World Number one Judd Trump is the tournament favourite (6/1) while Mark Selby and 2010 champion Neil Robertson are also priced at 13/2.

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