Ronnie O'Sullivan confirms he will defend world championship title

Last Updated: 27/02/13 12:44pm

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Reigning champion Ronnie O'Sullivan will defend his World Championship title in April.

O'Sullivan said in November that he would not play again for the rest of the season for personal reasons, ruling out playing at the Crucible.

"I never felt mentally exhausted - I just needed to take some time out for other reasons. I always thought I would come back to playing snooker but I needed to come back with a clear head."
Ronnie O'Sullivan

That announcement came in the wake of just one appearance since his Sheffield triumph last May - a grim loss to Simon Bedford in Gloucester.

But he has confirmed he has changed his mind and the 37-year-old will try to win the sport's most prestigious tournament, which begins on April 20, for a fifth time.

Last week O'Sullivan called a press conference and speculation mounted that he would either return to defend his title - or quit the game altogether.

"I've had a lot of time out and had a lot of fun," he told Tuesday's press conference. "I've got a different perspective on it now.

"I thought it may be worth giving it another whirl. I certainly feel fresh (although) I never felt out of juice anyway, I could have kept going - snooker I don't find very difficult mentally or physically.

"I never felt mentally exhausted - I just needed to take some time out for other reasons. I always thought I would come back to playing snooker but I needed to come back with a clear head."

Few exhibitions

O'Sullivan admitted he has not played much snooker since last May. "I've played a few exhibitions - but it's probably 10 days in the last nine months," he said.

"I'm very match-rusty, I haven't played many matches or been in any tense situations. It's a tough call to go in there.

"But I was sat there three or months ago thinking I'd take getting beat 10-0 in Sheffield to be back playing rather than sitting there, not really having much going on in my life.

"Going out there and playing, win or lose, is a big part of my life. I love the game, I know how good I am, I know what I'm capable of and I hope a few people do write me off because that will make me stronger."

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