Ronnie O’Sullivan is widely considered to be the greatest snooker player ever but the Rocket has struggled over his 28 year professional career with depression, alcohol and drug abuse issues.
Despite winning a record seven Masters titles, a record seven UK Championships and five World Championships, O’Sullivan believes he could have had even more success.
Speaking to Andy Goldstein on Eurosport’s new snooker ‘vodcast’ series, the 44-year-old was asked what his “biggest regret in snooker” was.
“Maybe between 1995 and 2000 when I don’t think I properly dedicated my time to snooker,” O’Sullivan replied. “Perhaps I lost a bit of time there.
“And again between 2005 and 2007 I don’t think I won a ranking tournament for 32 months. And again 2009 to 2011. So perhaps I’ve had nine years from a 27-year playing career where I mentally wasn’t ready.”
When asked why it took him so long, he said: “I was partying quite a lot. The snooker season was September to May and the World Champs was the last tournament of the year.
“If I had a bad session I felt the sooner this is over, the sooner I can have some fun with my friends. When it came off, it was the most unbelievable feeling.
“If you win it once, it doesn’t matter if you don’t win it again because you’ve got your name on the trophy. The monkey off your back is huge, it allows you to go and play and then it’s just a case of clocking up as many titles as you can get.”
O’Sullivan also ranked his biggest rivalries with John Higgins and Stephen Hendry and labelled Higgins his greatest rival, saying: “He has kept me on my toes more than anybody.”