Ronnie O’Sullivan believes his form has sharpened over recent months as he looks ahead to snooker’s Dafabet Masters, which starts on Sunday.
Last year, O’Sullivan won snooker’s biggest invitation event for the sixth time to equal Stephen Hendry’s record, and he is now aiming for a seventh crown.
The tournament at Alexandra Palace in London runs from January 15 to 22 with the world’s top 16 players contesting the trophy and a top prize of £200,000.
O’Sullivan made a slow start to the current season but feels he has since got close to his best form, particularly at the UK Championship where he reached the final before losing a classic match 10-7 against Mark Selby.
“My game is a lot better now than it was in September and October,” said the Rocket. “That was one of the toughest periods I’ve had in snooker. I didn’t really practise going into the start of the season and I paid the price for that.
“I had to be patient and wait for my game to come, and it has improved over the last few tournaments. At the UK Championship I thought I played very well, I just came up short in the final.”
Chigwell’s 41-year-old O’Sullivan will face China’s Liang Wenbo in his opening match on Sunday at 1pm in front of a capacity crowd of 2,000, the session having sold out several weeks ago. He has traditionally received enthusiastic support from the London fans but O’Sullivan does not feel that gives him an advantage.
“It can go both ways,” he added. “If it’s not going for me then it can put more pressure on me to make something happen. If things are going my way then I can feed off the crowd’s momentum. I have won a lot of tournaments away from London so it’s not that big a factor – what’s more important is whether my game is strong enough for the week.”
Tickets and fantastic VIP packages are still available for certain sessions including the quarter-finals on Thursday January 19 and Friday January 20. But fans MUST ACT FAST TO BOOK SEATS.
A NEW RECORD has already been set for the most tickets sold prior to the Masters starting and this could lead to another record, by the end of the event, for the most tickets sold in the tournament’s history.
For the latest availability visit http://www.worldsnooker.com/tickets