Ronnie O’Sullivan made headlines once again as he turned Australian in a post-match interview on Monday.
The Rocket – widely considered the game’s greatest ever – is closing in on 1,000 career centuries at the Coral Players Championship in Preston, and celebrated a first-round win over Barry Hawkins by talking in an Australian accent.
O’Sullivan said “when you talk Aussie, the Aussies are just winners mate, you know? You’ve got to love a winner” as he assessed the match, and the interview is the latest in a long line of candid moments from the 43-year-old.
Here, Press Association Sport looks at some of his other illuminating interviews.
2018: English Open, Crawley
O’Sullivan felt the K2 Leisure Centre in Crawley was not good enough to host the English Open, calling it a “hellhole” and saying he could smell urine.
“I don’t know what this gaff is but I’ve just done an interview and all I can smell is urine,” he said.
2018: UK Championship York
O’Sullivan started the successful defence of his UK Championship title by saying he was ready to start a breakaway tour. Unhappy at the top players entering a flat draw, he said: “You don’t see Leyton Orient turning up to play (Lionel) Messi at Barcelona. They might play in the FA Cup, not week in, week out. It’s demotivating.
“I think Messi would get fed up having to come out and play Huddersfield Town and Leyton Orient. He wants to play against (Cristiano) Ronaldo, hear that Champions League music. I think there’s room for two tours.”
Rival Judd Trump told him he was living on a different planet.
2017: World Grand Prix, Preston
O’Sullivan said he would no longer give in-depth media interviews – something he quickly relented on – and tackled a media commitment by answering in a robotic voice.
Saying he was responding to a disciplinary letter from World Snooker after complaining about a referee and a photographer, O’Sullivan answered questions in a short manner, later explaining: “I will no longer be talking in depth in press conferences or interviews because when I share my thoughts, I risk being fined.
“If I get fined for (not giving full answers) then I will no longer be prepared to perform all the contractual obligations we are asked to do for World Snooker.”
2016: Welsh Open, Cardiff
O’Sullivan turned down a 147 as he beat Barry Pinches, taking a pink for a 146 instead. Afterwards, he made headlines claiming he passed up the maximum because of the low prize money on offer.
He told BBC Wales: “I could have got on the black and possibly made a 147. I knew it was 10 grand and I just thought that’s a bit too cheap, really. To make a maxi, it’s such a massive achievement and if they’re going to pay us 10 grand, I think it’s worth a bit more than that.
“Once the prize goes up a bit, I’ll go for the 147. A 146 is just as good!”
2008: China Open, Beijing
During the press conference immediately after his exit from the tournament, O’Sullivan was caught on camera making a series of inappropriate comments. The comments were made as the questions and his answers were being translated and included: “Suck my d***.”
O’Sullivan later claimed he was unaware the cameras were rolling and the microphones were turned on. In response, he was made to forfeit his appearance money and ranking points from the event.