MX23RW : Thursday, December 13 06:52:26

Ronnie O'Sullivan expects "changing of the guard"

Five-time world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan reveals that he felt "way off the pace" during his quarter-final defeat to Stuart Bingham at the World Championship.

Ronnie O'Sullivan has insisted that he won't compete in minor tournaments in order to maintain his position as one of the leading players in the sport.

The five-time world champion suffered a 13-9 defeat to Stuart Bingham in the quarter-finals of the World Championship on Wednesday night, and the Englishman has revealed that he expects a "changing of the guard" to take place in the near future.

The 39-year-old is quoted by BBC Sport as saying: "I've had 20 years at the top - eventually there has to be a changing of the guard. I was way off the pace. He just pushed me around and I felt second best all match.

"You can't start looking for form these days. I made so many unforced errors. Before you might have got away with it, but now you get punished by all the players.

"If you don't play the minor tournaments, you are going to get left behind. I am not prepared to play in the minor events either, though."

O'Sullivan had previously defeated Craig Steadman and Matthew Stevens to reach the last eight.


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Ronnie O'Sullivan of England poses with the trophy and his son Ronnie after beating Barry Hawkins of England to win the Betfair World Snooker Championship at the Crucible Theatre on May 6, 2013
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