Ronnie O’Sullivan has poked fun at Mark Allen’s lifestyle of ‘curry, beets and bets’ ahead of their World Championship meeting in the second round at the Crucible Theatre on Friday.
The 46-year-old focuses on maintaining fitness at this stage of his career and has said that running and time in the gym helps keep his mentality in check during the snooker season. He believes his lifestyle choices differ immensely from Allen – who defeated Scott Donaldson 10-6 in the first round.
“I think snooker can be one of the toughest sports – you’re away from home a lot, you don’t see your family, you’re just continually going round playing,” said O’Sullivan. “I try to run, do my gym, keep my sanity and keep my health, but some people find what I do painful.
“Mark Allen is like, ‘What? I’ve got to run seven miles, go to the gym? I’d rather have a curry, have a few bets on the football and have a few beers with my mates’.
“That’s how he deals with it. Steve Davis used to play chess. You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.”
The six-time champion was clearly sending shots at Allen, whose own pre-match comments may have triggered O’Sullivan. The 15th seed said: “A day in the life of Ronnie O’Sullivan – I’m not sure I would want to be in it.
“He’ll always bring a lot of off-table stuff with him, but that’s part and parcel of what he brings to the sport.”
The duo are scheduled to clash on Friday in the first session of their best-of-19 frame match, with the second session on Friday evening. The contest will be concluded on Saturday afternoon.
The former Masters champion defeated O’Sullivan at this stage of the World Championship back in 2009, and the World No. 1 acknowledged it will be a tough battle.
“I think he’s going to be world champion one day,” O’Sullivan added. “I think he’s one of those players who has the game and mentality to win this tournament.”
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O’Sullivan is looking to reach the quarter-finals for just the second time in the last seven years, where he would meet the winner of Zhao Xintong and Stephen Maguire. O’Sullivan is a huge fan of Zhao and has been mentoring the 25-year-old, who won this year’s UK Championship.
“He could be the greatest of all time with his talent and ability,” O’Sullivan said. “I see him as a Roger Federer with a cue in his hand.
“I just want to see him develop, for all the snooker fans to see the best Xintong. Hopefully I can help support him, a bit like what Ray Reardon did with me.”