I didn't watch the Ronnie vs Bingham match, I watched Murphy vs Wallace, but on all reports, he didn't look bothered. I saw the interviews afterwards, and even Bingham said so.
He played alright, I felt against Mark Allen. He was in his favourite arena, and Mark Allen did wobble a bit towards the end, but Ronnie when he's not bothered tends to give up, and it doesn't matter how badly his opponent is playing. He still lost. He was out in his first match in Newport, though I half expected that. I've rarely seen anybody play as good as Ryan Day did against Jimmy. I thought he'd win the whole thing.
Then came the German Open. An event Ronnie pulled out of.
It does look as those he's not interested in the sport any more, and has always had a love/hate relationship with it. But his distraction from the sport seems more consistent now, and he's down to his lowest rank in years. He obviously still likes entertaining the fans, and has been up for Power Snooker/Premier League/Shootout/Legends of Snooker events. But his hunger for real, bread and butter ranking events has been sadly lacking for months. What with his dad out of jail, and his kids taking more and more of his time, has he just got other concerns these days. He has won everything there is to win, on numerous occasions. What is their left to prove?
Or are we just reading too much into this? For some players it would be considered a slump in form, but for Ronnie we always seem to expect perfect play every time we see him. People were saying he was finished that time he had gone a couple of years without a ranking title, despite still keep winning the Masters and Premier League. Will Ronnie return to form at Sheffield? Or will he just slump out, without being interested again?
As somebody who tends to mutter; "Well, if you're going to retire, get a bucking move on", every time he promised it, I got quite skeptical and bored of posters going; "Oooh, is Ronnie going to retire?" every time he pretended he would. But somehow I just don't feel he cares any more.
What do other people think?
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