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Neil Robertson Interview-Eurosport TR

Postby infazure

Neil Robertson: No one cannot be like Ronnie O’Sullivan / The Special Interview

Neil Robertson knows that what the meaning of Ronnie O’Sullivan for snooker is. The new number one interviewed with Turkey.

Interviewer : I
Neil Robertson : NR

I : Are you satisfied with your performance in Sofia?

NR : Yes, I guess. In the first day of tournament, I could have come to Sofia at 03.00 a.m. and not to have any problem after this exhausting flight is really important for me. As a result, native opponents you played have a serious motivation against you. Not to give any hope in match and not to give rise to thought like “Hey, I can beat you” are significant. You can go on your way when you do like this.

I : In these days, snooker is more globalized with Barry Hearn’s “enlargement” idea. Stephen Hendry is not within the plan and Ronnie O’Sullivan probably won’t be there anymore. We know that most players at Main Tour do not like PTCs and do not want to be out of United Kingdom. What is your opinion about this issue? Does the ruthless schedule have careers of players ended?

NR : I agree with Barry Hearn. Look, before two years ago, income which you can earn when you win one stage of PTCs, for example in Sofia, was just 8000£. However, Barry led to double or even triple money prizes in this game played by professionals as spreading the worldwide. Today, if you are a champion in Sofia, you will get money prize like more than 20000£.

Participation to Main Tour increased much more with the idea of “New Snooker”. This game is now more popular than before. We, snooker players, were competing 12 stages of PTC until this season. Now, there are only 8 stages of PTC in schedule. Also, we don’t have to participate in all tournaments. It is preferred by players in the end. As I said before, we have a magnificent tournament system and I really get great pleasure to be in the Main Tour.

I : You were really successful, especially the second half of the calendar in the last year. Victory at China Open you titled is an important milestone for you as well as PTC Finals. So.. I guess, you realized. What happened to you at Crucible?

NR : As you said, International Open, PTC Finals and Masters. I have reached the final in these tournaments. After I got the China Open, I had given myself a week off. I had 20 days to Crucible and I felt that I must have a rest. This week when I went on Holiday and did not do any training caused being eliminated the first round of the World Championship. I was not ready neither physically nor mentally.

Besides all these, I got a very tough draw. World number 19 Robert Milkins, he is not one of the names that you'd prefer in the first round at Crucible. I had a very, very good opponent in front of me. But let me tell you, if I had done training properly, I would have probably the most over the quarter-finals. I was very tired and did not have the energy to imagine going to win the tournament.

Ohh, are you asking what would happen if I had come to World Championship as I was mentally ready? Ronnie O'Sullivan.. did not you see? I would most probably be gone down by Ronnie.

I : So burn-out? After saying goodbye to WSC in the second round, Mark Selby said that he was exhausted now. Did you ever think you got such an idea?

NR : It is not much, yet I had some short periods of burnout. Professional burnout is not a feeling occurring after each failure. It is a syndrome and you cannot reduce it is simplistic. When I compared to Mark, my problem was not to do what I've done in the other tournaments throughout the season at Crucible and before that. I could not fulfill my rituals.

I also need to add that, the standard in this year's World Championship is lower than I have not seen in a very long time. I think, that's the reason of Ronnie's domination. Players in Main Tour had too much matches during the season so Ronnie went to the very top standard.

Anyway, get back to get the question. I think that a lot of players suffer from burnout undoubtfully. Hendry, O'Sullivan and even Selby, all of these names are in the history of this game. Well, if all of them say that they lived it, they lived. However, as I mentioned at the top to be reminded that this place. Actually, it is not the reason of leaving from Crucible earlier. There were external factors but the main problem was that I had not shown enough respect to Crucible in that period.

I played in 80 percent of tournaments in the last season just so I characterize it as the best season of my career.

I : You could keep the world number one in 2010, just two and half months, now you are again on the top of rankings. Ronnie O'Sullivan repeatedly said that world ranking does not mean anything to him, does it for you?

NR : Of course. For instance, after the 2010 World Champion Title, I was thinking no one can defeat me. My self-confidence increased sharply. Victory against Ronnie O'Sullivan in the World Open Finals in Glasgow is a result of that. Self-confidence.

Being on top of the world ranking gives me a feeling of self-confidence rather than pressure. I don't feel like there is an obligation. On the contrary, I'm the world number one because I have accomplished something and I try to enjoy.

This is not about ego, believe me. "To be the world number one is not important for me. I know that I'm the best." Ronnie's words. None of us do not like Ronnie, it cannot be. Ronnie O'Sullivan is the best in the world and he knows it.

I : Reanne Evans, who are fighting for a wildcard in Wuxi and who has nine women World Championship titles. How do you see the possibility of main table in tournaments? You played together in a period...

NR : Yes, in 2008, it had reached with the double world championship, I would say that I enjoyed spending time with him personally a lot. She deserves the first in history. That she remains the main table in any tournament will be fantastic situation for game.

It has always been difficult to reach the main table, especially in China. Only the cases of Wuxi, there are really different atmosphere in overseas and these events play out a little bit the ordinary norms of snooker.

You cannot be ignored the pressure of audience in China faced while playing with local players. To reach the main table in a tournament is a realistic target in United Kingdom. I hope, she will.

I : We all know that you are a passionate supporter of Chelsea. Jose Mourinho returned to Stamford Bridge earlier days and..

NR : (Cutting) Jose Mourinho! Return of Mou makes me very happy. I cannot stop thinking about it. Of course, his leading the team again will be changed at Stamford Bridge. Rafa is unloved in Chelsea due to the history in other clubs and his words about Chelsea and never loved. Mourinho is a completely different profile, you cannot compare to neither Rafa nor any other coach.

In spite of everything I think Benitez has issued a great job last season. In such difficult conditions, his team won the UEFA Champions League Trophy and finished at third place in Premier League. However, the next season will be very different, I can feel it. Gianfranco Zola has enabled me to be in favor of Chelsea and with the arrival of Mou, Eden Hazard will enable new generation of children to be in favor of Chelsea.

I : You said "Ronnie is the biggest player in history of the game" after this year's WSC. They suppose that general consensus among the players is still that Hendry is the greatest of history. Why did you tell like this?

NR : Ronnie O'Sullivan, has won five World Championship in the 13-year period and while he was doing it, he defeated Stephen Hendry, John Higgins and Mark Williams who were top players in their eras. Also, Ronnie defeated the new generation players like Judd and me. Ronnie has almost dominated three different generation players after Hendry had just dominated his own period. Here I'm talking about 15-20-year period. This is not an easy task.

For this reason, I think that Ronnie is the "best" player in the history. That's obviously a fact. Of course, Stephen Hendry is the "most successful" player. In fact, you saw that. Who could defeat Ronnie in the final of this year's WSC? Nobody. Hendry who is in the best period put in front of him, the result would be what? In order to push him out of tournament in semifinals, Judd tried everything possible. He continued on his way. In Sofia, in Gloucester or in Yixing, you can eliminate him. However, you cannot do that in WSC Semi Finals or Final.

I : Does Barry Hearn know that you play World of Warcraft? Would you like to tell us your favorite character?

NR : Oh, I was not expecting it. Do I have to be honest? Do you play? At the very least help me to feel good about myself. Yes, I'm still playing World of Warcraft. My favorite character is Orc Warrior. Barry knows that I'm playing. He saw me once time while I was playing during a tournament in China. When I come back home, I have a task needed to do it. It's a little extraordinary. (Laughing)

I : After you defeated Judd in Masters, he said "Today, I was defeated by a boring opponent. Neil played at normal speed because he is already slow." What do you say about this? In general, such a description gives extra motivation for you?

NR : We were in Masters semifinals and it was absolutely great match for me. Judd said it only once. I have not played at a slower rate. 21-22 seconds and this means approximately to play John Higgins at the same speed. In my opinion, Judd thought that he could win this tournament and he started thinking like this after I defeated him as playing very well. In fact, I have not done slowly?

I have been playing for 15 years as a professional snooker player. There is no knowing when the game didn't try to slow down. Sometimes I'm not satisfied with my positions and I need to analyze the table two or three times, which makes it all the players other than Ronnie O'Sullivan. Each shot hit by Ronnie is nearly perfect and it makes him special. He doesn't need to rethink. To avoid losing control at the table I have to look at it over and over again. If I don't do that, I don't win.

I : Well, shot clock? What do you think about limited playing time?

NR : I support this idea of restriction. Likewise, Joe Perry had a remarkable idea about it. I know that many players also support him. It did not reflect in the press, but the idea is that, only as you make the pot is restricted period. In other words, if there is a snooker needed to solve or you do not start any construction of series, there is no time limitation. However, if you pot the red ball, the time starts and it is activated. I support this idea given by Joe. I hope this issue will be solved.

I : After the first match with curly hair style, cameras caught a journalist laughing as showing you. Sudden change, as if reason?

NR : There are things I cannot tell you with curly hair, let's move on another issue (Laughing) I tried to have curly hair and it was a joke one completely. "I will go on doing so until I lose" I said. Some people like this new model but also others who are really crowded do not like it and some of them are very important for me, so I chose to keep hair smoothly. After that, I suppose I would continue to do so.

Translation : Furkan Kınlı (Editor on Snooker Turkiye)

Interviewer : Uğur Ozan Sulak (Editor on Turkey)