Ronnie O’Sullivan wants snooker calendar to allow Potters return

Ronnie O'Sullivan as hailed Potters as one of his favourite snooker venues – and he hopes common sense allows him to return next season and add to his incredible Premier League haul.

The Rocket made it an unprecedented 10 titles in snooker's top non-ranking event with a dominant Hopton-on-Sea performance at the weekend, bushing aside world number two Mark Williams 5-2 in Saturday's semi-final before a 7-1 thumping of China's Ding Junhui in Sunday's climax.

Potters and Premier League hosts Matchroom Sport hope to tie up a fifth play-off visit to the Norfolk coast next year, and the three-times world champion admits he hopes to be back too – if the new, bulging snooker calendar allows.

'It's a brilliant venue to play in and the Potter family are just fantastic people,' beamed O'Sullivan. 'Every time we come here we get treated fantastically, the crowds are brilliant, everyone gets well supported and this is one of my favourite venues to come and play at – it's not too far from me either, so I love it here. Maybe I'll spend some holidays here…

'I must admit, when you have a good record in a tournament you do get a bit territorial about certain events and I suppose I'm a little bit like that with this one – especially with this format and the shot clock, it definitely suits me and a few of the other players, and I've done really well.'


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The 35-year-old from Wordsley has now won the Premier League seven times in eight years – in fact, the only way of stopping the Rocket appears to be running the Norwich Half Marathon, which he did on the Sunday morning before losing the 2009 final to Shaun Murphy.

Not that the new snooker schedule – aimed at raising the sport's profile to match its illustrious past – leaves the Rocket wanting to repeat his running feat any time soon.

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'We've got so may ranking events now and you have to prioritise,' added O'Sullivan. 'The most important thing is the ranking – you want to keep that high, so with all the ranking events on it is difficult.

'I've been living out of a suitcase for the last two months and it's not the playing, it's the travelling and sometimes to do your best you need to have a sensible calendar.

'It's been a bit hectic but I've just had to get on with it playing these events. But you never know, next year the calendar might quieten down a little bit, a little sense might prevail and it might be a little bit more manageable.

'I just love playing snooker, so I'd love to come back here. But we're not superman. We don't just pop awake, have a bowl of spinach and bang, you're away again. It's tiring and to be fair, I didn't expect to do well this week because I hit a wall last week where I was travelling for 10-12 days constantly and it can be exhausting.'

But win it Ronnie did – perfect preparation for the UK Championships, starting in York on Saturday.

'I had a bad year last year and I wasn't going to play any more and make it my last season,' admitted O'Sullivan. 'But I've managed to hook up with someone (sports psychologist, Dr Steve Peters) and he's got my head thinking right so that even why I'm not playing great I am still able to not get too down on myself.

'I think that's been the key so far this season. I've been enjoying my snooker more than I have done, so that's all you want to do as a sportsman. You just want to enjoy what you do – well I do anyway.'

Ding's first Premier League final was an achievement in itself – and he is another who hopes to be back and go one better next year.

'I had a good weekend and played well on Saturday,' said the 24-year-old. 'I was happy to get to the Premier League final, my first time, and it will give me more experience for next time.

'I like playing Ronnie. When I play well and he plays well, it is a good game. But I didn't play well.'

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