Other players 'fear' O'Sullivan
Tags: Ronnie O'Sullivan,Championship League
Snooker icon Steve Davis believes Ronnie O'Sullivan instils a "fear" into the minds of his rivals when they turn up at a tournament. Davis has also suggested that 'The Rocket', now 42, is still improving and that his ice-cool attitude on the table means he can go on winning the biggest events beyond his 50th birthday.
O'Sullivan will be defending his title at the Dafabet Masters at Alexandra Palace next week and is aiming to win the tournament for the eighth time in front of an adoring hometown crowd in London. The five-time world champion has been in blistering form recently, winning the English Open, Shanghai Masters and UK Championship since October. Davis says O'Sullivan can win tournaments without being at his absolute best and that is something every other player has to contend with. "He's an even more complete, mature player than he has been in the past," said Davis. "It's astonishing to think that even into his 40s, he's still the most feared player. He's got a B-game which can win events, and very few players can do that. "Going into any event, the other players are fearful of what Ronnie can achieve when he's at the top of his game, and they know they have to produce their best standard."
O'Sullivan is the favourite for the Dafabet Masters at 11/5, with world number one Mark Selby next best in the betting at 17/4. Six-time world champion Davis, now a snooker pundit, admits there are very few weaknesses in O'Sullivan's game these days. "Ronnie is effectively becoming the ultimate player and he doesn't appear to suffer from pressure or tension in his game," Davis added. "Throughout his career he has had blips along the way, but I don't think his game as a snooker player, or his mind as a snooker player, has ever stopped improving."
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