O'Sullivan returns to defend title and combat boredom

Updated: 2013-02-27 09:12


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O'Sullivan returns to defend title and combat boredom

England's Ronnie O'Sullivan plays a shot against China's Ding Junhui during the first round match in the BGC Masters Snooker tournament at Alexandra Palace in north London on January 15, 2012.  [Photo/Agencies]

World snooker champion Ronnie O'Sullivan will defend his title this year after announcing on Tuesday that he was returning to the sport after growing bored in his 10-month break.

The 37-year-old Englishman announced last June he was taking time off from competitive snooker and had spoken of quitting altogether due to the pressure to compete in an increasing number of tournaments around the world before his change of heart.

"I've had a nice year out, I've enjoyed it, had a lot of fun, I needed the rest but I just thought it was time to get back to doing what I've done for a lot of my life," the four-times world champion told a news conference in London.

"Three or four months ago I was sitting there thinking I'd take being beaten 10-0 at Sheffield just to be back playing rather than just sitting there, not really having much going on in my life other than getting up and going out for lunches and dinners and chilling out.

"I got a bit bored of that to be honest."

O'Sullivan, one of snooker's most charismatic players, will have his work cut out to sharpen his game before the April 20-May 6 world championship in Sheffield, England, as he has played in only three or four exhibitions during his break.

"I'll be very match rusty...it's going to be a tough call to go in there with no match practice behind me...it's going to be a massive challenge but I just see this as the start of the bigger picture really," he said.

"I'm used to being written off and coming back. I love the challenge, I love the game, I know how good I am, I know what I'm capable of and I hope some people do write me off as that will make me even stronger."