Snooker star Ronnie O’Sullivan has said he is finding it hard to quit the sport because he’s “winning more than ever”.
The 42-year-old, who has often hinted at retiring from the sport, told the Big Issue magazine that it’s “difficult to walk away when you are getting results”.
O’Sullivan’s comments come despite the fact he was knocked out in the second round of the World Snooker Championship on 28 April.
‘Rocket’ Ronnie lost 13-9 to Ali Carter after the two players had an angry exchange by the side of the table.
He was also knocked out in the first round of the China Open after losing 6-2 to Elliot Slessor on 3 April.
O’Sullivan, who is ranked number two in the world, was beaten despite chalking up his 14th maximum 147 break.
Prior to those defeats the five-time world champion had been racking up the kind of victories he claims are making it hard for him to retire.
Reflecting on the future of his career, he told the Big Issue: “One foot is already out. But the bad thing is that I am winning more than ever.
“It is very difficult to walk away when you are getting results.
“I am not practising like I used to, I am not devoted like I used to be, but I am still winning.
“It is like an injured animal – I can’t put my snooker career out of its misery.”
O’Sullivan won the Players Championship in March 2018, with the tournament featuring the top 16 players in the world.
He also defeated Ding Junhui 10-3 to win the 2018 Ladbrokes World Grand Prix in February 2018.
The victory came just months after he landed his sixth UK Championship title in December 2017.
O’Sullivan, from Chingwell in Essex, also won the Shanghai Masters and the English Open earlier in 2017.
Alongside his five World Championships, O’Sullivan has won seven Masters titles and a joint record six UK Championships.
He has also scooped 33 ranking titles, second only to Stephen Hendry’s record of 36.
O’Sullivan is estimated to have won £9.2m in prize money, which would be the most ever for a professional snooker player.