Ronnie O'Sullivan withdraws from Welsh Open due to anxiety

The Englishman is widely recognised as the greatest snooker player of all time

By Web Desk
February 10, 2024
Ronnie O’Sullivan has had a history of struggling with mental health. — Reuters

Ronnie O’Sullivan confirmed that he will not be participating in the Welsh Open which is set to begin next week in Llandudno due to anxiety.

The world number one has had a successful season so far, claiming victories at the UK Championship, the Masters, and the World Grand Prix.

However, his achievements have been overshadowed by health concerns, leading to his withdrawal from several lower-ranking events.

O'Sullivan announced his withdrawal from the tournament on his X, formerly Twitter, account.

“Morning everyone, I wanted to inform you that I’ve decided I won’t be able to compete in Llandudno next week," he wrote on X. “It's difficult to explain, but I’ve experienced stage fright at times for years, brought on by anxiety. It’s something I can't always predict or control, but I try to manage it as best as I can.

“I apologise to everyone who has purchased tickets, but I am unable to perform at my best in this state, and I believe this decision is best for my well-being.

“Although I won't be playing, I still wish to be involved in the tournament, so I'll be contributing to Eurosport’s coverage, and I hope to see you all there.”

The Welsh Open marks the seventh ranking event O’Sullivan has opted out of this season, including the Champion of Champions event in Bolton last November.

After pulling out of the German Masters in January, O’Sullivan emphasized the importance of prioritising his “health and wellbeing,” despite his continued success on the table.

He has faced scrutiny from the sport’s governing body over comments regarding unsanctioned exhibition matches, as well as an expletive-laden outburst directed at rival Ali Carter following his Masters final victory in January, where he labelled Carter as “a nightmare.”