'I'm not as good as I was' - Snooker legend Ronnie O'Sullivan hints at retirement

The Rocket unhappy with World Grand Prix performance despite win.

Ronnie O'Sullivan breezed past Hossein Vafaei at the World Grand Prix then suggested he may retire from snooker in three years.

O'Sullivan started slowly against the Iranian, although he quickly found his mojo to advance into the last 16 of the competition with a 4-1 win.

'The Rocket,' though, was typically unimpressed with his performance, although added that it's something he probably now expects from time to time, and be believes he has 'earned the right to stink a few places out.'

Vafaei defeated O'Sullivan at the German Masters without conceding a frame but could not reproduce a similar performance.

He took the opening frame of the match but O'Sullivan reeled off the next three frames. The six-time world champion did not make a substantial break until the fourth frame - when a century took him within a frame of victory.

An unanswered 81 got O'Sullivan over the line and afterwards he told ITV Sport: "I will stink places out for another three years, I want three more world titles and I have earned the right to smell a few places out.

"Then if it doesn't get any better it's time to hang the cue up. I still love the game but you can't play like that, I can't anyway.

"It is showing in my results, I used to win a lot of tournaments but now get caught out in semis, quarters, finals, and there is a reason for that.

"I'm not as good as I was, but I accept that. I am not one of these deluded people, I am quite realistic and there is only so much juice to squeeze out of the lemon."

O'Sullivan will face Jimmy Robertson for a place in the semi-finals after he overcame Scottish Open champion Luca Brecel 4-3.

Mark Selby ended Tom Ford's impressive run with a 5-2 victory and he will face Neil Robertson, who edged a thriller against Yan Bingtao 5-4.

The deciding frame came down to a battle on the blue with each player unable to quite manipulate the balls to their liking, before Robertson chanced a risky pot and then knocked in the pink for victory.

Stephen Maguire produced an inspired comeback from 3-1 down to snatch victory from Jack Lisowski and the Scot will next play Stuart Bingham, who survived a tense rematch of the 2020 Masters final against Ali Carter in an encounter that also went to a deciding frame.

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