Dennis Taylor: Ronnie O'Sullivan can continue winning world titles into his 50s

Snooker legend Dennis Taylor told Planet Sport he is backing Ronnie O'Sullivan to win this year's world championship tournament in Sheffield.

O'Sullivan secured his 13th semi-final at the Crucible and is two wins away from equalling Stephen Hendry's record of seven world titles.

The Rocket only needed the first two frames of the final session on Wednesday to beat Stephen Maguire 13-5 and progress into the last four.

O'Sullivan - who scored a century in the first and final frames against Maguire - will now play either John Higgins or Jack Lisowski in the next round and according to Taylor, Hendry's record will be playing on his mind.

Ronnie O'Sullivan, Snooker World Championship

"He's looked so relaxed throughout the tournament and I said I picked Ronnie to win it before the start," Taylor told Planet Sport. "He's proving to be playing at the top of his form and even with the tip trouble he had, he's still doing enough to win the match.

"Stephen Maguire didn't get off to a good start against him. I thought he was going to give him a tougher match but he looked so relaxed around the venue and now that he's down to the one table situation that's when these top players come into their own.

"He [O'Sullivan] says he's not bothered about Stephen Henry's seven world titles - he's bothered, he wants to equal Stephen because I know he admires him. He wants to do that so hopefully, he'll lift that trophy on Monday but the few other players have got something to say about that."

Despite being 46 years old, O'Sullivan shows no signs of slowing down and is the current world number one.

O'Sullivan - who has won the most ranking titles (38) in the sport's history - said he no longer classed himself as a snooker player after his win over Maguire and has other priorities.

One of his upcoming projects will be opening a bar and restaurant which includes pool tables, plenty of sport and 'some nice food on the menu'.

However, Taylor thinks his love for snooker will keep him playing for many years to come and if he still has the desire, then he expects him to break even more records.

Ronnie O'Sullivan

"I think he can go on. He keeps himself so fit there's no reason why he can't go on and play until he's 50. He can be winning world titles into his early 50s if he wanted to.

"If he can keep the enthusiasm that you need. He keeps himself so fit and I think he'll still be playing in his 50s. He loves the game too much to give the game up.

"Mark Williams is remarkable. When he won his third world title nobody envisaged that and now he's playing as well as he's ever done but now he's got a tough match against Yin Bingtao. And now we could have all four players in the semi-finals in their 40s," added Taylor when asked about the class of 92.

"I remember 10 years ago, people were saying 'you had to be in your early 20s, it's a young man's game to win a ranking event' and there we go with the class of 92 plus Stuart Bingham who is back playing well."

READ MORE: John Higgins, Ronnie O'Sullivan and Mark Williams not only in peak form but could play on until 60s

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