Ronnie O’Sullivan tonight claimed Stephen Hendry could be the first in a line of players to quit snooker as he complained about “relentless” demands on players.
Any lingering doubts that O’Sullivan might not have the form or the temperament to land a fourth Betfred.com World Championship title were emphatically dispelled as he beat Neil Robertson 13-10 in the Crucible quarter-finals.
Robertson’s title dream was crushed on a day when O’Sullivan played at times exquisitely to close out victory over the Australian.
At the age of 36 years and three months, O’Sullivan would become the oldest world champion since Ray Reardon triumphed aged 45 in 1978.
Matthew Stevens stands in his way of a first appearance in the final since 2008, when the game’s most thrilling player lifted the Crucible trophy for a third time.
O’Sullivan has threatened to retire on many occasions, and reacting to Hendry’s move to quit and promote pool in China, the three-time world champion said: “I’m not surprised really. I’m pleased he has because he has nothing to prove in the game.