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Ronnie O’Sullivan opens up on retirement and names where he wants to bow out

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RONNIE O’SULLIVAN admits he would like to end his snooker career in Asia.

The Rocket, 47, is a global superstar and is usually mobbed by fans whenever he goes to the Far East for tournament appearances.

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Seven-time world champ Ronnie O’ Sullivan says he’d like to finish his career where snooker is more popular – ‘like in China, Thailand and Hong Kong’Credit: PA:Press Association

This week, the world No1 is in Thailand for the Six Red World Championship, which returns to the calendar after a four-year absence due to the Covid pandemic.

The event has a quick-fire format due to the shorter pack of reds on the table.

After beating Jimmy Roberson 5-3 on Tuesday, O’Sullivan will play 16-year-old Stan Moody the next day and then home favourite James Wattana in group action.

Yet O’Sullivan is aiming to become the King of Thailand for the first time since lifting the Asian Classic in 1996.

The reigning world champion said: “Since arriving here, I have tried to stay away from the touristy bits if I can.

“But this format is scary. One mistake and virtually it could be game over.

“One snooker and the reds are out in the open, and I am in trouble.

“It’s a good event but I have wanted to experience this. I’m happy to be here.

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“It’s all about priorities, I have always planned my year out well in advance. I cannot go to every tournament. I try to spread it about.

“I’d like to finish my career off in Asia. This is where snooker is more popular – like in China, Thailand and Hong Kong.

“With Covid it was possible to come here. My sponsors like to see me in Asia.

“When things open up more, I may play more in Asia and skip a few events in the UK. I cannot do them all.

“It’s always good to play a local favourite, whether that is Ken Doherty in Ireland, John Higgins in Scotland, Mark Williams in Wales, James Wattana here in Thailand or Ding Junhui in China. Those are fantastic occasions.”

Elsewhere in the group stages, Stephen Maguire was eliminated from Group A following just one win in three matches while John Higgins has qualified for the last 16 knockout stage.

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