Ronnie O'Sullivan's a big loss to snooker, says new world No 1 Judd Trump
JUDD Trump says snooker needs somebody to step in and fill the void left by fans' favourite Ronnie O'Sullivan's following his decision to take a break from the game.
Reigning world champion O'Sullivan, 36, last week began a self-imposed exile due to personal problems and will miss the rest of the season before making a decision on whether or not to return.
Whitchurch-born cueman Trump, who became world No 1 for the first time after winning the inaugural International Championship in China this month, says O'Sullivan's eccentric skills and crowd-pulling personality is a big loss to the game.
"It's really disappointing," said Trump, pictured. "A lot of people came to watch Ronnie play, so he will be missed. Obviously, he has had trouble off the table and if his mind is not fully there, there is no point him going to tournaments.
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"Ronnie has achieved everything, so I can see where he's coming from. It's hard for him to keep going, but I think one day he will come back. He is a fans' favourite, so someone needs to come through, but he will be hard to replace.
"Ronnie draws in sponsors and viewing figures, so he's nice to have around, but he's also one of the best players who is very difficult to beat, so it works both ways."
Trump, 23, acknowledged he'll be a marked man after achieving a lifetime ambition by replacing Leicester's Mark Selby as the world's top-ranked player.
"Everybody wants to beat the world number one," said Trump "Mark held it for a while and will want to get back there as soon as possible, so everyone will be looking to beat me.
"I want to be number one for as long as possible. I don't want it to be for one month.
"I feel my all-round game is improving all the time and I feel I have a good chance of winning every tournament at the moment.
"I did well in China. It was a good win and I played pretty solid snooker all week, but I will have to raise my game to stay up there. People are going to want to beat me now."