Ronald Antonio “Ronnie” O’Sullivan was born in December 5, 1975. He is an English professional snooker player known for his rapid playing style, and is nicknamed “The Rocket”. He is the reigning World Snooker Champion and has been World Champion on four occasions (2001, 2004, 2008 and 2012) and, with career earnings of over £6 million is second, after Stephen Hendry, on snooker’s all-time prize-money list. He has been the world’s No. 1 player on five occasions, and has won a total of 24 ranking titles.
O’Sullivan’s achievements also include four Masters and four UK Championship titles. He is second, again behind Hendry, on the list of players making the most competitive century breaks, with a total of 678. O’Sullivan has compiled 11 maximum breaks in professional competition, a record which he shares with Hendry. He also holds the record for the fastest maximum break at 5 minutes 20 seconds, which he compiled at the 1997 World Championship.
He began his snooker career at an early age, first achieving a century break at the age of 10 (making 117), winning his first pro-am tournament at 12, scoring a maximum break at 15, and turning professional at 16. He won his first 38 ranking matches as a professional - a record that still stands - on his way to the 1993 World Championship, where at the age of 17 years and 134 days he is the third youngest player to have ever qualified. He lost in the first round 7-10 to Alan McManus, and in the following season was ranked 57. He became the youngest winner of a ranking tournament when, aged 17, he won the 1993 UK Championship, beating Stephen Hendry in the final.
After winning the 1998 Irish Masters 9-3 against Ken Doherty, he was stripped of his title and disqualified after a drug test found cannabis in his system. The title then went to Doherty.
At the World Championship 2012 O’Sullivan defeated Ali Carter 18-11 in the final, to win his fourth world title. Aged 36, and just 40 days older than Dennis Taylor was when he won the title in 1985, O’Sullivan became the oldest world champion since 45-year-old Ray Reardon in 1978.
He is considered by many to be the most naturally talented player in the history of the sport, with some labelling him a ‘genius’. Several of his peers regard him as the greatest player ever, although a temperamental streak sometimes leads to a lack of confidence or interest, and he has performed inconsistently throughout his controversial career thus far, with observers noting the ‘two Ronnies’ aspect of his character. According to Stephen Hendry after his defeat at the 2008 World Championship, “O’Sullivan is the best player in the world by a country mile”.