Snooker: Successful O'Sullivan shows serious side
PUBLISHED: 09:40 13 December 2019 | UPDATED: 09:40 13 December 2019
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Ronnie O'Sullivan is talking about the General Election - but don't be fooled into thinking he is keeping his cards anywhere but close to his chest.
O'Sullivan has spent his week at the 19.com Scottish Open, and while the country headed to the polls, he was busy winning not one, but two, matches in Glasgow's Emirates Arena.
A fluent 4-2 win over Joe Perry saw one of the sport's most flamboyant characters - who hits the headlines for his idiosyncrasies on and off the table - reach the quarter-finals on Thursday evening.
The five-time world champion was also involved in a moment of hilarity during the day, being put off by a woman's background movement but taking the incident with a characteristic pinch of salt.
But he entered more serious mode on the issue of politics and Brexit, maintaining his poker face when it came to allegiances but acknowledging the importance of the public ballot.
"Of course I'll be keeping an eye on the election results," the 44-year-old said.
"It's really important, and you just never know after the Brexit result as that was a shock for everyone, so we'll have to wait and see what happens.
"I'll just watch it, but I don't really want to discuss politics or who I support.
"The incident in the crowd was nothing really - I don't think she realised that moving in our eyeline is a bit of a no-no, but you get used to people moving around in venues now and you just put up with it, otherwise you start getting frustrated.
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"That's like Stuart Bingham - I heard he wanted to knock someone out because their phone went off, whereas I just laugh and let it ring, as long as they've got a nice tune.
"I just let them come in, let them move and you've just got to laugh at it otherwise you just get frustrated and there's no point."
The decorated 36-time ranking event champion has been in typically intriguing form in Scotland this week, refusing to shake hands with third round opponent James Cahill as he was 'OCD about germs'.
He also aimed a subtle jibe at rival Mark Selby for playing 'TK Maxx' snooker rather than his more 'Prada', free-flowing approach.
And as he prepares to cross cues with the three-time world champion in Friday night's quarter-final, O'Sullivan left nobody questioning how he was going to approach the encounter.
"Sometimes you've got to push the boat out and make something happen - if anything against Mark I'll just get even more attacking," he added.
"If anything I'll go for even more - if he starts putting balls on cushions then I'm just going to start smashing them back in the open and think 'let's have it.'
"I could show you a thousand players on this tour and you look at their shot selection and you can't tell whether or not they've ever played the game before.
"If Mark wants to fudge he can fudge it, but I'm not going to fudge."
*Watch the Scottish Open live on Eurosport, Eurosport Player and Quest with studio analysis from Ronnie O'Sullivan and Jimmy White.