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O'Sullivan could soon be top of the pots
11:47am Wednesday 22nd January 2014 in Sport By Steve Carley - Midlands Sports Journalist of the Year 2013, @stevecarleyWN
IS Ronnie O’Sullivan the greatest snooker player of all time?
It is a question often posed by fans and pundits, and will surely be the subject of debate again following the capture of his fifth Masters title at the weekend.
But while hot topics, such arguments are futile. There can never be a definitive answer because the issue is subjective.
Whether it be snooker, football, cricket or golf, everyone has their own view on who is the greatest.
In snooker, Stephen Hendry, Steve Davis, O’Sullivan and Alex Higgins continually divide opinion. A case can be made for each, depending on how old you are or how you define greatness.
For me, greatness has to be measured by titles and therefore Hendry justifiably remains at the top of the pile. But for how long?
Few dispute that O’Sullivan is the greatest natural talent the game has ever seen.
His performances at Alexandra Palace last week, including his 10-4 demolition of Mark Selby in Sunday’s final, was some of the finest snooker seen from anybody for a long time.
Few people make their chosen sport look ridiculously easy but O’Sullivan is a master of his craft and he is currently at the top of his game.
He is still the man to beat, despite being 38 and having taken a self-imposed sabbatical for most of last season, returning to successfully defend his world crown at the Crucible back in May.
O’Sullivan remains adrift of Hendry in the title stakes but he is catching him...fast.
Hendry has seven world titles and six masters crowns compared to five apiece for the Rocket.
They have also both made 11 147 maximum breaks in their illustrious careers.
If O’Sullivan continues at his current rate you wouldn’t bet against him overtaking Hendry’s record.
Then it would be difficult to argue against him being the greatest of all-time.
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