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Ronnie O’Sullivan pulls out of next week’s Welsh Open with an emotional apology to fans – with the snooker legend revealing he’s suffering from ‘stage fright brought on by anxiety’

  • Ronnie O’Sullivan has shared an emotional statement confirming his withdrawal
  • The snooker great pulled out of the German Masters following a successful run
  • The 48-year-old revealed that he has recently been suffering from ‘stage fright’

Ronnie O’Sullivan confirmed to fans that he is withdrawing from next week’s Welsh Open, with the snooker legend revealing he is suffering from ‘stage fright’.

O’Sullivan, who has previously been very open about his mental health struggles, apologised to fans on social media by confirming that he would not participate in the tournament, which is due to begin in Llandudno on Monday.

Taking to X on Saturday, the 48-year-old said: ‘Morning guys, I wanted to let you know that I’ve decided I’m not able to play in Llandudno next week.

‘It’s hard to explain but for years I’ve suffered from stage fright at times, brought on by anxiety.

‘It’s not something I can predict or control but I try to manage it as best as I can.’

Ronnie O'Sullivan confirmed to fans that he is withdrawing from next week's Welsh Open

Ronnie O’Sullivan confirmed to fans that he is withdrawing from next week’s Welsh Open

The snooker legend posted that he has been suffering from 'stage fright brought on by anxiety'

The snooker legend posted that he has been suffering from ‘stage fright brought on by anxiety’

The snooker great also pulled out of the German Masters in January because of ‘health and wellbeing’ reasons. 

Despite triumphing at the last three tournaments he has entered – the UK Open, the Masters and the Grand Prix – O’Sullivan admitted that the season had been ‘tiring and challenging’ for him. 

Following the veteran’s fruitful run, snooker rival Neil Robertson claimed O’Sullivan had been ‘pretty awful’ this season despite his success, after the Rocket was critical of his own performances. 

‘We’ve probably seen that with Ronnie recently, let’s have it right he’s played pretty awful, but he’s been able to keep winning because people are missing blacks off the spot, pinks off the spot,’ Robertson said ahead of the German Masters.

‘He’s gained that reputation of being unbeatable this season even though he’s played awful.

‘He’s even talked about it himself, he’s almost laughing about it, people just can’t put him away.’

Ahead of withdrawing from the German Masters, O'Sullivan enjoyed plenty of success, winning last three tournaments he has entered - the UK Open, the Masters and the Grand Prix

Ahead of withdrawing from the German Masters, O’Sullivan enjoyed plenty of success, winning last three tournaments he has entered – the UK Open, the Masters and the Grand Prix

O'Sullivan's break from the table has coincided with his row against World Snooker Tour chiefs

O’Sullivan’s break from the table has coincided with his row against World Snooker Tour chiefs

O’Sullivan’s break from the table has coincided with his row against World Snooker Tour chiefs, who he criticised for not allowing players to compete in non-sanctioned events in China.

Ahead of his triumphant run before the turn of the year, the 48-year-old sensationally threatened to quit the sport if he and others were not permitted to take part in these events, which offer more money than those in the UK. 

The Welsh Open begins on Monday and will finish on Sunday February 18. 

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