Fri, Oct 27, 2006 - Page 22 News List

`Rocket' Ronnie wants to be more like Billy the Kid


Ronnie O'Sullivan said he wanted to be snooker's answer to US Wild West outlaw Billy the Kid after seeing off his fellow Englishman David Gray 5-2 to reach the quarter-finals of the Grand Prix event on Wednesday.

O'Sullivan, who currently rejoices in the nickname "Rocket" on account of his fast-paced game, said: "I want to be aggressive like Billy the Kid."

The world No. 3, who faces Australian rising star Nathan Robertson in the last eight, added: "You look at all the great sportsmen -- Steve Davis, Roger Federer, Tiger Woods, Michael Schumacher and Phil Taylor [darts world champion] -- [they] are all aggressive."

"They know to play a defensive game. I know how to play a defensive game, Ray Reardon [the six-times world champion] has taught me that, but I don't intend on having many scrappy matches. I won't stop playing aggressively," the former world champion said.

"I've been playing poorly for the last 10 or 11 years. I remember winning as a kid with effortless ease and that's how I need to play. I can do that if I play this type of game. I can go through players and win without it feeling like I've had to work for it. It's kind of come easy to me," he said.

"A lot of snooker players are too intense and serious. You can catch it off them, it's like a lurgy which goes around. I want to be laid back and just enjoy it," he added.

"I'm not in this for trophies or the money, I'm in this for the love," O'Sullivan said.

"I'm going out there to enjoy it and take that enthusiasm and that love for the game I had as a kid," he said.

Melbourne's Roberston came from 2-1 down to beat Andrew Norman 5-3. The match was all square at 3-3 before the Australian won through with breaks of 56 and 75.

In other last 16 matches on Wednesday, former world champion Ken Doherty was whitewashed 5-0 by England's Joe Perry.

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