Ronnie O'Sullivan: Has claimed more players could quit
Ronnie O'Sullivan has warned more players could follow Stephen Hendry in quitting snooker.Seven-time world champion Hendry has elected to focus on the promotion of pool in China, believing there was no prospect of combining that role with a competitive snooker career.To maintain a lofty world ranking, players cannot risk missing events, even the low-profile, low-pay Players Tour Championship tournaments.O'Sullivan has already claimed he felt "blackmailed" into playing the PTCs, and he feels the demands on the game's stars are excessive.And after beating Neil Robertson 13-10 in his World Championship quarter-final, O'Sullivan said of Hendry's retirement: "I'm not surprised really. I'm pleased he has [retired] because he has nothing to prove in the game."Snooker has changed in the last couple of years and I think it suits certain people but it's not going to suit a lot of other people."You might see a few more retiring because of it, because it's a relentless schedule and until they get it right, it's very difficult."FocusedWorld Snooker chairman Barry Hearn insists the growing schedule offers opportunities for all, and has laughed off suggestions that burnout can be a factor in snooker.But Hearn would have to listen to concerns if other star players followed Hendry, who was another critic of the PTC circuit, into retirement.The primary focus for O'Sullivan in Sheffield is to bag his fourth world title, and he begins a semi-final spanning three days against Matthew Stevens on Thursday.At the age of 36 years and three months, O'Sullivan would become the oldest world champion since 45-year-old Ray Reardon triumphed aged 45 in 1978, should he triumph on Monday."I'd love to win another one but there's still a long way to go," O'Sullivan said. "Everyone here is still capable of winning this event."Robertson, the 2010 champion, said of his defeat: "A lot of people thought this was maybe the final. Ronnie handled it better than me. He seems really focused. He'll definitely take some stopping."