Ronnie O'Sullivan set to defend his world title
After a season where he only played in one event (a first round lost to Simon Bedford in PTC2 in September), many of Ronnie O'Sullivan's fans will no doubt be ecstatic to know that he will be back in April to defend his world title at the Crucible.
At a press conference in London today, the four-times world champion announced: "I got a bit bored in recent months" said the Rocket. "I needed a rest and I thought it was time to get back to what I have done for most of my life."
World Snooker says it is awaiting for O'Sullivan to formally enter the tournament. However what plays in his favour is that as defending champion he gets to play on the opening day of the event (20th of April) as the no.1 seed.
O'Sullivan also went on to say: "Three or four months ago, I was thinking that I would rather be losing 10-0 at the Crucible and to be back playing, rather than going for lunch, dinner and chilling out all day.
"I had to get back to playing the game I love, winning or losing. It just shows how big a part of my life snooker is and always will be.
"I certainly feel a refreshed man. I was never out of juice. I don't find snooker hard mentally or physically, I just lacked motivation."
No doubt O'Sullivan's return to the tournament will be a huge boost for ratings and the general interest of the game from the more casual snooker fans.
Snooker this season has managed to increase in viewing figures and ticket sales without it's popular player, however now the World Championship is shaping up to be one of the biggest the game has seen in years.
O'Sullivan also announced that he will be sponsored by beverage company, Oval Vodka, during the tournament. No doubt that, a profitable sponsorship opportunity was also a major influence on his decision to return.
Tickets for O'Sullivan's first round match have sold out, however there are plenty of spaces available for other sessions at the world famous Crucible Theatre. Click here to purchase tickets.
At the moment, most of the games top players are in China competing in the Haikou World Open, the 8th ranking event of the season. Click here for the draw and updated results.