May 3 2012
Ronnie O'Sullivan has warned more players could quit snooker in the wake of Stephen Hendry's retirement.
Seven-time world champion Hendry has elected to focus on lucrative promotion of another cue sport, 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 (PTC) tournaments.
After beating Neil Robertson 13-10 in his Betfred.com World Championship quarter-final, O'Sullivan said: "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."
O'Sullivan said earlier this season he felt "blackmailed" into playing the PTCs, and he feels the demands on the game's stars are excessive.
World 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.