Ronnie O’Sullivan compared to Roger Federer but snooker legend admires another tennis legend

Ronnie O'Sullivan

Snooker legend Ronnie O’Sullivan has created a huge stir with his new documentary ‘The Edge of Everything’ in recent days and now he has been compared to one of the all-time greats of tennis.

O’Sullivan admitted it was “not a pretty sight” to see himself break down while discussing his family and career during the filming of a new documentary about his life.

The gripping film which premiered in London on Tuesday evening, charts the 47-year-old’s mental health struggles early in his snooker career, particularly after his father was jailed for murder in 1992.

The film culminates with O’Sullivan’s victory in the 2022 World Snooker Championship – a seventh title that drew him level with Stephen Hendry – during which he was mic’d up by the documentary producers.

“There were some challenging times,” he said. “Some of the stuff where I had to sit down and talk through stuff, when they asked me what I was feeling, I broke down.

“There were a lot of moments that I’d sort of forgotten about and don’t really talk about. Once it’s brought up, it hits home to you.

“When I watched the first screening, it wasn’t a pretty sight, seeing someone go through that, what I visualised.

“But I wasn’t actually feeling as bad as it looked (on screen). I just wanted to let people know that, though it looked bad, inside I had my wobbly moments, but I just rolled up my sleeves and got on with it.

“I felt comfortable putting it all out there. To me, it’s not the most important thing in the world. There are a lot of people going through hard times at the moment in life.

“I think getting it into perspective, doing what I’ve done (the documentary) is nothing really.”

The positive reviews emerging from the documentary confirm it will be a huge hit and now O’Sullivan – who is hailed by all as the greatest snooker player of all-time – has been compared to tennis great Roger Federer.

O’Sullivan has a strong bond with his fellow snooker legend Jimmy White, who suggested peak Ronnie is comparable to Swiss tennis maestro Federer.

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“Make no mistake, his A-game is magical! It is like Roger Federer and people like that,” said White.

“But you know Ronnie: he is a perfectionist, and he might say that he has played terribly. We will have to wait and see.”

O’Sullivan is a big tennis fan, but his favourite player is one of Federer’s great rivals, serial winner Novak Djokovic.

“Federer, Nadal, Djokovic – I’ve always loved watching them,” said the seven-time world champions.

“They are the three best players of all time. To me, he (Djokovic) will be the king of all. It doesn’t matter if you’re a footballer, golfer or hockey player – everyone looks at Djokovic.

“I wish I could do what Djokovic does on the court at the table. The life of a tennis pro is hard. But when you’re at the top… the places they play are impressive.”

The one-on-one combat of tennis is comparable in some ways to snooker and that may be why the greatest snooker player of all-time is a big admirer of the player many believe is the finest to have graced a tennis court.