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I need to be like Novak Djokovic to win the World Championship: Snooker legend Ronnie O'Sullivan

Novak Djokovic at the 2020 Australian Open
Novak Djokovic at the 2020 Australian Open
Namit Kumar
Modified 13 Aug 2020

Novak Djokovic's consistency from one point to the next and one match to the next is undoubtedly the key factor behind his enormous success. The Serb almost always manages to find the right equilibrium between risk and percentage play - which makes him hard to beat even when he's not at his brilliant best.

The World No. 1's abilities were recently brought into focus by snooker champion Ronnie O'Sullivan while he was talking about his chances of winning the Snooker World Championship. O'Sullivan spoke very highly of the Serb, claiming that if he could be like Novak Djokovic, he would be very successful in his own sport.

Novak Djokovic always plays to a high standard: Ronnie O'Sullivan

Novak Djokovic at the 2012 Australian Open
Novak Djokovic at the 2012 Australian Open

In an interview with Eurosport, O'Sullivan was questioned about who he needs to be like to win yet another World Snooker Championship title. The Englishman replied that he needed to channel the powers of Novak Djokovic if he hoped to emerge triumphant.

"To win this title, I probably need to be someone like Novak Djokovic," said the 5-time World Snooker Champion. "He is double-solid, he does everything very well, and he's not going to give you nothing."

The Brit, in an earlier interview, had claimed that his current career situation was like that of Roger Federer. "If I was to compare where I am in my career at the moment it’s little a bit like Roger Federer in many ways," O'Sullivan had said. "Kind of like you’ve got nothing to prove, probably not the best player in the world. But they bring a certain energy to a tournament."

On this occasion, however, the 46-year-old was all praise of Novak Djokovic, claiming that his no-nonsense style of tennis was totally dependable.

"He is not the most flamboyant player," O'Sullivan said. "He does not have the Federer brilliance, or the Nadal forehand that will come above your shoulder. But, everything is there from start to finish and his form does not dip very much. He always plays to a high standard."

Novak Djokovic is often described as robotic in his style of play, as opposed to the 'elegant' Federer and the 'beastly' Nadal. But as O'Sullivan pointed out, that kind of robotic consistency and efficiency are exactly what help him in pressure situations.

Djokovic is widely celebrated for his ability to pull out victory from the jaws of defeat, by playing solid tennis when the stakes are the highest. He famously saved two championship points against Roger Federer at Wimbledon 2019, before going on to win the title in a tiebreaker - where he again played in supremely controlled fashion.

Novak Djokovic owns a positive head-to-head record against both of his Big 3 rivals, and that is largely down to his uber-consistent game. If Ronnie O'Sullivan were to somehow channel the Serb's composure, he would certainly stand a good chance of winning the World Championship.

Published 13 Aug 2020, 01:36 IST
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