Ronnie O'Sullivan praises Andy Murray after retirement plans

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2019 Dafabet Masters
Venue: Alexandra Palace, London Dates: 13-20 January
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Ronnie O’Sullivan has admitted to being “lazy” in snooker but praised the approach of “ruthless animal” Andy Murray who “broke the mould” in tennis.

Britain’s Murray, 31, said on Friday he will retire this year because of pain caused by a chronic hip problem.

But at the Australian Open on Monday he said he will make a decision in a “week or two” whether to have hip surgery.

“It takes a special type of courage and character to do what he has done,” said O’Sullivan, 43.

Murray beat Novak Djokovic in 2013 to end Britain’s 77-year wait for a men’s champion at Wimbledon, and went on to claim a second title three years later. He also won the 2012 US Open, as well as two Olympic gold medals.

He was knocked out of the tournament in Melbourne by Roberto Bautista Agut in possibly his final match and said afterwards, “Surgery is my only option if I want to play beyond just Wimbledon.”

O’Sullivan, widely regarded as the best snooker player of all time, compared Murray to snooker’s seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry and six-time winner Steve Davis.

Speaking after his first-round win at the Masters in London, he said: “Hendry and Davis broke the mould. No-one has come into the game and dominated the game like that. I haven’t, I have had longevity.

“You have to take your hat off to Andy. It is a subconscious thing in tennis or football that you are conditioned to losing – reaching the semi-finals is a good result.

“He has been strong enough to say ‘no I am not going to accept that’. I am not a ruthless animal like Murray.

“Sometimes I will look at it and think if I lose in the quarter-finals then I can have five or six days off and chill out, do a bit of commentary.

“That is not a ruthless attitude, I am a bit lazy and do what I can to get through. I am one of those kids at school that finds out what they need to do to pass the exam and does enough – that is what I do with my snooker.

“I am not a slave to it but I like to grow as a person and learn from other people.

“I am not one for digging up holes and doing 14 hour days, like some of the other snooker players.”

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