O'Sullivan reacts to Brecel's decision not to practice ahead of Crucible clash

Ronnie O’Sullivan believes Luca Brecel when he says he has barely practiced for the World Championship, and says it is the right thing to do for some players.

The Rocket and the Belgian Bullet meet in the Crucible quarter-finals, starting on Tuesday, with Brecel adopting a pretty unusual approach to preparation for Sheffield.

After beating Ricky Walden 10-9 in round one, he told Eurosport: ‘I haven’t really practiced for this tournament, I’ve been playing darts most of the time.

‘I think I’ve maybe had only 15 minutes of practice in three weeks, I think I’ve done quite well to win this game.

‘Many people ask me why – I don’t know. I’m at home, I’ve got a good life. I do so many things in my life that I almost forget to play snooker.

‘Also I just wanted to do something different this year, because I’ve lost all my games here. I was like, I need something to motivate me to play well.’

Brecel had been to the Crucible five times without winning a match before this year, and now he is in the last eight after beating Mark Williams in the second round.

After downing the three-time world champion he said: ‘My preparation for this tournament could not have been any worse, believe me.

‘I have been staying up all night, partying, playing darts, not practising…so it’s unbelievable to reach the standard I have in the two games. The ex-pro pundits don’t like it when I say I haven’t practised.’

Not everyone believed the 28-year-old about his approach, but the Rocket did, and feels that they are similar in that they can perform without too much preparation.

‘I believe Luca about the lack of practice – I don’t think he does it all the time,’ said the world champion.

‘I think he is the type of player that can take probably four weeks off and come back within an hour and he is flying. He is one of them players and I am like that.

‘You have to get the right balance, and learn when to peak. There is no point playing your best snooker in minor tournaments. You want to be ready for the big tournaments.’

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