Ronnie O’Sullivan has indicated he could be set to quit snooker on Monday evening after his 2012 World Snooker Championship final against Ali Carter, regardless of the end result.
Ronnie O’Sullivan is heading towards winning a fourth world title, although this could be the last time that we see the Rocket at the Crucible?
We have heard the 36-year-old talk about quitting the game before, although his recent comments appear to be a lot more measured when speaking about a potential retirement, something that will cause concern to the player’s legion of fans.
O’Sullivan remains the most popular player on the snooker circuit by some way thanks to his ability to play the most exciting and attacking brand of the game that has ever been known, although it seems as though he is ready to at least take a break from playing.
Speaking after his semi-final win over Matthew Stevens, Ronnie said: "I don't intend to stay in the game long, even though I feel in a lot better place.
"I've made that decision and this might - I'm not saying it is - be my last time in this tournament.
"I might consider having a good long break, a couple of years off or whatever. I've weighed up the pluses and the minuses and I'm quite comfortable with that decision.
"There's no better way for me than to have a good run at Sheffield and get to the final and if I win it, great, absolute bonus.
"I've had a fantastic time and it's got to come to an end sooner or later. I don't want to drag it out too long. I always said I'd like to go out on a high and getting to this final has been great. I'd love to go on and win it now.
"I'm not saying it's a guarantee but I think now is as good a time as ever. I know it might seem crazy but people close to me know what's going on. I've not been afraid to show how I feel. I feel in a good place to be able to say that. I've weighed up lots of things.
"Sometimes you've got to live life a little bit, maybe do a little bit of Strictly Come Dancing."
Stephen Hendry announced his retirement from the game last week, although O’Sullivan’s exit will come as a shock if it does happen, especially as he could be bowing out at the very top.
Like Hendry, Ronnie is said to have been offered a lucrative deal to promote the sport with a series of exhibition sin the Far East and could ditch the high pressure main tour for a new challenge in Iran.
As a result of his run to the final, The Rocket is set to climb back up the world rankings, cementing his place in the top 16, however the hectic schedule of travelling to faraway countries week in week out is not favoured by the Chigwell cueman who prefers to pick and choose his events.
Everyone will now be waiting for the culmination of the 2012 final where O’Sullivan will either make an announcement or potentially decide to continue playing.