Hendry on O’Sullivan, O’Sullivan on Hendry

Browsing YouTube earlier on today I came across two recently uploaded videos that I found to be particularly interesting. Recorded in China last year, they feature Stephen Hendry and Ronnie O’Sullivan talking about a variety of subjects including each other, their past and what they hope to achieve in the future. Click below for the videos and a summary of what is discussed:

  • Click here to view part one
  • Click here to view part two

In the first part of the video, Stephen talks about winning seven world titles, something which obviously means a great deal to him before moving on to consider the key elements to being a champion in general. He also goes on to discuss his own attacking brand of snooker and how he likes to play the game, describing safety play as ‘overrated’ as he prefers to take on his shots. Although he still clearly doesn’t enjoy the more tactical side of the game, his measured approach at the 2008 World Championship is perhaps a sign that recently he is more aware of the need to win the scrappy frames at this stage of his career.

As this is no secret however, what I found to be most interesting from the interview is that he refers to a ‘technical fault’ that has entered his game over the last five years, with the result that he has been applying unwanted right hand side to the cue ball without even realising it. This is news to me and presumably what his coach Chris Henry will have been working on with him over the past year or so.

Finally Stephen talks about the pain that he still feels at losing important matches, something that O’Sullivan also comments on by saying how he still has to be focused to beat Hendry out of respect for what he has done in the past. Hendry does say however that fatherhood has at least shown him that there is more to life than winning snooker matches.

Turning the tables, the feature soon moves onto O’Sullivan with Hendry describing his game as being exactly the same as his own, albeit at a quicker pace. O’Sullivan then speaks about how he likes to entertain the crowd, entertain the viewers at home and like Hendry, it is pretty clear that the safety game is not the most exciting side of snooker to him.

As well as this both players look back at the controversial incident at the UK Championship in 2006 when O’Sullivan walked out of their quarter-final match before O’Sullivan elaborates on his attempts to change his own game over the past few years.

All in all it is interesting to hear what these two great rivals have to say about each other and hopefully we will see another memorable match between the two before either decides to hang up their cue for good.

Keep an eye out for an upcoming feature that I intend to run, listing what I consider to be the ten greatest matches between the two over the years. Which is your favourite?

EDIT: You can view that feature here.