• World Championship

O'Sullivan eyeing Hendry's record

ESPN staff
April 18, 2014
Ronnie O'Sullivan believes it is "asking a lot" to equal Stephen Hendry's record of seven world titles © Getty Images

Ronnie O'Sullivan believes he can only be considered the game's greatest player if he wins two more world titles to equal Stephen Hendry's record.

O'Sullivan, 38, will begin the defence of his World Championship title against the lowest ranked player of the tournament when he faces Robin Hull in the first round at the Crucible on Saturday.

With five world titles to his name, O'Sullivan has one less than both Steve Davis and Ray Reardon, with Hendry's seven the highest tally in the modern era.

"I think you would have to equal Hendry's record to be classified as the greatest of all time," said O'Sullivan.

Also champion in 2001, 2004, and 2008, O'Sullivan is bidding to become just the third player to win a third successive world crown. Hendry won five in a row from 1992-96, with Davis champion from 1987-89.

However O'Sullivan believes it would "asking a lot" to equal Hendry's haul, despite being favourite again this year.

"I can't put myself in that league just yet," O'Sullivan told Eurosport. "I'm not saying it can't happen because you never know.

"But I don't want to put unrealistic targets on myself, or unnecessary pressure.

"I can't expect to win another three going into my 40s when nobody has won more than one beyond the age of 31 over the past 40 years, apart from me and John Higgins."

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