World Snooker Championship: O'Sullivan 'deserved to lose'

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World Snooker Championship: Ronnie O'Sullivan beaten by Stuart Bingham
World Snooker Championship
Venue: Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Dates: 18 April-4 May
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, HD, Red Button, Connected TV, online, tablets, mobiles and BBC Sport app. Full details here.

Ronnie O'Sullivan said he "deserved to lose" and suggested his time at the top might be at an end as he lost in the World Championship quarter-finals.

The five-time champion lost 13-9 to Stuart Bingham, who won five out of six frames in Wednesday's final session.

Former world number one O'Sullivan has won 27 ranking events, including five UK crowns and five Masters titles.

"I've had 20 years at the top - eventually there has to be a changing of the guard," said the 39-year-old.

"I was way off the pace. He just pushed me around and I felt second best all match."

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O'Sullivan was clear favourite to progress at the expense of Bingham, 38, but missed opportunities against his fellow Englishman he would usually have taken.

"You can't start looking for form these days. I made so many unforced errors," added O'Sullivan, who is nicknamed The Rocket because of his playing style.

"Before you might have got away with it, but now you get punished by all the players.

"If you don't play the minor tournaments, you are going to get left behind. I am not prepared to play in the minor events either, though."

Asked how he would react after the defeat, O'Sullivan said: "Hopefully I'll be gutted and hurt.

"I'll go for a run in the morning and sparring in the afternoon. Life has to go on and will go on."

Bingham said semi-final opponent Judd Trump "looks like he's flying out of his boots".

He added: "I've been an underdog all my life. I'll just do my own thing. Judd is a very confident person, a good lad.

"He's got to a final before and feels like he can beat anyone. We all do in this situation."

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