World Championship 2019: Ronnie O'Sullivan says season 'very successful' despite first-round exit

Ronnie O'Sullivan
Ronnie O'Sullivan won the World Championship in 2001, 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2013
Betfred World Snooker Championship
Venue: Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Dates: 20 April-6 May
Coverage: Watch live on BBC One, BBC Two, Red Button, iPlayer, Connected TV, BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app.

Ronnie O'Sullivan insisted his season has been a good one despite his shock first-round defeat against amateur James Cahill in the World Championship.

The five-time champion's 10-8 loss on snooker's biggest stage has been seen by most pundits as the biggest upset in Crucible, if not the sport's, history.

"There's disappointment because I wanted a good run," said 43-year-old O'Sullivan.

"But it has been a very successful season."

O'Sullivan, who said he was struggling with illness throughout the match, was aiming for a record 37th ranking title following a stellar season which has seen him return to number one in the world for the first time since 2010, reach 1,000 career century breaks and win five titles.

"I treat every tournament as a World Championship," he said. "This wasn't meant to be, but there have been plenty of good ones.

"People can maybe say I have crumbled, or maybe my record would suggest otherwise. I will leave it to others to try to work it out.

"But I can disappear and have a holiday. It's disappointing not to be physically at my best. Everybody gets it. It's just life, it's not the end of the world. But my best wasn't good enough."

'The Rocket' won the invitational Shanghai Masters and Champion of Champions, as well as the three ranking titles - the UK Championship, Players Championship and Tour Championship - this season.

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