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Novak Djokovic – ‘I watch snooker just because of him’

Ronnie O’Sullivan was a keen observer as snooker fan Novak Djokovic got his 2024 Wimbledon campaign off to a winning start on Tuesday.

The Rocket was in the Serbian’s box on Centre Court as Djokovic powered to a comfortable victory over Vit Kopriva at SW19.

O’Sullivan and Djokovic have both experienced lengthy spells at the top of their respective sports and undoubtedly share a kindred passion for winning.

Where Djokovic is a seven-time Wimbledon winner, O’Sullivan has been crowned the Crucible champion on the same number of occasions.

The Rocket has accumulated a record 23 Triple Crown titles, one shy of the record 24 men’s Grand Slam trophies that Djokovic has so far tallied.

It appears as though the two might have struck up a new friendship after meeting for the first time, with a snooker lesson potentially on the cards for tennis’ former world number one.

“I’m his fan. I watch snooker just because of him,” Novak Djokovic said during his post-match press conference.

“I watched when I was a kid. Honestly, I watched him play many years ago. My father loved watching snooker.”

“I only watched Ronnie. Whenever he would not play, I wouldn’t watch. We just had a meet-up, an interaction for the first time – It was great.

“He was one of the sport greats that I used to watch when I was a kid. It was really nice to have him around.

“Hopefully we’re able to play some snooker, because I’m really bad at snooker. I’m okay at pool or billiards, but snooker? I tried it twice, and it’s really, really tough.

“It’s amazing. He’s a really nice person, a nice guy and very funny.”

Djokovic encounters British wildcard Jacob Fearnley in the second round as he continues his bid to equal Roger Federer’s eight Wimbledon titles.

O’Sullivan, meanwhile, will be next seen on the green baize later in July when he attempts to defend the prestigious Shanghai Masters.

The invitational event runs from July 15th to 21st at the Shanghai Grand Stage, with O’Sullivan hoping to emerge with the silverware in China for a sixth time.

2024 Shanghai Masters draw

Round 1 (bo11)

Zhang Anda 3-6 Zhou Jinhao
Ali Carter 6-0 Qiu Lei
Tom Ford 3-6 Si Jiahui
Mark Williams 6-3 Wang Xinbo

Gary Wilson 5-6 Pang Junxu
Jak Jones 2-6 Cao Jin
John Higgins 6-1 Lyu Haotian
Barry Hawkins 4-6 Zhou Yuelong

Round 2 (bo11)

Ronnie O’Sullivan 6-1
Zhou Jinhao
Ding Junhui 6-5 Ali Carter
Luca Brecel 2-6 Si Jiahui
Judd Trump 6-2 Mark Williams

Mark Allen 5-6 Pang Junxu
Mark Selby 6-1 Cao Jin
Shaun Murphy 6-3 John Higgins
Kyren Wilson 0-6 Zhou Yuelong

Quarter-Finals (bo11)

Ronnie O’Sullivan 6-3
Ding Junhui
Si Jiahui 2-6 Judd Trump

Pang Junxu 3-6 Mark Selby
Shaun Murphy 6-2 Zhou Yuelong

Semi-Finals (bo19)

Ronnie O’Sullivan 3-10 Judd Trump

Mark Selby 8-10 Shaun Murphy

Final (bo21)

Judd Trump vs Shaun Murphy
(July 21: 7am and 12:30pm UTC+1)

Featured photo credit: Peter Menzel ; WST

One Comment

  1. Jamie Brannon

    The GOAT watching the GOAT!

    18 time Grand Slam champ Martina Navratilova tweeted one year about watching the World final. Tim Henman seems interested given a few correct answers he’s given on A Question of Sport.

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