Ronnie O’Sullivan has never been deprived of the media spotlight as snooker’s leading star – but this season the microscope could be closer than ever before.
As he closes in on a handful of the sport’s biggest records, it will be all eyes on the Rocket to see whether he can strengthen his already untouchable status as baize legend.
O’Sullivan - winner of 33 career ranking titles – is just three behind the all-time record holder Stephen Hendry and the pair are tied when it comes to their 18 triple crown wins. O'Sullivan has the chance this season to topple Hendry on both counts.
When it comes to centuries, the Rocket also has his eyes set on becoming the first player in history to make 1,000 professional career tons. He’s currently up to 941 and just 59 away from the holy grail.
Even by Ronnie’s incredibly high standards, the season ahead could be one of his most special yet and would come straight off the back of a campaign where he has won five ranking titles for the first time in his career and seen him rack up more prize money than ever before.
He’s got the taste of reaching these big landmarks now and has been playing at such a consistently high standard over the past year that you’d rank his chances of breaking the whole trio of these records very highly.
Now into his 40s, O’Sullivan seems to have found a settled balance between snooker and the things off the table that make him happy. Playing as if it means nothing when in fact it means everything seems to be the magic formula for him.
In typical O’Sullivan fashion, the serious business of chasing the record books doesn’t mean he won’t be having a bit of fun along the way. When asked on Twitter when he believes he’ll smash the 1,000-century mark he told fans that he plans to get 999 before making everyone wait for the landmark.