Per title. Are there any sports where the best player is so dominant and wins so many tournaments that they got bored and retired to do/play something else? I'm not asking about people who quit or retired while ranked world number #1, but about people who state that they're leaving because there's no challenge left for them in the discipline.

Offhand I can't think of any examples. The closest is Chess world champion Magnus Carlsen, who recently decided not to defend his World Champion title because he lost motivation. Still, he isn't quitting chess entirely - only World Championship matches.

  • It's stretching it a bit, but there are plenty of boxers/MMA fighters who have quit one weight class to fight at another. I'm pretty sure the real reason in those cases is "make more money" but the claim is often "beaten everyone here, moving onto more challenges".
    – Philip Kendall
    Commented Aug 21, 2022 at 16:08
  • 1
    Potentially also Michael Jordan retiring from basketball to play baseball?
    – Philip Kendall
    Commented Aug 21, 2022 at 16:08
  • Eric Cantona won six league titles in seven years, and then retired from football aged only 30. He'd be a pretty good candidate too, though I can't find a statement from him to that effect.
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Aug 22, 2022 at 8:20

2 Answers 2


Ronnie O'Sullivan

In 2013, English snooker player Ronnie O'Sullivan retired from the game to work on a pig farm.

The Independent

Why do we want Ronnie O'Sullivan to soldier on through another year of angst? Why do we argue with those who say that he should make up his mind about either playing snooker or hiding away down on the farm and then give us all a bit of peace?


Ronnie O'Sullivan has since come back from his retirement, but has again expressed his boredom with the sport.

Daily star

Ronnie O’Sullivan has said that despite his recent victory in the European Masters ealier this week, he now finds snooker boring and does not give a "monkey's" about winning the World Championship again

World number one

Despite Ronnie O'Sullivan being the current world champion, and world number one, Ronnie O'Sullivan has once retired from snooker, and continues to express his boredom with the sport.


Ronald Antonio O'Sullivan OBE (born 5 December 1975) is an English professional snooker player who is the current world champion and world number one. Widely recognised as one of the most talented and accomplished players in the sport's history, he has won the World Snooker Championship seven times, a modern-era record he holds jointly with Stephen Hendry. He has won a record seven Masters and a record seven UK Championship titles for a total of 21 Triple Crown titles, the most achieved by any player. He holds the record for the most ranking titles, with 39, and has been world number one on multiple occasions.


Hm, she did not state in that she was actually bored but Ashleigh Barty quit playing tennis while at the no 1 postion in the rankings. OK, you discarded being at no 1 but still, she said she wanted to pursue other ventures.

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