Tuesday, May 28, 2024

O’sullivan reflects on charged tournament – “Not the outcome I had hoped for”

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Before this World Cup, it was really only about one thing: will O’Sullivan manage to complete his Triple Crown this season and win his 24th major?

But the tournament actually turned out to be an anticlimax for O’Sullivan. The seven-time winner in Sheffield never reached his real top form except for the easy first round match against Jackson Page.

And against Stuart Bingham – who also defeated him in the quarter-finals on the way to his first and only world title in 2015 – that broke him. ‘Ballrun’ punished O’Sullivan’s mistakes mercilessly and was the deserved winner.

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World Snooker Championship | Ronnie O’Sullivan is out! – Stuart Bingham punishes his mistakes mercilessly

Sportsmanship

The elimination wasn’t a total mood killer for the always positive O’Sullivan, who always tries to see the bigger picture. “My technique was the best in years in this tournament, so I’m happy with that. It’s a pity that I was eliminated, but it doesn’t really bother me.”

One of the highlights of the match was O’Sulivan’s sporting gesture in frame twelve, when the Englishman denied a red after he felt the referee had incorrectly spotted the black ball.

O’Sullivan felt he was getting an undeserved advantage because the black was wrong and played it safe on a red ball that could be pocketed. Neil Robertson praised O’Sullivan’s action as “one of the sportiest things in sport I have ever seen.”

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World Snooker Championship | Ronnie O’Sullivan a true gentleman – nice example of fair play against Stuart Bingham

Chill

But as is often the case with O’Sullivan, there was another moment of controversy in the party. Ahead of his third session, he told Eurosport that “some referees are targeting him”

And in frame 21 there was another argument between referee Desislava Bozhilova and O’Sullivan. Nick Metcalfe, snooker journalist, was very vocal about the Rocket’s behaviour.

None of us are saints and we all have our bad moments, but you simply can’t talk to a referee like that in such a big tournament. It’s condescending, rude and actually quite aggressive behavior towards the referee.

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