Ronnie O'Sullivan clashes with Mark Allen during tense game
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Ronnie O’Sullivan was dumped out of the Snooker World Championships in the second round this year as Mark Selby and Shaun Murphy contest the final. Selby seized the advantage in the second session at the Crucible yesterday, winning seven out of the nine frames played on Sunday night to turn a 5-3 deficit into a 10-7 lead heading into today’s battle. O’Sullivan offered his view on the final, saying: “If Murphy wins this tournament, he is going to be sitting here thinking, ‘I need a year off’, because that is what Selby is going to do to him.
“If Selby doesn’t win it, Murphy isn’t going to be sitting here going, ‘oh that was enjoyable’. He’s going to be sitting here going, ‘that was horrible’. And it will take him a while to feel normal again. That’s how bad he wants it.
“How do you take that out of someone? You are going to have to scrape him off and then pick him up. It’s going to be fun!”
O’Sullivan is notoriously outspoken in the world of snooker, as seen when he hit out at the sport’s authorities in 2017.
He accused them of bullying and intimidating him in a furious outburst.
Prior to the row, O’Sullivan had deliberately given one word answers in post-match interviews among other exchanges, prompting World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn to brand his behaviour “embarrassing.”
The Rocket hit back furiously: “I phoned Barry up four weeks ago and I said, ‘Barry, I’m done with all you and your board of people’.
“And I’ve got a very good friend of mine who said, ‘Just let my lawyers deal with it’. I won’t get involved with it because I’m not being bullied, I’m not having people doing that to me ever again.
“I’m just fortunate I’ve got a very good friend who’s got very good lawyers and they’ve got my back. I just want to play and have fun.
“I like Barry, but I’m not being intimidated or bullied any more.”
Finalist in 2021 Selby has had his fair share of tense exchanges with O’Sullivan in the past.
Selby was branded a “bad loser” by his fellow professional after he lost to O’Sullivan in last year’s championship.
The two men played out a classic World Snooker Championship semi-final last year, with O’Sullivan edging the match 17-16 by winning the last three frames in dramatic style.
Speaking ahead of this year’s World Championship, O’Sullivan said he was surprised to see how Selby had reacted in the immediate aftermath and in the months after the match.
He said: “I didn’t realise that result had affected him as much as it had.
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“Sometimes you can want something too bad, and then it’s hard to brush off a defeat, let alone a defeat how he felt like he was defeated.
“After listening to his after-match interview, it sounded like he was a bit of a bad loser really. He didn’t really take it well.
“I was a bit surprised. I thought he would have given me a bit more credit for hanging in there and playing three amazing frames at the end and getting the victory.
“It seems he didn’t take it in that spirit. That’s for him to get over. It doesn’t seem like he’s able to get over it really.
“They can be tough matches, I’ve had one or two of them in my career. They linger on for a bit. Hopefully, he gets his head around it and moves on from it.”
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