Ronnie O’Sullivan’s rival Shaun Murphy speaks out after ‘disrespectful’ comment

Shaun Murphy has launched a surprise defence of bitter rival Ronnie O’Sullivan after the Rocket was branded ‘disrespectful’ for withdrawing from the Scottish Open at the last minute. O’Sullivan was scheduled to face Liam Graham earlier this week but pulled out of the tournament due to ‘medical reasons’ just hours before he was due to play.

Graham was left furious by O’Sullivan’s withdrawal and did not hold back as he accused the 48-year-old of being ‘disrespectful’ to the paying fans, suggesting that many will have booked time away from work to watch him in action.

“It’s disrespectful what he’s done, it’s not right,” fumed Graham. “A lot of people took time off work to come and watch today and it’s disappointing. At the end of the day I want to play the best players in the world and I was really looking forward to it. I had a lot of people coming to watch and it’s really disappointing for them.

“It’s not surprising given the things he does. I found out when I got to the venue this morning. I didn’t have much prior warning, I think he pulled out very late. I would have stayed at home and all the people who have travelled to watch me would have come another day as well.”

READ MORE: Ronnie O’Sullivan blasted by Scottish Open opponent over ‘disrespect’ before tie

  • Support fearless journalism
  • Read The Daily Express online, advert free
  • Get super-fast page loading

Murphy and O’Sullivan have rarely seen eye-to-eye, with the pair recently clashing over the former’s decision to bring multiple cues to the Northern Ireland Open two months ago. However, it was Murphy who jumped to the defence of his rival by insisting that he was well within his rights to pull out of the Scottish Open on medical grounds.

He told the OneFourSeven Snooker Podcast: “I’ve seen lots of things written about this. I’m curious. I want to understand and gauge the temperature and opinion of the snooker fraternity. I think there’s quite a bit of misunderstanding here.

Don’t miss…
Snooker star dons oven glove in Shoot Out victory as he shares spectator taunt[LATEST]
Ronnie O’Sullivan had trial with Tottenham but was only ‘chubby kid there'[INSIGHT]
Bellingham set for unexpected O’Sullivan link-up as stars exchange messages[NEWS]

“No one is obliged to play in anything. Obviously he and I don’t see eye to eye on many things, everyone knows that, but he’s not obliged to play in anything. He’s well within the rules to withdraw from any event that he wants to.

“The reasons he gives? That’s a different subject, but he actually hasn’t done anything wrong by the letter of the law from WST’s point of view, so I’m confused where the narrative comes from.”

O’Sullivan has withdrawn from a number of recent tournaments, with the Rocket regularly citing an ongoing problem with tennis elbow. He also pulled out of last month’s Champion of Champions event for mental health reasons, with his next appearance likely to come at the Masters in January where he is scheduled to face Ding Jinhui in the opening round.

Follow our Express Sport page on Instagram here.

Source: Read Full Article