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Dublin: 8 °C Thursday 21 November, 2019
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Controversial hand gesture overshadows O'Sullivan's march to the quarter-finals

The ‘Rocket’ will need just one more frame to win the best of 25 contest.

Ronnie O'Sullivan is spoken to by referee Olivier Marteel in his second round match against Matthew Stevens.
Ronnie O'Sullivan is spoken to by referee Olivier Marteel in his second round match against Matthew Stevens.
Image: Anna Gowthorpe

FIVE-TIME-WINNER Ronnie O’Sullivan was on the verge of a quarter-final place in this year’s World Championship after going 12-4 up against Matthew Stevens on Sunday.

Now the ‘Rocket’ will need just one more frame to win the best of 25 contest when his match with the Welshman is played to a finish on Monday.

O’Sullivan made two rapid hundreds but once again at this year’s tournament he found himself flirting with disciplinary action after being spoken to by referee Olivier Marteel towards the end of the afternoon session.

Marteel had a word with O’Sullivan after the player made a hand gesture, believed to be directed at himself, after Stevens missed a red.

O’Sullivan escaped being fined in the first round after briefly playing in his socks after a new pair of shoes proved uncomfortable, completing the match in shoes belonging to tournament director Mike Ganley.

Although a breach of the rules, O’Sullivan’s action was not deemed sufficiently severe to warrant any punishment and it was a similar story on Sunday, although a tournament spokesman said any further unsavoury gestures could see the player docked a frame.

Meanwhile Australia’s Neil Robertson, world champion in 2010, continued to dominate his match against two-time runner-up Ali Carter.

Robertson, 6-2 up overnight, lost the first frame of Sunday’s play but then won the next five to go 11-3 ahead before his English opponent avoided the embarrassment of losing with a session to spare by taking the next two frames to leave the ‘Thunder from Down Under’ well-placed at 11-5 in front.

Shaun Murphy, who beat Stevens in the 2005 world final, was quickly into his stride against Joe Perry, going 7-1 up in the all-English contest, while Judd Trump edged 5-3 in front of Hong Kong’s Marco Fu.

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AFP

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