Ronnie O'Sullivan in trouble after skipping press conference

The five-times world champion beat David Gilbert 10-7 at Sheffield’s Crucible.

Ronnie O'Sullivan leaves the table after winning his game against David Gilbert (right).
Ronnie O'Sullivan leaves the table after winning his game against David Gilbert (right).
Image: Martin Rickett

SNOOKER GREAT RONNIE O’Sullivan is set to face disciplinary action after refusing to attend a post-match press conference following his first-round win at the World Championship on Monday.

Five-times world champion O’Sullivan beat David Gilbert 10-7 at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre in northern England, with the match seemingly devoid of any controversial incidents.

However, the Englishman then failed to attend the mandatory post-match press conference which players are obliged to attend as part of their tour contracts.

Should he be found to have breached his contract by a World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association disciplinary hearing, O’Sullivan’s punishment is likely to extend to just a modest fine ahead of his next scheduled Crucible appearance on Saturday.

O’Sullivan, nicknamed the ‘Rocket’ for his speed round the table, is widely regarded as one of the most naturally talented snooker players of all-time.

He is also far and away the most charismatic of all the world’s current leading cuemen and the irony of Monday’s situation is that his non-appearance at a press conference is likely to generate more headlines for snooker than the often bland remarks of lesser players.

A World Snooker statement said: “All players have a responsibility to the sport, and in particular to their fans.

This includes fulfilling media obligations at events. Any players found to be in breach of these rules will be referred to the disciplinary process.”

O’Sullivan, who led 6-3 overnight, struck breaks of 101 and 72 on his way to victory.

Gilbert, to his credit, made breaks of 60 and 62 to win Monday’s first frame before O’Sullivan restored his three-frame overnight advantage.

His century saw O’Sullivan go 8-4 in front.

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Gilbert narrowed the gap before O’Sullivan’s 72 saw him win the best-of-19-frames contest.

“That is probably the best I’ll ever play without winning a game of snooker,” said Gilbert.

It was an honour to play the legend that is Ronnie O’Sullivan. I know he wasn’t quite on top of his game but I feel like I learnt a lot and I’ve got nothing to be disgraced about.

“There’s not a lot you can worry about when you play against Ronnie because you just expect to get punished every time something doesn’t go your way.”

- © AFP, 2016

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