O’Sullivan criticises table conditions after second round win

Ronnie O'Sullivan. Picture by Monique Limbos

Ronnie O’Sullivan. Picture by Monique Limbos

RONNIE O’Sullivan has heavily criiticised the current playing conditions at this year’s UK Championship, blasting the tables as ‘really shocking’.

The four-times UK Champion admitted he had considered playing the game without cushions because of their heavy bounce during his 6-3 win over Peter Lines last night (Sunday).

The Rocket also told the media the four table set-up at York’s Barbican Theatre auditorium was not ideal for playing conditions and it failed to give him a buzz, much unlike the set-up at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena – where he won the Champion of Champions event earlier in November.

“The tables are playing really shocking. The cushions are just bouncing. They are going on at one mile an hour and coming off at three,” he said.

“During the match I was thinking ‘try not to use any cushions’. I am out there thinking ‘I am in the second biggest tournament we play in and I am thinking of not using cushions’ and I feel like I am playing down the snooker club not playing to anyone.

“I know what they are trying to do – have 128 players. But get a proper venue, get two proper TV tables. It is like asking (Roger) Federer to go and play on court 13 in front of three men and a dog.

“You just don’t do it. You just think about the players a bit more. Especially the top players, who are there to sell your sport.”

O’Sullivan will hope conditions improve by the time he returns to the arena on Tuesday when he faces Ben Woollaston in the next round. Leicester’s Woollaston came back from 2-0 down to beat Tony Drago in another one of the night’s matches.

Elsewhere, Shaun Murphy continued his fine form beating Robin Hull 6-3 and Jack Lisowski thwarted off a late comeback from Liang Wenbo to clinch a 6-4 win.

Joe Perry eased through to the last 32 with a 6-1 win over Mike Dunn and Matthew Selt won three frames on the spin to defeat Xiao Guodong 6-4.

Stuart Bingham’s hopes of winning his second major event of the season were kept alive after beating Alfie Burden 6-3 and Joel Walker continued to show his promising future after he closed out a 6-4 win over Tom Ford.

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