Ronnie O’Sullivan gives it socks at World Championship
Five-time champion played briefly without his shoes; Ding Junhui left blue after missing out on 147
Ding Junhui reacts after screwing back for the blue ball when on course for a possible 147 break in his World Championship first-round match against Mark Davis at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Ronnie O’Sullivan asks the crowd for a lend of a pair of shoes after playing in his socks due to the tightness of the pair he was wearing. He eventually borrowed a pair from tournament director Mike Ganley. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Ronnie O’Sullivan sailed close to the wind as usual in his world championship confrontation with Craig Steadman after taking his shoes off in their first-round match in Sheffield.
The five-time world champion was on his way to taking a 4-2 lead over his opponent from Bolton when he apparently complained that his shoes were hurting and took them off to continue playing in his socks.
Having been informed of his breach in dress code, O’Sullivan subsequently asked the Crucible crowd if he could borrow a pair of shoes, before putting on a pair from Mike Ganley, the tournament director.
Earlier, Ding Junhui suffered a blow to his pride, and his pocket, after missing out on a maximum break after forgetting he was on track for a 147 to book his place in the second round of the World Snooker Championship.
China’s Ding was trailing opponent Mark Davis 5-3 at the Crucible and was at the table on a break of 97 when he inexplicably screwed back for the blue ball instead of playing for the black.
The apparent lapse in concentration left the audience stunned, while Ding covered his head in his hands then proceeded to smile after realising his error. A maximum break would have been worth €41,700 to the player.
Following his mistake, Ding regained his composure and went on to claim a 10-7 win over Davis.
Ding admitted he did not realise he had been on course for a maximum break until the crowd gasped after the shot which put him on the blue.
“It doesn’t happen until I know it’s a 147. I just kept scoring and trying to make centuries and heavier breaks and put him under pressure,” Ding told a press conference.
“Until the last red I potted and then I heard the noises and looked at the scoreboard. I tried to make it difficult for myself, and that’s it!
“I just make centuries. I didn’t know, really. I didn’t even think about playing for a 147 but to keep going and keep potting the balls.”
Ding will play John Higgins in the next round, and added: “I’ve played him many, many times. I’ve learned a lot from him. I’ve got more confidence to play him now.”
Two-time finalist Ali Carter, given the all-clear from lung cancer in December, made a winning start to his campaign as he completed a 10-5 win over veteran Scot Alan McManus.
Carter finished the job from a 6-3 overnight lead to set up a last-16 meeting with Australia’s 2010 champion Neil Robertson, the world number four.
“I didn’t feel as if I played great, but I competed in all departments and won quite convincingly in the end,” said Carter.
“I have some good memories here, the only thing I have left to do is win it, and that’s what I’m here to do.”
Allen had built up a 6-3 lead from the first session earlier in the day and swiftly finished the job later on to progress to an encounter with world number five and 2013 finalist Barry Hawkins.
(Go to 9:30 on the video to see the moment Ding missed his opportunity for a possible 147)