Sunday 17 December 2017

WATCH - Ronnie O'Sullivan puts on strange robotic voice for interview after latest slap on the wrists

Ronnie O'Sullivan
Ronnie O'Sullivan

Sean Gibson

Ronnie O'Sullivan has given a strange interview in which he answered questions in a robotic voice, after the World Snooker governing body disciplined him for comments made to the media during the recent Masters tournament.

O'Sullivan, who won the Masters in January, made a farce of his interview with former player Neal Foulds for ITV Sport, in response to receiving a disciplinary letter for criticising a referee and a photographer in front of the press.

After his odd, robotic show for the cameras at the World Grand Prix in Preston, O'Sullivan explained in a blog for Eurosport: "I will no longer be talking in depth in press conferences or interviews because when I share my thoughts, I risk being fined.

"If I get fined [for not giving full answers] then I will no longer be prepared to perform all the contractual obligations we are asked to do for World Snooker."

In the interview, O'Sullivan breezed through the first few questions in very few words, in his normal voice.

For the final few responses, the player assumed a monotonous, machine-like tone.

"It resonates very much for me when I come here to the Preston Guild Hall, it has many good memories.

"I am very happy with my game, I hope I can keep playing very well to the end of the season."

O'Sullivan originally drew the ire of World Snooker for comments made in a television interview about the referee for his Masters semi-final, Terry Camilleri, and for swearing at a photographer in a press conference.

The player wrote later in his blog: "I felt the referee, Terry Camilleri, was not up to scratch during my semi-final match with Marco Fu at one of our sport's major events. And neither was a photographer, who was snapping pictures while I was on the shot.

"I was going for a very important pot at the start of the 10th frame. I had to ask him at least three times to stop moving while he was in my eyeline. In the end, I had to change the pot I was going for because he wasn't listening. Is that fair?

"Out of pure frustration, I said to the cameraman who was among the reporters (in a press conference): 'You're a f****** nightmare mate, you obviously don't know not to move in the player's eyeline while the player is on a shot.'

"I'm not excusing the swearing, and I apologise for that. I didn't swear on TV, only to 10 or 15 journalists who record comments after the game. Nobody has even heard what I said because it was edited out by the BBC."

O'Sullivan has established himself as one of snooker's greatest-ever talents in the past two decades, outweighing occasional periods of poor form and odd conduct with more regular blistering exhibitions of his talent.

The man known as 'The Rocket' famously won the 2013 World Championship - the tournament's first successful title defence in 17 years - having absented himself from all other tournaments and having completed only one competitive match throughout the season.

O'Sullivan also holds the record for the fastest-ever 147 maximum break in the history of the sport, at five minutes and 20 seconds.

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