O'Sullivan remarks 'derogatory'

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I could lose an arm and still be top 50 – Watch O’Sullivan’s extraordinary interview

Venue: Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Dates: 31 July-16 AugustCoverage: Watch live on BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Four and Red Button, with uninterrupted coverage on BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app. Full details and times.

Doherty said: “Name another sportsman that would slag off the rest of the tour saying they are not that good.

“The standard is as high as ever. It may be a bit tongue in cheek but it is not nice. I think it is derogatory.”

About O'Sullivan

O'Sullivan remarks 'derogatory'

About remarks

Speaking on BBC Two, Doherty pointed out that O’Sullivan had suffered a first-round defeat by amateur James Cahill in 2019.

And the 1997 Crucible winner also said that O’Sullivan’s remarks may damage his relationship with other players.

O'Sullivan remarks 'derogatory'

“All of those players look up to Ronnie and he has a duty to them as an ambassador to the game,” he said.

“He is a hero to all those players on the tour. I don’t know whether they will still think he is a character or look up to him.”

O’Sullivan, 44, faces Mark Williams, 45, in the quarter-finals, with both players having turned professional in 1992.

Six-time world champion Steve Davis suggested that O’Sullivan’s extraordinary interview may have come as a result of not realising just how good he now is.

‘The Rocket’ thrashed Thepchaiya Un-Nooh in a record 108 minutes in the first round before overcoming Ding Junhui 13-10 in the last 16.

“Maybe he has got better – and he is better than he has ever been before,” Davis said.

“At the turn of the century Ronnie O’Sullivan was a lot easier to beat. I beat him in the 1997 Masters from 8-4 behind.

“He was nowhere near the player he is now. Maybe the same is true of Mark Williams and John Higgins.

“Wait until these young players are in their mid-thirties before you make a judgement on them. The likes of Jack Lisowski and Zhao Xintong are talented but effectively raw compared to John Higgins and Ronnie O’Sullivan.”

Trump trails again

Meanwhile, defending champion Judd Trump trails Kyren Wilson 5-3 at the end of their first quarter-final session.

World number one Trump knocked in breaks of 85 and 76 against the 2018 Masters runner-up.

But Wilson reeled off three consecutive frames to build a 4-2 lead before the players traded the final two frames of the session.

Trump, who is yet to hit top form, has now trailed at the end of the first session in all of his three matches at the tournament.

Mark Selby holds the upper hand in his quarter-final clash with Neil Robertson after building a 5-3 lead over the Australian.

Selby edged a marathon 58-minute opening frame, the longest in this year’s tournament, to take the lead and then reeled off the next four frames as well to establish a 5-0 advantage.

However, Robertson hauled himself back into the match by winning the final three frames of the session, recording breaks of 83, 66 and 65.