Ronnie O’Sullivan caught in referee row as he takes a 12-5 lead in World Cup final

Ronnie O’Sullivan accused referee Olivier Marteel of being “looking for trouble” after a furious exchange of blows marred the opening session of the Snooker World Championship final against Judd Trump in Sheffield.

arteel admonished O’Sullivan for making an obscene gesture after the six-time champion failed to get out of a snooker in the eighth frame, prompting an obviously irritated O’Sullivan to ask the officer to check the camera and insist he ” didn’t see anything”. .

World Snooker Tour confirmed the incident in a statement, which read: “Ronnie O’Sullivan received a formal warning from the referee following a gesture he made in the eighth frame.”

O’Sullivan, who ended the session 5-3 in the lead, denied any wrongdoing in an interview with Eurosport and said: “I just think he (Marteel) seems to be looking for trouble. I just get that vibe from the guy .

“They have hundreds of cameras out there and they can check them all. I won’t get any of this because I think he’s just trying to create something. He has to take care of it, not me.”

O’Sullivan is already facing an investigation by the WPBSA Disciplinary Committee for allegedly making an indecent gesture after missing a black in the 13th frame of his 10-5 first-round win over Dave Gilbert.

The six-time world champion had previously complained to Marteel about a guard moving in his line of sight during the third frame, then the pair became embroiled in a lengthy argument over cue’s placement after a miss in the fourth frame.

At the end of the session, O’Sullivan shared a fist bump with Trump but left the arena without offering a customary acknowledgment to Marteel, who was officiating in his first World Finals.

The incident marred an action-packed opening session in which Trump took the lead with a 72 break, only for O’Sullivan to capitalize on some poor shooting decisions from the 2019 champion to win the next five straight, including two centuries of it brought his career in the Crucible past the 200 mark.

Tension mounted in the fourth frame when O’Sullivan insisted that white had been incorrectly substituted after a miss, twice bringing Trump into the discussion and once jokingly insisting that Marteel should play the shot himself before the official finally insisted insisted that the game had to be continued.

O’Sullivan went on to win the frame by sinking a re-dotted black from three pillows, and after sweeping through the next two, things looked grim for Trump, who appeared to be struggling with the opportunity and himself faced a near-result irrecoverable first-session deficit.

But Trump responded with a 97 break in the seventh frame before shaking off his own frustration at Marteel’s intervention in the next frame after asking the official why the apparent reprimand could not have waited until the end of the session.

Marteel replied to Trump that “I had to say something” before Trump calmly shed the remaining suits to give himself every chance before play resumed later Saturday night.

O’Sullivan offered a fist bump to Marteel early in the evening session in which Trump opened up a half-century to grab his third straight frame and cut the deficit to 5-4.

But O’Sullivan responded with a break of 66 in the next to restore his two-frame lead, then ruthlessly punished two consecutive errors from Trump, who clearly began to struggle.

After putting himself in a strong position, Trump missed a simple black in the 11th frame and O’Sullivan reinforced for a break of 118, his third century of the game.

And after another similarly missed Black from Trump in the next frame, O’Sullivan again proved ruthless, a 97 clearance putting him 8-4 midway through the session.

Trump’s difficult evening continued with two shocking errors in the 13th frame that gave O’Sullivan the two chances he needed to continue to advance 9-4.

The 32-year-old struggled to find any consistency, and a missed midfield Pink in the next frame sent O’Sullivan on to an 87 break to seal his fifth straight frame.

Trump rallied with a break from 80 the next, but was punished again the next when a missed bay let O’Sullivan in for an 87 clearance and forged a 12-5 lead overnight. Ronnie O’Sullivan caught in referee row as he takes a 12-5 lead in World Cup final

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