O’Sullivan’s advantage was due to an act of sportsmanship by his opponent who called a foul on himself that neither Ronnie nor referee spotted
SHEFFIELD: Ronnie O’Sullivan (right) built a 5-3 lead over Matthew Stevens and Ali Carter led Stephen Maguire by the same scoreline at the end of Thursday’s opening session in the World Championship semi-finals.
But three-times champion O’Sullivan’s slender advantage owed something to an act of sportsmanship by his Welsh opponent who called a foul on himself in the second frame that neither the ‘Rocket’ nor referee Brendan Moore had spotted.That helped O’Sullivan establish a 4-0 lead before Stevens, twice a losing finalist, battled back with a break of 80 in the eighth frame reducing the Englishman’s lead to two frames.
Meanwhile Carter, runner-up in 2008, put his struggles with Crohn’s disease, a bowel condition he has had to manage for nine years, to one side.“It’s a very long match against Stephen but my problems haven’t beaten me yet and they’re not going to. I’m just delighted to prove to myself and all the doubters out there that I’ve still got it.”