London (AFP) – Ronnie O’Sullivan appeared to deliberately barge into Ali Carter as the five-time winner crashed out of the World Championship in a bitter 13-9 defeat on Saturday.
O’Sullivan snapped in the 19th frame of the second round match at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre.
The 42-year-old had just fluked a snooker when he and Carter collided at the side of the table in a flash point that defined the match.
Carter walked away without reacting and had a slight smile on his face.
But once back in his seat, O’Sullivan was heard to tell Carter: “That’s for being Mr Angry.”
He followed that jibe by telling Carter it was his turn to play, sparking Carter to respond: “Thank you very much, very nice of you.”
“Stop being angry then,” said O’Sullivan, whose shock defeat leaves him without a world title since 2013.
Referee Paul Collier intervened and said: “Right fellas, just play on”, with O’Sullivan then saying he was “cool as a cucumber”.
O’Sullivan trailed 11-9 at the mid-session interval, but he had been off his game for most of the match and was unable to fight back.
Carter’s acrimonious triumph earned him a quarter-final meeting with Mark Williams or Robert Milkins.