Former world champion Ken Doherty says Ronnie O’Sullivan was disrespectful in the way he played during what many are calling the greatest upset in snooker history.
O’Sullivan, a five-time world champion, was knocked out of the World Snooker Championship by amateur James Cahill at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre on Tuesday.
The unranked debutant Cahill, who is the first amateur to play at the Crucible, beat O’Sullivan 10-8 to advance to the second round at the expense of the World No.1, who has 36 ranking titles.
Doherty told the BBC he was disappointed with O’Sullivan’s demeanour during the first session on . Monday, saying O’Sullivan “played very casually, it was almost with a lot of disrespect in a way. He didn’t want to be there, didn’t look like he fancied the job.”
Six-time world champion Steve Davis was alsohighly critical, saying O’Sullivan was too overconfident.
“He was bailing out in some shots just by attacking all the time,” Davis said.
“He’s an attacking player but when you are attacking so much it almost goes the opposite way.
“It’s sort of like you’re hoping to be knocked out, in a strange way.”
‘Shattered and drained’
Cahill, 23, lead 5-4 overnight but O’Sullivan, nicknamed ‘The Rocket’, clawed his way back to stay in the hunt before missing a final pink in the 17th frame that allowed Cahill to take a 9-8 lead.
O’Sullivan then fouled while attempting to split the pack in the next frame, giving Cahill the chance to clear the table with a break of 53 to win the match and cause a major upset.
“I could barely stand up at the end,” Cahill told BBC after his historic win.
“I scored a good pressure 70 to go 6-5 up and after that I felt like he was the one under pressure. He didn’t want to lose to me.
“I have always believed in myself and that I can beat anyone on my day. I want to show what I can do now.”
O’Sullivan, who seemed to be rushing through his game which led to errors, cited illness as the reason for his first round exit.
“I haven’t felt great for a few weeks. All my limbs feel really heavy,” O’Sullivan told reporters.
“I feel absolutely shattered and drained, I was struggling to stay awake.
“You have to come here feeling physically and mentally good. You don’t expect to do well here but I came here trying to do my best.
“I tried to hang in there and tried to do as much as I could to see if I could get through this match and have a few days off and feel better. But it didn’t happen.”