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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Ben Parsons

Ronnie O'Sullivan hits out at rivals for practising together before UK Championship clash

Ronnie O'Sullivan cannot comprehend practising with a rival before a big match - and was left unimpressed with Mark Allen and Jordan Brown at the UK Championship.

Northern Irish duo Allen and Brown, who are close friends and practice partners, shared pleasantries before their first-round clash in York. The pair drew each other for the first time in professional competition, and the game was played in good spirits with in-form Allen coming out on top 6-4 at the Barbican on Saturday.

Ahead of their clash, Allen and Brown were seen chatting away in the practice room before they hit the match table, and embraced with a warm hug rather than the traditional pre-game handshake. But world champion O'Sullivan, who is purposely an isolated figure on tour, was baffled by the pre-match pleasantries.

"I don’t get it, I just don’t get it. Listen maybe I’m just different but I don’t want to talk to anyone, I’ve got no interest," O’Sullivan told Eurosport. "This is what it’s all about, competition, this is the most important part. I don’t understand it, I really don’t, but everyone’s different."

O'Sullivan's view was shared by Jimmy White, who qualified for the UK Championship himself aged 60 before his amazing run was ended by Ryan Day in the Last-32. "As Ron says, at the end of the day it’s your business, whoever’s in front of you you’ve got to annihilate them," White said.

"So I am a bit with Ron there, chatting before the game... me and Tony Meo would sort of avoid each other nicely. We would nod but we would not have a normal conversation. You do not want to be giving any pleasantries before a match you want to win."

O'Sullivan's criticism of Allen comes after the former Masters champion hit out at the Rocket for a lack of 'respect' for failing to congratulate Judd Trump on his 147 in the Champion of Champions final. "Two seconds to show some respect isn’t asking much from someone who so many admire," Allen claimed on Twitter after the incident.

O'Sullivan has since responded to the backlash received for choosing not to acknowledge Trump's magical maximum, claiming he does not see a 147 as a special feat and that he was already focused on the next frame.

"It was a strange one. A 147, I get why other people think it's an amazing thing to do but for me - I don't find it a difficult thing to do," he said on Eurosport. "So when I see someone else do it I just think that's quite normal you know.

"But the most important thing going through my head was I still had one more frame to play. It was 6-2 and I was thinking I need to try and win this last frame. I was probably in too much of a zone, if my concentration wasn't so good maybe I would have got caught up in it. I was just in my bubble really."

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