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World Snooker Championship 2018: Ronnie O’Sullivan loses to Ali Carter in heated second-round match

Snooker World Championship: Ronnie O’Sullivan & Ali Carter collide at the Crucible
2018 World Championship
Venue: Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Dates: 21 April – 7 May
Coverage: Watch live across BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Red Button, Connected TV, the BBC Sport website and mobile app.

Five-time winner Ronnie O’Sullivan suffered a surprise second-round exit in the World Championship after an ill-tempered 13-9 defeat by Ali Carter.

O’Sullivan had lost to his opponent just once in 17 previous meetings, but things became heated when he appeared to barge into Carter’s shoulder in the 19th frame.

O’Sullivan trailed Carter 5-3, which was extended to 8-3, before he hit back for a 9-7 overnight deficit.

And despite winning two frames in the final session, O’Sullivan could not get ahead as Carter kept his composure for a famous victory.

Although the two players shook hands at the end, two-time finalist Carter, beaten in both the 2008 and 2012 finals by O’Sullivan, celebrated wildly in front of the Crucible crowd.

The Englishman, 38, will face either Mark Williams or Robert Milkins in the quarter-finals.

Watch the two blues that cost Ronnie O’Sullivan the match

O’Sullivan crumbles

Having won a record-equalling five ranking titles this season, O’Sullivan has been the tour’s form player – but he failed to showcase his brilliance in Sheffield.

He was not at his best against Stephen Maguire in the first round and was outplayed by Carter on this occasion. It was a throwback to previous years when O’Sullivan crumbled at snooker’s biggest tournament.

And the temperature rose when he shoved Carter while going back to his seat in the 19th frame.

O’Sullivan had put Carter in a snooker on the green ball and while walking back to his seat, stuck an elbow into the arm of Carter, who seemed to laugh it off, before a tetchy exchange took place.

Carter kept his cool and took the frame for an 11-8 lead. O’Sullivan claimed the next but missed a simple blue on a break of 54 and Carter cleared up, with a further 51 sufficient for victory.

Carter ends ‘Ronnie’ show

Carter, who has battled lung and testicular cancer, as well as Crohn’s disease, recorded his first win over his fellow Essex player in a ranking event.

He had said after his first-round win over Graeme Dott that “it was the Ronnie O’Sullivan show all the time” but there are other players competing in the event too.

And putting O’Sullivan under pressure from the first session paid dividends.

With defending champion Mark Selby suffering a shock first round exit, the event has now been blown wide open by O’Sullivan’s departure.

Flower

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