‘Bored’ Ronnie O’Sullivan takes aim at ‘flat’ Northern Ireland Open atmosphere

Ronnie O’Sullivan has criticised the Belfast atmosphere

Ronnie O’Sullivan admits he was “bored” at the Northern Ireland Open during his second-round victory over Alfie Burden.

‘The Rocket’, who triumphed 4-1 at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast, was also critical of the atmosphere, describing it as “very flat”.

The six-time world champion has reached the final in Belfast in three successive years.

But Judd Trump has denied O’Sullivan victory on each occasion.

“It was very flat out there. I was very bored,” O’Sullivan told wst.tv.

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“I just wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible.”

O’Sullivan also spoke candidly about the tournament following his first-round win over Andy Hicks.

“I kind of struggled with the table and I struggled with the atmosphere – there was really no atmosphere out there,” O’Sullivan told Eurosport. “I’m playing alright, so normally I can generate the atmosphere but, I don’t know…

“It felt like years ago, every time we played a tournament, every match felt like a big night, like a Champions League night, whereas out there, it was poor… it was hard.

“I don’t know, you’ve got all these games going on, you’ve got people walking about, you know… I struggled. It’s the atmosphere. These flat draws, you’ve just got to hope you get through to the quarters and click into a spark.

“It was very flat out there. I was very bored out there… I just wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible, to be honest with you. I was thinking, ‘please, just don’t let this go long, two-three hours’”.

Elsewhere in the first round, world No 1 Mark Selby edged out China’s Cao Yupeng 4-3.

Shaun Murphy also advanced following a 4-2 win over Bai Langning, while 2017 world champion Mark Williams also progressed, beating Elliot Slessor 4-3.

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But Barry Hawkins is out, with Mark King inflicting a 4-0 defeat on the 2013 World Championship finalist.

John Higgins had too much for Farakh Ajaib, winning 4-2, and Kyren Wilson is also through after beating Robert Milkins 4-1.

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