Mark Selby has described Ronnie O’Sullivan’s conduct as “disrespectful” during their World Championship Semi-Final clash at The Crucible.
O’Sullivan recovered from 13-9 and 16-14 down to edge through an epic last-frame decider for a place in his seventh world final in Sheffield.
Selby, who was bidding to reach his fifth World Championship final and challenge for a fourth crown, failed to make a single century break during the match but frustrated O’Sullivan for large spells with his astute safety and methodical style.
That was until O’Sullivan came out firing with an ‘all out attack’ approach in the final session, opening up with a break of 114 and playing some audacious escape attempts from snookers.
Selby, who had won both of his previous Crucible meetings with O’Sullivan, including the 2014 final, was unhappy with his rival’s approach to the game, which he branded “disrespectful”.
“The last three frames I didn’t really get much of a chance, apart from right at the end where Ronnie missed a ball and I had a chance to clear up,” O’Sullivan told BBC Sport.
“I felt great, I felt as though I was going to clear up, just a poor positional shot on the green.
“I played some good safety shots but Ronnie just kept getting out of them and hitting them.
“During the match I felt it was a bit disrespectful the way he played.
“Every time I got him in a snooker he just got down and hit the balls a hundred miles and hour and they could have gone anywhere.
“I don’t know whether he was just in that frame of mind but I just thought it was a little bit disrespectful to me at the table.
“But the last three frames he played great and I’ve got no complaints.”
O’Sullivan found himself at the point of no return, trailing 16-14, but produced two spellbinding frames, firing in quick-fire breaks of 138 and 71 to set up a pulsating decider.
O’Sullivan seized the first scoring chance with a 64 break before missing a red to the corner pocket and allowing Selby back into contention at just 30 points adrift.
After a nail-biting exchange escapes from snookers, O’Sullivan was eventually presented with another chance, which he gratefully accepted to complete the comeback.
Selby added: “Sometimes when you’ve got no shot you can just get down and hit them as hard as you can and hope you try and fluke one.
“Every time I had him in a snooker he seemed to do it.
“I just think it’s disrespectful to the game and also disrespectful to me in that particular match.
“Looking back now I’ve lost the match I probably missed the boat a bit at the end of the third session.
“I had a chance to go 14-9 up but even then the long red I played to the green pocket, I was just about to play it and he’s put his cue next to the seating and stood up in his chair rather than sitting down right in my eyeline.
“Whether he was trying to do mind games or not, I don’t know but Ronnie’s Ronnie and he does those things.”