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Rocket in the headlines despite Crucible loss

Ronnie O’Sullivan insisted he never asked to be the centre of attention in snooker after his World Championship exit at the hands of Ali Carter. The five-time champion went down 13-9 to Carter in the last-16 showdown, the first time in their careers that the latter had been victorious. Carter has lost two world finals to O’Sullivan previously and had been knocked out of the World Championship four times by the Rocket. He said he was determined not to be intimidated by O’Sullivan this time around, having conceded that in the past he’d allowed himself to be ‘bullied’ by his opponent. Carter suggested pre-match that the two weeks in Sheffield were not the ‘Ronnie O’Sullivan show’.

O’Sullivan, 42, barged into his fellow Englishman’s shoulder during the 19th frame of a surprise loss though afterwards he blamed the media for trying to make a story out of ‘nothing’. “I am not writing the headlines, I see where they are coming from but every sport has their Tiger Woods and Roger Federer. I happen to be the figure in snooker,” O’Sullivan said. “I am not saying I win as much as them or have the records and I did not ask for that situation. I try to carry it the best I can. “I am not an egotistical person. I did not sign up for that but over 25 years I have had some great play, an interesting life and people have been intrigued by it. You have helped to carry that story all the way through. “Until I die, you will have to keep writing stuff. You cannot say: ‘We have had 25 years of Ronnie, can we push him aside?'”

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