Stephen Hendry weighs in on Ronnie O’Sullivan vs Ali Carter ‘bad blood’

Stephen Hendry said Ronnie O’Sullivan was ‘bordering on taking the mickey’ at the Masters (Picture: Getty Images)

Stephen Hendry has put Ronnie O’Sullivan and Ali Carter’s recent spat down to the pair being ‘mentally exhausted’ after their Masters campaigns, but predicts their next meeting will be ‘spicy’.

The Rocket and the Captain have not been on great terms for some time and their feud came to a head on Sunday when they met in the final at Alexandra Palace.

O’Sullivan won the game 10-7, but then the battle on the baize turned into a war of words in the post-match press conferences.

Carter accused the world number one of ‘snotting all over the floor’ during the match and when the accusation was put to the Rocket, he fired back.

‘He needs to sort his f***ing life out,’ said O’Sullivan. I’m not going to skirt around it anymore, tip-toeing on egg shells around someone like that. He’s a f***ing nightmare.

‘He’s got issues. F***ing why has he got issues with me? I’m not having it. I don’t care, grow some balls. I don’t give a f about any of these snooker players, any of them.’

Hendry gave his reaction to the headline-grabbing beef, noting that both men will have been mentally drained after a high profile week at one of the sport’s biggest events.

‘It is between the two of them and obviously there is bad blood there, there’s no doubt about it, and it’s gone back quite a long way. Obviously they’ve known each other a long time,’ Hendry said on the Snooker Club podcast.

England's Ronnie O'Sullivan (L) and England's Ali Carter (R) play the Masters snooker tournament final at Alexandra Palace in London on January 14, 2024. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

O’Sullivan and Carter are not on the best of terms (Picture: Getty Images)

‘How is it going to impact on them for the rest of the season as far as the snooker is concerned? I don’t think it’ll affect Ronnie at all, these sort of things just sort of brush off Ronnie.

‘But Carter has got to be careful that this sort of thing doesn’t impact him, especially playing straight away this week in the Grand Prix, that it doesn’t affect his game.

‘People don’t realise that winning these big events… it might not look like it with Ronnie, the way he treats it so easily, but it does take it out of you mentally.

‘But both players will have been mentally exhausted after that week and sometimes you get asked questions in the press conference straight after and you’re still raging after losing and you react differently than you might have done had you waited half an hour to do the press conference.

‘So things are still obviously pretty raw for both players but they’ve got to start again this week and the next time they play each other it’s going to be spicy, there’s no doubt about it.’

Hendry could certainly see why opponents could become frustrated with O’Sullivan during his Masters campaign, due to his all-out-attack style, which the Scot reckons could be seen as disrespectful.

‘The way he was playing all week, it’s bordering on taking the mickey out of your opponent with the way he’s playing and the balls he’s going for,’ he said.

‘It’s almost like: “Well I’m just going to do what I want and if you can’t handle it then fair enough, I’m just going to play this game.”

‘Carter stood up to him in the afternoon and then at night Ronnie had to change his game because that wasn’t going to work to keep playing like that.’


MORE :
Ali Carter confused by Ronnie O’Sullivan feud: ‘We were quite friendly’


MORE : Ronnie O’Sullivan reveals his plan for rest of the snooker season

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