Ronnie O'Sullivan forced to defuse row after irate photographer confronts him
Ronnie O'Sullivan was forced to confront an irate photgrapher in the media conference after his 4-2 win over Lukas Kleckers in the first round of the Northern Ireland Open.
O'Sullivan completed a win over the talented world number 127 Kleckers from Germany before becoming involved in a verbal joust with a local amateur photographer who was unhappy he had been asked to leave the Belfast Waterfront main arena by referee Leo Scullion.
The five-times world champion aired his displeasure with the apparent movement of the photographers putting him off his shot as he led 53-0 in the fifth frame.
When asked by Eurosport what the problem was with photographers during the match, O'Sullivan said: "I got in trouble because the photographers at the Masters last year were moving on my shot.
"And obviously I got a letter from World Snooker. I got my lawyer onto it. I said it was ridiculous really so we had to find out what procedures the photographers go through.
"Because you are playing in a sport when every movement is noticeable. They said we fully train them, blah, blah... and they are meant to have tripods so there is no movement.
"As soon you see someone moving especially if it is a photographer you aren't sure if they are going to move. The rules are the rules that they have to have a tripod.
"I don't want to complain again about a photographer or a referee. As long as they do their job in the proper way, I'll have nothing to complain about.
"Then I won't have to get letters from World Snooker. That's how it is: you have a tripod and there is no issue."
Yet O'Sullivan's explanation did not appease the photographer, who discussed the matter with the 30-times ranking winner at length after the match with the leading money winner this season explaining his point of view in a considered manner.
Kleckers had rallied with a glorious 137 break on his way to restoring parity at 2-2 in the match.
Breaks of 91 and 126 earned O'Sullivan - fresh from winning the Shanghai Masters - a 2-0 advantage only for the 21-year-old to piece together 137 and 60.
But Kleckers could only muster two points in the final two frames as O'Sullivan finished with a 71 to progress after he failed to register a point in the third and fourth frames.
O'Sullivan will face Duane Jones in the last 64 on Wednesday afternoon.
TUESDAY'S FIRST ROUND MATCHES/RESULTS
- Jack Lisowski 4-0 Sean O'Sullivan
- Sam Baird 3-4 Zhang Yong
- Aditya Mehta 0-4 Li Yuan
- Michael Georgiou 4-0 David Grace
- Ali Carter 4-0 Chen Zhe
- Xiao Guodong 4-2 Christopher Keogan
- Zhang Anda 2-4 Akani Songsermsawad
- Scott Donaldson 2-4 Wang Yuchen
- Robbie Williams 0-4 Yan Bingtao
- Zhou Yuelong 4-3 Graeme Dott
- Jimmy Robertson 4-2 Michael White
- Barry Hawkins 3-4 Zhao Xintong
- Jak Jones 4-3 Lee Walker
- Liang Wenbo 4-1 Jackson Page
- Alan McManus 1-4 Yuan SiJun
- John Higgins 4-2 Nigel Bond
- Stephen Maguire 4-0 Basem Eltahhan
- Duane Jones 4-1 Mitchell Mann
- Matthew Stevens 4-0 Leo Fernandez
- Rhys Clark 0-4 Matthew Selt
- Tom Ford 4-2 Fergal O'Brien
- Mark Williams 4-0 James Wattana
- Paul S Davison 4-0 Rod Lawler
- Judd Trump 2-4 Stuart Carrington
- Ryan Day 4-3 John J Astley
- Luca Brecel Fang Xiongman W/O
- Chris Totten 0-4 Chris Wakelin
- Gary Wilson 4-1 Alexander Ursenbacher
- Mark Joyce 3-4 Ben Woollaston
- Ronnie O'Sullivan 4-2 Lukas Kleckers
- Martin O'Donnell v Michael Holt W/O
- Daniel Wells 0-4 David Gilbert
Desmond Kane at the Belfast Waterfront