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O’Sullivan reveals conversation with Ding during embrace by the baize

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Ronnie O'Sullivan Ding Junhui

Image credit: Getty Images

ByMichael Hincks
27/04/2017 at 20:41 | Updated 27/04/2017 at 21:57
@MichaelHincks

Ronnie O’Sullivan opened up to Eurosport about his conversation with Ding Junhui following their embrace at the World Championship.

Ding beat O’Sullivan 13-10 in their quarter-final meeting on Wednesday night, but the Rocket was all smiles as he congratulated his opponent after the winning frame.

And speaking on Eurosport during Thursday's semi-final action, O’Sullivan elaborated on what was said when the pair conversed by the baize.

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“He said some nice things to me,” O’Sullivan said. “And I just said ‘Look, you played like a man there’. A few years ago he would have cracked but he didn’t and I said ‘That’s what you have to do to win the title’.

“He’s experienced enough to know that. It’s not that Ding can’t win under pressure, it’s just about having that belief that [Mark] Selby has.

“Selby has an unshaken belief. But if Ding goes behind he is liable to go. Though under pressure at 9-9 he’s as good as anyone, so it’s not as if he can’t handle it – it’s just more of a mental thing.

“I didn’t know what to do [regarding embrace]. But he kind of leant into me and whispered into my ear. So I thought I’d give him a bit of feedback. I love him, he’s such a lovely guy.”

Ding currently leads Selby 5-3 in semi-finals, while John Higgins leads Barry Hawkins by the same scoreline.

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