There was drama during the opening moments of the World Championship when Ronnie O’Sullivan asked for the cue ball to be replaced after his first shot.
O’Sullivan was confused when his break-off to open the tournament only trickled to the baulk line.
His opponent Mark Joyce immediately potted a fine long red before playing safe, allowing O’Sullivan to return to the table and ask the referee to examine the cue ball.
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“He’s feeling the cue ball is not quite reacting properly,” said David Hendon on Eurosport commentary, before suggesting green fibres off the table surface could be responsible.
O’Sullivan stressed his point: “I can see a mark on it”. When the referee agreed, the Rocket added: “I think you might want to change it”.
After consulting Joyce, the referee asked for the ball to be changed – but not before holding it up to a TV camera to give viewers at home a close-up of the microscopic fault.
“I can see the white ball,” quipped Joe Jordan.
O’Sullivan eventually won a nervy opening frame against debutant Joyce after both players had missed big openings.
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