• UK Championship

Officials call in table-fitters after O'Sullivan complaints

ESPN staff
December 1, 2014
Ronnie O'Sullivan said the state of the tables at the York Barbican Centre made his want to quit © Getty Images

Snooker's governing body employed table-fitters overnight to address concerns raised by Ronnie O'Sullivan about playing conditions at the UK Championship, according to chairman Jason Ferguson.

The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association acted after O'Sullivan said the tables at the York Barbican Centre were "shocking" and made him want to give up.

"Table-fitters worked round the clock and that will make a big difference to the cushion bounces that people are talking about," WPBSA chairman Ferguson told the BBC.

O'Sullivan defeated Peter Lines 6-3 on Sunday evening to progress to the third round, but said balls were hitting the "cushions at one mile an hour and coming off at three miles an hour".

The former world No.1 also lashed out at the tournament's format, with early rounds staged across four tables at a time instead of two. He likened playing in the expanded format to asking Roger Federer "to play on court 13 at Wimbledon in front of three men and a dog".

The UK Championship is contested by the top 128 players in the world and Ferguson insisted the WPBSA was focussed on securing the best format for all of them, not just the star names.

"What we're responsible for as a governing body is 128 professional players on the world snooker tour," Ferguson added. "What we intend to do is make the conditions the best we can for every single player. The only way sport works is if it's fair and everybody gets the same opportunity."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
ESPN staff Close