'I feel sorry for him' – Ali Carter hits back after Ronnie O'Sullivan's four-letter tirade

Ali Carter and Ronnie O'Sullivan
Ali Carter thinks Ronnie O'Sullivan is unwell

Ali Carter has hit back in his war of words with Ronnie O’Sullivan, claiming that he feels sorry for the World No 1, who is now also facing the prospect of disciplinary action.

Carter had accused O’Sullivan of “snotting” on the floor after losing the Masters final at Alexandra Palace on Sunday, prompting the 23-time major champion to furiously tell his rival “to sort his f------ life out”.

The World Snooker Tour has confirmed it is reviewing the comments.

O’Sullivan is also still facing an ongoing disciplinary case following comments he made last year in support of players, which including Carter, who planned to participate in an exhibition in China when the WST-organised Northern Ireland open was taking place. The China event was eventually rescheduled after the players were threatened with being expelled.

The duo have history following a shoulder barge incident during the 2018 World Championship – the only time Carter has beaten O’Sullivan in a major tournament – and there was obvious tension during the match at Alexandra Palace on Sunday.

O’Sullivan declared that “I love seeing it when their bottle goes” after Carter missed a series of chances in the final stages of his 10-7 defeat before taking offence at his beaten opponent’s post-match comments. Carter had described the alleged “snotting” incident as “disgusting”.

O’Sullivan, who had earlier hit out himself over what he called the “freezing… disgusting” state of Alexandra Palace, brandished a middle finger at the press conference after hearing of Carter’s claims. “He can sit on it as far as I’m concerned,” said O’Sullivan. “I don’t give a f---. You know what he’s like, everybody knows what he’s like. He’s got issues.

Ronnie O'Sullivan makes a middle-finger gesture
Ronnie O'Sullivan left the press in no doubt about what the thinks of Ali Carter - Bradley Collyer/PA Wire

“I’m not having it. I don’t care, grow some balls. I don’t give a f---. The more he brings it on, the more I f------ punish him every time.

“He’s just digging a grave for himself. He needs to sort his f------ life out. I haven’t spoken to him for 20 years. I played with him when he was a kid and shared a lot of stuff with him. He’s not a nice person.”

Both players were then playing in the World Grand Prix in Leicester on Tuesday, with Carter asked about O’Sullivan’s remarks. “Ronnie’s entitled to his opinion of me,” Carter told ITV. “I just said what it is and how it was. I just talk facts, simple as that.”

Asked if he was angered by O’Sullivan’s comments he said: “Angry about what? No. It makes no difference to me what he says.

“He says different things on different days. I don’t think even he knows what’s going to come out of his mouth on certain days.

“I actually feel a bit sorry for him. I don’t think he’s that well, mentally. So we move forward and we go again this week.”

O’Sullivan had previously called Carter “Mr Angry” during their 2018 Crucible clash. Carter and O’Sullivan are both from the snooker hotbed of Essex and, with only four years separating them in age, have been regularly playing against each other for the past 25 years.

Carter had also hit out at the Ally Pally crowd, labelling them “morons” as a boisterous atmosphere led to the referee having to issue repeated warnings. After leading 6-3, Carter lost six of the last seven frames and O’Sullivan seemed to take particular pleasure at the manner of his comeback. “I just had to keep Ali honest,” he said. “I thought:‘Let’s get him to the point… where I want to see if he twitches.’”

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