Mark Selby and Ronnie O’Sullivan accused each other of gamesmanship after a controversial Scottish Open final that the former won 9-3.
Selby comfortably avenged his World Championship semi-final defeat to O’Sullivan in Milton Keynes, although there appeared to be some bad blood remaining from their Sheffield meeting in August.
The pair exchanged words a couple of times during the match and Selby accused O’Sullivan – who tried to carry on playing frames even when they were lost – of getting “agitated” as the world champion struggled to find his fluency.
“He tried to carry on, which he did in all the other frames,” Selby said about one frame which he had won.
“The ref actually announced that it was a frame to me and said you couldn’t carry on after that.
“I’m sure Ronnie would have carried on, he’s been doing that all week when he’s 120 behind on the yellow.”
Selby said O’Sullivan had deliberately moved into his eyeline when playing a shot early in the match.
“I’m playing a long red into the corner and he stood up,” Selby said.
“I could see him in my eyeline and just as I’m about to play the shot he started chalking his cue quite loudly.
“I got off up the shot and looked at him and he raised his eyebrows as if to say ‘sorry I didn’t realise I was doing it’.
“But he knew exactly what he was doing and I managed to play the shot and potted it. ”
O’Sullivan then complained that Selby was tapping his water bottle in the fourth frame when he was playing a shot.
“He thought I was chalking my cue and putting him off, but I wasn’t even in his eyeline,” O’Sullivan said. “I was in my chair when he was playing a safety shot.
“I found that a bit strange, so when he started doing that (tapping his water bottle) I thought ‘I might as well pull you up’.
“So I said ‘any chance you can not do it when I’m on my shot?’ But there’s no issue between me and Mark, I think we have to thank each other for driving us to be better players.”
Selby countered: “I went to have a drink of water when Ronnie wasn’t even down to play his shot.
“He was still stood up deciding what to play and when I put it down he still hadn’t got down to play his shot.
“He was saying to the ref I was making noises and moving, similar to what he was doing to Mark Allen. I think that was because I was getting on top of him and he was getting agitated. He doesn’t like it if people compete with him.”
Selby won the first frame and never looked back after taking a 2-1 lead with a 102 break.
The Leicester potter was 6-2 ahead at the interval and the out of sorts O’Sullivan earned a short reprieve before the inevitable conclusion.
“I’ve been really consistent since the World Championship and I was delighted with the way I played,” said Selby, who collected the trophy with his six-year-old daughter Sofia in attendance.