Why did Ronnie O'Sullivan do a robot impression?

Why did Ronnie O'Sullivan do a robot impression?

08/02/2017 at 16:03Updated 08/02/2017 at 17:53

Ronnie O'Sullivan completed a 4-2 victory over the talented teenager Yan Bingtao in the World Grand Prix first round before producing a hilarious impromptu impersonation of a robot at Preston's Guild Hall.

O'Sullivan is facing a fine for criticising a referee on Eurosport and swearing in a media conference, but believes the severity of the fines, the arbitrary nature of them plus the tone and timing of the letters sent from the governing body are unjustified.

Ronnie O'Sullivan: Free speech is being stifled in snooker, I'm no longer willing to meet the cost

Aware that he could be fined for offering an opinion that might not suit World Snooker, O'Sullivan kept his answers short and sharp when quizzed by reporters in a media conference and former player Neal Foulds during ITV's coverage of the event on ITV4.

It resulted in a hilarious impression of a robot during an interview that lasted just over one minute with O'Sullivan giving clipped answers rather than offering an opinion.

"For some reason, I appear to get fined more than all the fines the other players get for similar offences," said O'Sullivan in his blog. "I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions from that.

"In fact, some other players don't get reported for similar things they have done. Sadly, I feel some of it is a bit personal. Why? Because it has been going on for years.

"From now on, when I don't say much in my interviews regarding snooker, you know why. I will no longer put my head on the chopping block. I don't need the PR good or bad."

O'Sullivan looked in fine fettle during his opening match in Preston sinking a red in the opening frame after Bingtao's break and he went on to record a century break of 137.

Bingtao offered slightly more resistance in the second frame, but he was unable to prevent the tournament favourite moving 2-0 ahead.

However he fought back, getting a break of 69 to take the third and then two half-centuries to take the fourth, all without O'Sullivan getting on the board.

O'Sullivan responded with a half-century of his own and then notched his second century (128) to seal the match.

He later tipped the 16-year-old Bingtao to become a future world champion on Twitter.

He will face the winner of the game between Neil Robertson and Ricky Walden for a place in the last eight.

In the other early game of the evening session, Anthony McGill beat David Gilbert 4-1.

He will face Marco Fu in the next round after the Scottish Open champion defeated Jamie Jones 4-2.

World Grand Prix first round draw

Mark Selby (1) v Martin Gould (32)

Mark Williams (17) 2-4 Joe Perry (16)

Anthony Hamilton (9) v Mark Allen (24)

Dominic Dale (25) 0-4 Liang Wenbo (8)

Yan Bingtao (28) 2-4 Ronnie O'Sullivan (5)

Ricky Walden (21) v Neil Robertson (12)

Barry Hawkins (13) 4-2 Kyren Wilson (20)

Judd Trump (4) 4-2 Tom Ford (29)

Ali Carter (3) 4-3 Zhou Yuelong (30)

Mark King (14) 4-3 Stephen Maguire (19)

David Gilbert (22) 1-4 Anthony McGill (11)

Marco Fu (6) 4-2 Jamie Jones (27)

John Higgins (7) 3-4 Michael White (26)

Ryan Day (23) 4-2 Stuart Bingham (10)

Michael Holt (18) 1-4 Shaun Murphy (15)

Yu Delu (31) v Ding Junhui (2)