Ronnie O’Sullivan confused by Ali Carter claim and hits back after shoulder barge bust-up

Ronnie O’Sullivan has been left confused by Ali Carter’s claim that he apologised for their infamous shoulder-barge incident two years ago. Carter’s only win over O’Sullivan came at the World Championship in 2018 after the pair bumped into each other mid-match. The pair go head-to-head today in the semi-final of the Northern Ireland Open.

Speaking ahead of the match, Carter claimed O’Sullivan had apologised twice since the incident.

“Ronnie apologised to me twice afterwards,” Carter told Eurosport.

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“In the UK Championships in the December afterwards, he said sorry about that.

“I had said ‘no worries’. In the heat of the moment, it was a bit of fun and it got a lot of people talking and put the spotlight on snooker.

“Me and Ronnie are both from Essex, we have a lot of history. He’s beat me in two world finals so it was nice thankfully to get one over on him on the big stage.

“Shame it wasn’t in the final.”

But O’Sullivan has been left bemused by Carter’s quotes, saying he did not apologise.

He also says he didn’t apologise for the spat with Mark Allen during the Champions of Champions quarter-final earlier this month.

“I didn’t apologise to Ali and I didn’t apologise to Mark Allen either,” O’Sullivan said.

“I just said, ‘let’s move on’. Let’s not hold any grudges, it is what it is.

“I still feel I was in the right on both occasions and so that apology they say that I said was definitely not an apology.

“It was more like, ‘let’s just move on’. It was what it was, I’ve got to see you and you’ve got to see me at tournaments. So we can say hello to each other. We’re not boxers, we’re not enemies.

“It’s just a game of sticks and balls. I’m happy with my life, you are happy with your life. Let’s just be friends.”

O’Sullivan beat Ding Junhui to set up today’s match with Carter.

Meanwhile, Carter overcame Kurt Maflin in his quarter-final.

Judd Trump takes on David Grace in the second semi-final later this evening.

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