Northern Ireland news

Ronnie O'Sullivan claims there was 'no atmosphere' inside Waterfront Hall during Northern Ireland Open

Snooker player Ronnie O'Sullivan

SNOOKER player Ronnie O'Sullivan has claimed there was "no atmosphere" inside Belfast's Waterfront Hall as he competed in the Northern Ireland Open.

The six-time world champion also said "it was very flat out there", admitting he "wasn’t really bothered if I won or lost".

His comments came after he made through to the last 32 of the competition when he defeated Andy Hicks 4-1.

But he told Eurosport that he "struggled with the atmosphere - there was really no atmosphere out there".

"I'm playing all right, so normally I can generate the atmosphere but, I don't know… it felt like years ago, every time we played a tournament, every match felt like a big night, like a Champions League night, whereas out there, it was poor… it was hard," he said.

"You’ve got all these games going on, you've got people walking about, you know… I struggled. It's the atmosphere. These flat draws, you’ve just got to hope you get through to the quarters and click into a spark.

"It was very flat out there. I was very bored out there… I just wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible, to be honest with you. I was thinking, `Please, just don't let this go long, two-three hours'.

"I was really not enjoying the atmosphere and wasn't really bothered if I won or lost, to be honest with you."

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