Judd Trump has lashed out at Champion of Champions winner Ronnie O’Sullivan for failing to acknowledge his superb 147 in the final. And the Juddernaut, who did not win a penny for his maximum under the event rules, also insists that there should be a minimum prize of £10,000 for the feat.
World No 1 O’Sullivan, 46, scored a third huge win this year over his rival with a 10-6 victory over Trump in Bolton on Sunday night. It was a repeat of the Crucible final that saw an emotionally drained Rocket clinch a record-equalling seventh world title and then slump into his beaten opponent’s arms in a long embrace.
But at the weekend when Trump made a magnificent maximum to close to 6-2 adrift O’Sullivan stayed in his chair and did not offer the customary handshake and congratulations. He was criticised by TV pundits Stephen Hendry and Ken Doherty for the unprecedented lack of response, with former Masters champion Mark Allen also weighing in on social media.
Trump said: “You celebrate making the 147, turn around and put your cue down – and I kind of expected Ronnie to get up and say well done. That is just the normal thing to do. He chose not to do that for whatever reason.
“It is a special feat for anyone and it would have been nice to get his seal of approval as well, but that didn’t happen. At that point in the final when he was still 6-2 up, he knows if he plays half-decent he is going to win. He is too good not to.
“So you would have expected him to be relaxed enough to say good things, especially after what happened at the World Championships final. He was very emotional and I was polite and kind enough to stay with him while he was hugging me. But maybe he still just feels under so much pressure to win every event.
“In any tournament you should be rewarded for making a 147, whether it is money or some kind of other reward. It is such a special feeling and moment, you can tell by the way the crowd reacts and every maximum is special wherever it is.
“In a big tournament like this the minimum should probably be around £10,000 to £15,000 mainly to incentivise the players to even go for them. It is good for the fans if they see them, and there is always good publicity for the tournament. With this one I knew there was no reward, but making 147s is just something I want to do anyway.
“Nothing really matches that buzz, so that’s great – but it would be good to get a reward as well, and more players would go for it when the frame is won or nearly won. The 147 was a good one, even from the first red it wasn’t easy to get on the black – I ended up with a tough black to the middle pocket, and there a few chances to play for other colours.
“Overall to play that badly in the final bar the 147 when you have played so well in the rest of the tournament was a bit annoying.” But a defiant and unrepentant O’Sullivan hit back, saying: “I don’t know – what do they want me to do? I may as well just go out there and knock a few balls around.
“It’s brilliant Judd made the 147, but we still had a match to play as far as I was concerned. People have got their opinions and I don’t care what anyone thinks of me or what I do or don’t do. I absolutely do not give a monkey’s. I am not being disrespectful – but I just don’t.”