Ronnie O’Sullivan’s greatest rival says ‘now it is best I preserve my mouth shut’

Ali Carter has a new tactic for dealing with Ronnie O’Sullivan following his public feud with the snooker icon.

The pair practised together in their youth before their relationship turned sour, coming to the surface in several high-profile incidents. The Captain and the Rocket clashed at the 2018 World Championship, with O’Sullivan barging into Carter during a second-round match.

Their feud reignited at the Masters in January. After Carter claimed the world number one had “snotted on the floor” during the final at Alexandra Palace, the Rocket blasted back with an astonishing post-match rant after winning 10-7. O’Sullivan didn’t mince his words, suggesting Carter sort his “f*****g life out” and branding him a “nightmare” opponent. Carter, meanwhile, kept his cards close to his chest in the aftermath of the Rocket’s verbal attack.

READ MORE: ‘I’m Ronnie O’Sullivan’s fierce rival – snooker fans don’t see what he does at the table’

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However, speaking on Stephen Hendry’s Cue Tips, Carter couldn’t resist a cheeky quip, saying he’s banned even mentioning O’Sullivan’s name in his practice room at home. The Captain, 45, said: “To be fair, I don’t know too much about him, I say what I see.

“I hold no malice now really. I’m not around him enough for him to feature in my life. We know he’s a great snooker player and all that, but as regards to anything else, I couldn’t tell you.

“I let people make their own minds up. Whatever you say, the staunch Ronnie fans will always slaughter you. I choose to keep my mouth shut.”

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Ronnie O'Sullivan of England plays a shot in the Quarter-final match against Ali Carter of England on day three of 2024 Johnstone's Paint Tour Championship
Ronnie O’Sullivan and Ali Carter have had several public run-ins

On the breakdown of his once tight-knit bond with O’Sullivan, Carter explained: “We used to practice together loads when I was 16, 17, just turning pro. He used to come over to Witham and he played there every day for quite a few months as far as I can remember and we were practising together.

“[It was] around the time when I went on my run and got to the semis of the Grand Prix and then won the Benson and Hedges Championships [in 1999]. Obviously, he helped me massively.

“I think the more competitive I got, the more the relationship sort of not went wrong because that’s not the right word it’s difficult to describe. But, when all of a sudden we’re competitors, I’d find times where he wouldn’t say hello.”