O’Sullivan faces threat of fine for taking off his shoes

Craig Steadman (right) waits to play a shot against Ronnie O'Sullivan (left).
Craig Steadman (right) waits to play a shot against Ronnie O'Sullivan (left).
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Ronnie O’Sullivan could be set for a fine after playing with no shoes on for some of his 2015 World Snooker Championship opener against qualifier Craig Steadman yesterday.

In terms of the scoreline, five-time champion O’Sullivan enjoyed a relatively comfortable time of it, emerging from the first session of the encounter – that had begun with him making a century break – with a 7-2 lead over Crucible debutant Steadman.

But the world No 2, who suffered a broken ankle towards the end of last year, appeared in discomfort due to his footwear at one point and opted to remove his shoes, briefly playing on in his socks.

He subsequently borrowed a pair of shoes from tournament director Mike Ganley and put them on, but it is understood the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association will look into the matter to consider whether it constitutes a breach of its rules about members’ dress code, which could see O’Sullivan handed a fine.

O’Sullivan needs just three more frames to wrap up victory when the match resumes this morning.

The evening session saw Northern Ireland’s Mark Allen secure his second-round place by wrapping up a 10-3 win over Wales’ Ryan Day.

Allen had built up a 6-3 lead from the first session earlier in the day and swiftly finished the job later on to progress to an encounter with world No 5 and 2013 finalist Barry Hawkins.

In the all-Welsh showdown between Mark Williams and Matthew Stevens – a repeat of the 2000 final – the latter took an overnight lead after the opening session.

Fifteen years ago, Williams triumphed 18-16, but last night’s encounter was full of drama as Stevens came out with a 7-2 lead. The match concludes this afternoon.

Ten-time winner Reanne Evans’s decade-long reign as women’s world champion ended in the semi-finals of the World Championship.

Evans, 29, lost 4-2 to Hong Kong’s Ng On Yee – who went on to lift the trophy – at the Northern Snooker Centre, Leeds.

England’s Emma Bonney – who beat Jaique Ip of Hong Kong in her semi-final – lost out in the final.