Ronnie O'Sullivan was again unhappy with someone in the crowd as he complained about a security guard in the World Championship final.
It is the fifth occasion in O’Sullivan’s illustrious career that he has occupied the world No. 1 ranking, and the first time since 2019, as he continues his pursuit of a record-equalling seventh world title.
But while he has been at his sublime best throughout this fortnight in Sheffield, the 46-year-old has once again found himself frustrated with an onlooker inside the Crucible Theatre while he has been over a shot.
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This time, rather than it being a member of the crowd who upset the Rocket, it was a security guard who was moving around too much in his eyeline.
It is not the first time in this tournament that O'Sullivan has been less than happy with a member of the audience at the Crucible Theatre.
"He keeps moving about, the security guard - just tell him to stay out of my eyeline," O'Sullivan told the referee, who in turn waved and instructed the person in question.
"He is staring at someone in the audience here!" said Dave Hendon, on commentary for Eurosport.
"He is right in his eyeline. I mean, he potted the pink, but he still wants the person ... in fact, it is the security guard he is talking about!"
"It is not actually a spectator. He is in a mean mood here isn't he!"
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Watch as O'Sullivan asks referee to intervene over fan distractions
A frustrated O'Sullivan ended up complaining to the referee and pleading with fans to stop distracting movements during his semi-final clash with John Higgins.
While O'Sullivan kept his composure and did not lose his temper over the incident, his frustration was clear to see as he asked the referee, Marcel Eckardt, to step in and give the fans a warning over their conduct.
"Just maybe mention, for both players, it's quite off-putting," O'Sullivan suggested to Eckardt. "Just the eyeline. Just the eyeline."
Then, turning to the crowd, O'Sullivan asked while smiling and giving a thumbs-up: "Is that alright?!"
"It was another phone," explained Hendon, on commentary for Eurosport at the time.
"I'm not sure what more the referees can do apart from making polite requests, and sometimes not-so-polite, just to turn them off.
"It was just a bit of movement that O'Sullivan was noticing in his eyeline."
In the Eurosport studio at the time, snooker legend Jimmy White was not impressed with the conduct of the fans in the Crucible and said it should be much better for the sake of the players.
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"There was a bit of commotion in the audience, a few people moving on the shot," White said.
"He [the referee] is not forceful enough. Ronnie is telling him. You do get people in there that are moving, their phones are going off. You can do things like that. It is wrong.
"If you are sitting next to a guy and his phone is going off ... it is really off-putting for the players and off-putting for the fans.
"Ronnie regrouped there. He waved to the guy because he did not want to embarrass him, and he played a really difficult brown under the circumstances."
Alan McManus added: "The thing about it is, if one person moves, it is worse than 35 people moving.
"There are a lot of good refs nowadays. They have to be stern with the crowd."
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