Germaphobe Ronnie O'Sullivan avoids pre-match handshake

Ronnie O'Sullivan during day nine of the Betway UK Championship at the York Barbican. (Photo by Nigel French/PA Images via Getty Images)
Ronnie O'Sullivan (Credit: Getty Images)

Five-time world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan cruised through to the next round of the Scottish Open, but it was it was his handshake, or lack of it, before the match that caught attention.

Playing fellow Englishman James Cahill, who beat the Rocket in last year’s World Championships, O’Sullivan won 4-0 and comfortably went through.

But before the match begun the usual handshake between players saw O’Sullivan pass up the opportunity and try to fist bump his opponent and the referee instead, both of whom looked baffled and unsure how to react.

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When the referee tried to shake his hand, O’Sullivan said to him: “Why are you touching my hands? Germs!”

Speaking to Eurosport after the match, O’Sullivan said: "It's easier to do that and I don't get any germs.

"I'll admit I'm a bit OCD with germs. I don't open door handles, I always have tissues on door handles. I am a bit OCD like that."

“Plus you sometimes get guys who want to crush my hands.”

YORK, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05: Ronnie O'Sullivan plays a shot during his match against Ding Junhui in the fourth round of the Betway UK Championship at The Barbican on December 05, 2019 in York, England. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)
O'Sullivan plays a shot during his match (Credit: Getty Images)

The 44-year-old won the match in just 43 minutes and highlighted the different approach that he adopted.

"I came out and tried to play a little bit more conservative because I have been a bit too attacking I think. I just tried to rein it in a bit, so it meant I had to take a bit more time on my shots."

Elsewhere in the tournament, Judd Trump was another former world champion who booked his place in the next round with a white wash. He beat Yuan Sijun 4-0, while Ding Junhui beat compatriot Mei Xiwen, also by the same scoreline.

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