Stephen Hendry revealed Ronnie O’Sullivan had told him he was "fed up" as ’The Rocket’ staged his sensational walk-out from the Maplin UK Championship in York today.
O’Sullivan dramatically conceded the quarter-final between the duo after only five frames, the first four of which had been won by Hendry.
The 31-year-old from Essex had just taken frame five to trail 4-1 and was on a break of 24 when he attempted to cut in a red but missed, and immediately went over to shake the hand of Hendry and referee Jan Verhaas.
The world number three walked straight out of the Barbican Centre arena, leaving his opponent and the crowd visibly baffled by his decision.
Words were spoken between the two players, who have clashed in the past, but Hendry stressed it was entirely amicable and that O’Sullivan merely insisted he did not want to continue the match.
Asked for his reaction to what had happened, Hendry said: "I don’t even think I’ve got a reaction at the minute, it’s just bizarre.
"I’m not going to sit here and criticise Ronnie for doing something because I don’t know what his reasons were or what his thoughts are or if there is anything wrong.
"He came into my dressing room and said ’good luck for the rest of the tournament’. I asked if there was anything wrong and he said ’no, I’m just fed up, I’ve had enough’. It’s just bizarre.
"There has been no bad feeling between us over the last few days - there is no bad feeling between us anymore anyway. I’ve not sensed anything from Ronnie backstage - I haven’t got a clue."
Although O’Sullivan had been playing well below par in the early stages, world number one Hendry did not believe the fact O’Sullivan was losing had contributed to his decision.
"I don’t think you can blame the scoreline of the match," Hendry added.
"Ronnie had just got his first frame on the board and was in the balls. He played a bad positional shot, went for a dodgy red and missed it.
"I knew he had left me in and I was focused on potting a few balls and winning the frame. Then he shook my hand - I was totally amazed.
"I’m not going to lie, it’s a good feeling to be in the next round. But I was enjoying the match, playing well and obviously I would much rather have won properly."
It meant Hendry went through to the semi-finals as a 9-1 winner and will play either Steve Davis or Graeme Dott on Saturday.