World Championship 2016: Organisers defend 'horrific' tables

By Shamoon HafezBBC Sport at the Crucible Theatre

World Snooker will "monitor conditions closely" after criticism of the tables at the World Championship in Sheffield.

On Saturday, table one at the Crucible Theatre was described as "the worst I have ever played on" by Ali Carter.

Organisers say they have already taken steps to try and improve conditions at snooker's most prestigious event.

"We changed the cloth and cushions on Wednesday, and we will change the cushions again on Saturday," World Snooker said in a statement.

Saturday night's planned cushion change was "scheduled before the event", it added.

The governing body also said it has allocated a set of balls to every match, rather than one set for each table, and turned the table heaters down "in order to make the cushions more consistent".

"We believe these measures, together with Saturday's cushion change, will have a positive effect," added World Snooker.

On Friday, Welshman Mark Williams wiped the cushions down with a damp cloth in order to stop the number of uneven bounces from the cue ball.

Two-time finalist Carter, who suffered several kicks and heavy bounces off the cushions, was irate after losing 13-11 to Alan McManus in the second round.

"The conditions were horrific. There were kicks every other shot and big bounces off the cushions," said Carter. "I just wanted to smash the place up at the interval, I was that frustrated."

Michael Holt, who suffered a 13-8 defeat against two-time champion Williams, also expressed unhappiness.

"I am not going to criticise the tables but I can observe them," added Holt. "They were... interesting.

"It was about being the best guesser. You just need to watch it and see what was happening, we are not that bad."

The two-table situation remains until the semi-final stage, when it switches to one.

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