“Innovative” table for the Champion of Champions 2018

This was published by Worldsnooker yesterday

Matchroom Multi Sport is excited to announce that RASSON BILLIARDS is to provide the Official Table for the 2018 ManBetX Champion of Champions snooker which takes place from 5th to 11th November at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry.

The acclaimed Chinese company were the Official Table Supplier to the World Games snooker competition in Poland in 2017 and their pool division has been the Official Table of Matchroom Multi Sport’s roster of world class international pool events for the past three years.

The ManBetX Champion of Champions is the annual 16 player tournament that features winners of all World Snooker events and sanctioned events over the previous 12 months. Televised live on ITV4 in the UK, CCTV in China as well as numerous broadcasters around the world, the ManBetX Champion of Champions is one of the most sought-after titles on the calendar.

Commented Junny Song, General Manager of RASSON BILLIARDS, “We’re so delighted that RASSON will be the Official Table Supplier of Champion of Champions this year! We’ve been cooperating with Matchroom these past few years on their pool events and we’ve experienced ourselves how amazing Matchroom events are.

“This would be the first time for us to work with them on a snooker event, but our Magnum table was chosen as the Official Snooker Table at World Games in Poland last year. The table received praise from both WCBS and the competing pro snooker players following the event.

“This table is innovative on design and very different from traditional snooker tables in the market. We feel this is a great time for the snooker world to have something new and we’re all excited about this opportunity at the Champion of Champions and know everyone will enjoy playing on the table. We look forward to a closer cooperation with Matchroom on more events in the future.”

Emily Frazer, COO of Matchroom Multi Sport said, “We’re thrilled to be working with RASSON on the ManBetX Champion of Champions. They have been a huge success on our pool events like the Mosconi Cup with their state-of-the-art Victory II pool table, and we’re very much looking forward to using their Magnum snooker table in Coventry.

“The ManBetX Champion of Champions is established as one of the biggest tournaments on the calendar. With 16 of the world’s best players in a one-table setup in front of fantastic crowds at the Ricoh Arena, this a great opportunity to showcase RASSON’s Magnum table.”

Tickets for the ManBetX Champion of Champions are on sale now at http://www.championofchampionssnooker.co.uk priced from just £11. Premium and VIP packages are also available.

Now then… that could make it interesting (somehow). In what way is this table “very different”? And how will that impact the players game?
I’m not too sure about this idea …

Ronnie wins the Shanghai Masters 2018

He defeated Barry Hawkins by 11-9 to become the first ever player to defend the Shanghai Masters title as well as the first to have won it three times. It’s all the more remarkable because this was his first tournament of the season!

Shanghai Masters 2018-ROSChampion

Congratulations Ronnie!

It was a very high quality match. Those are the scores:

Shanghai Masters 2018-ROSChampion-SCORES

Here is the report on Worldsnooker:

Ronnie O’Sullivan came from behind to win the 2018 Shanghai Masters, defeating Barry Hawkins 11-9 in the final.

The win sees O’Sullivan defend the title he won here last year, when he beat Judd Trump 10-3 in the final to lift the trophy.

Victory pockets the Rocket £200,000. The event has gained a new level of prestige after transitioning from a ranking event to the most lucrative invitational event of all-time. The tournament carries with it a total of £725,000 in prize money and all of the world’s top 16 were in the 24-man field.

It is the fifth time O’Sullivan has claimed a major title in China and the third time he has won the Shanghai Masters.

Hawkins is still yet to defeat five-time World Champion O’Sullivan in a final, having previously suffered losses at the 2013 World Championship and the 2016 Masters.

O’Sullivan had trailed for much of the first session and never led during the afternoon, as Hawkins claimed a 6-4 advantage.

However, the Rocket immediately imposed himself on proceedings when the evening’s action got underway. He surged to lead for the first time in the match in the 13th frame, before a century run of 113 in the next put him 8-6 ahead at the final mid-session break of the tournament.

They traded blows when they returned. Hawkins won his first frame of the evening thanks to a break of 83. O’Sullivan then constructed an 83 break of his own to restore his two-frame lead at 9-7.

O’Sullivan then moved one from the win, before Hawkins showed his steel to close within one at 10-9. However, 33-time ranking event winner O’Sullivan closed out the win in style with a break of 122.

Barry probably played the best snooker in the whole tournament. He played a great match with Ding and a good one with Mark Williams. He is the in form player. Tough on Barry, but I played well at the end of the match when it mattered so I am really happy to get this victory,” said O’Sullivan. “I managed to find something on the practice table before the start of the evening. I was struggling with my cueing a bit so it was nice to be able to play with a bit more confidence and freedom.

“It is a very major and prestigious tournament. There are a few like that now though. You have the Champion of Champions, which is a great tournament. This and the Masters are great tournaments, just because every player in it is very very good.

Hawkins felt that part of the reason for his defeat was the fact that he couldn’t carry his momentum from the afternoon into the evening session.

He said: “I’m a little bit disappointed to lose another final. I thought I played a decent part in a decent final. I felt I struggled a bit tonight, whereas I was flowing a bit better in the afternoon.”

Here is the interview …

Plus loads of pictures thanks to Tai Chengzhe, plus some picked from social media.

And Ronnie gave his trophy, and the high break trophy to two young kids in the crowd … they were delighted.

Enjoy!

ShanghaiMasters2018Champagne.png

 

Shanghai Masters 2018 – Barry Hawkins joins Ronnie in the Final tomorrow

Here is the report on Worldsnooker:

Barry Hawkins will face Ronnie O’Sullivan in the final of the Shanghai Masters after defeating Ding Junhui 10-9 in a pulsating last four clash.

Hawkins now has the opportunity to defeat O’Sullivan in a final for the first time. He was denied the trophy in his only other showpiece meetings with the Rocket at the 2016 Masters and the 2013 World Championship.

Ding will go home disappointed, but has pocketed £60,000 thanks to his run to the last four.

England’s Hawkins took a slender 5-4 lead into this evening and pressed home that advantage early on to move 7-4 in front.

However, Ding wasn’t deterred won five in a row to himself move to the verge of victory at 9-7. Hawkins didn’t go away and fired in breaks of 101 and 60 to force a decider.

The Hawk held his nerve and produced a steely run of 67 to secure his place in tomorrow’s final where he will do battle with O’Sullivan for the £200,000 top prize.

Hawkins said: “It was great. Most of the crowd were on his side but I think a few were cheering for me. I felt pretty good. I got my chance and managed to hold myself together. To get into a big final like this is a really good start to the season.

“It would be amazing to win the tournament and lift the trophy. I know what I have got to do against Ronnie. You have to take chances and cut out silly mistakes. I’ve beat him before over a long distance. Although he has bashed me up most of the time. I just have to go out there and enjoy it. I’ve got nothing to lose.

Afterwards Ding admitted that he might have to be selective with which events to play in this season, with a packed calendar to choose from.

It is quite disappointing to lose the match this way, but I’ve had many worse tournaments so it is alright. It’s going to be a busy season with lots of tournaments. I have decided that I am going to pick and choose.”

No doubt, the Chinese crowd and the sponsors would have prefered to see Ding through. A final between the two “box office” players in Shanghai would have been a dream.

It wasn’t to be, although at 9-7 up Ding looked certain to win. Then Barry won the next frame and all a sudden you could feel that the match had turned. It’s hard to explain but it’s how I perceived it. When it came to the decider I was certain that Barry would win.

Here is the decider:

However, make no mistake, if both Ronnie and Barry play near their best we are in for a very high quality match. Anyone who watched their 2013 Final at the Crucible will know what I mean. Ronnie was probably playing his best ever snooker – himself said so – and it’s only when they reached the last session that Ronnie managed to shake Barry off. I wouldn’t make a prediction regarding who will win tomorrow, it will very much be about who is fresher and sharper on the day. The only certainties are that both want it badly and that Barry won’t be intimidated, nor will he give up.

Shanghai Masters 2018 – Day 5 – Ronnie books his place in the final

It wasn’t the best of performance from either player, but it was engrossing all the same as both Ronnie and Kyren Wilson played some great shots mixed with unexpected misses. Eventually it was Ronnie who found something in the last mini session and prevailed by 10-6. Ronnie will play either Ding Junhui or Barry Hawkins on Sunday, and should he win he would become the first man to win the Shanghai Masters three times as well as the first to defend this particular title.

Shanghai Masters 2018 SF ROS Scores

Here is the report on Worldsnooker

Ronnie O’Sullivan overcame Kyren Wilson 10-6 to progress to the final of the 2018 Shanghai Masters.

Victory for the Rocket ended a 19-match winning streak for Wilson, who had previously won back-to-back titles at the Paul Hunter Classic and Six Red World Championship.

O’Sullivan is now one win away from defending the title he won here in Shanghai a year ago, when he defeated Judd Trump 10-3 in the final. He will face Ding Junhui or Barry Hawkins in the final on Sunday, with the winner to receive £200,000.

O’Sullivan led 5-4 after the afternoon session, then Wilson got the better of the early exchanges in the evening session to level at 6-6.

Both players missed chances in the crucial 13th frame, Wilson failing to pot frame-ball blue to a baulk corner, allowing his opponent to clear to the black to move 7-6 in front. From there, O’Sullivan didn’t look back and powered to the finish line with breaks of 88, 60 and 84.

O’Sullivan has never faced Ding in a final in China, and admitted that he would relish a clash with the Asian number one.

I’d really enjoy it,” said the 42-year-old. “It would be fantastic to play Ding. I have always enjoyed having the crowd against me. It has always spurred me on to be a party pooper. Especially when I played Stephen Hendry in Scotland or Ken Doherty in Ireland. You get psyched up for it because you feel like you aren’t just playing against your opponent. You are also playing against the crowd.

“I’d love to have more battles with Kyren. He is a great competitor and a great guy. He has some of the qualities that the older generation have. He loves the sport, gives it everything and pays attention to detail.

A disappointed Wilson felt that he spurned too many opportunities to win the match.

He admitted: “It was a really scrappy and poor match. Ronnie didn’t play to his usual best. That was probably his C game. It was nice to see him try hard. In the past he might have thrown the towel in. It is probably testament to my own ability that he feels like he has got to try as I am one of the young guns coming through. However, you have to take your opportunities and I didn’t.

As well as a few images thanks to Tai Chengzhe

Here is a short video with (an excerpt of) Ronnie’s post match, in which he reveals a bit about how he wants to conduct his season

It might not be what fans want, but it’s how he feels about it at this moment in time, and if, when he plays, he plays great and enjoys it, that’s good enough for me! After all since the start of the 2017/18 season, Ronnie has entered, 16 events, made it to the final 8 times and won 5, that could become 6 by Sunday night. We shouldn’t complain!

Shanghai Masters 2018 – Day 4 Round up

It was QF finals day in Shanghai and it saw Ronnie, Kyren Wilson, Ding Junhui and Barry Hawkins booking their places in the semi finals.

You can read about Ronnie’s win over Stuart Bingham here

This is the report, by Worldsnooker, about Kyren Wilson’s win over Ryan Day

kyren-wilson-quarters

The Warrior produced a superb break of 135 in the decider to clinch the match in style. Although he did spurn the opportunity to set the new top score for the event, missing the final black for a 142. The £5,000 high break prize, is currently set to be shared by Bingham and O’Sullivan who have both made breaks of 140.

After the match Wilson, who has now won 19 matches in a row after victories at the Paul Hunter Classic and Six Red World Championship, admitted that he could be bumping into the Rocket at just the right time.

Wilson said: “If I wanted to take him on at any point in my career, now is probably a better time than ever. That doesn’t mean you are going to win. Ronnie is the best to have ever picked up a cue. He will be a tough opponent but I am going to enjoy the match.”

and here, the Worldsnooker report on Ding and Hawkins wins

Ding Junhui saw off a Mark Selby fightback to edge a pulsating quarter-final clash 6-5 at the Shanghai Masters.

The Chinese number one is aiming for his third Shanghai Masters title this week. Victory would see him collect his first title since the recent birth of his baby daughter.

This was the second consecutive meeting between the pair to go down to the wire, the last being their 2018 World Grand Prix semi-final which Selby won 6-5. However, on this occasion it was the world number one who was edged out.

The players were locked together at the mid-session, with the score at 2-2. From there Ding took control of the game and fired in breaks of 101 and 98 to move 4-2 in front. They then traded frames to leave Ding on the verge of victory at 5-3.

Ding looked to have the match at his mercy in the ninth frame, before breaking down and allowing Selby to eventually deposit the final black to steal and pull within one.

The Englishman forced a decider, but it was Ding who made a telling contribution of 53 to seal a semi-final spot.

“I always believe I am good in the deciders, no matter who I am playing,” said Ding. “He put me under a bit of pressure to get back to 5-5, but I didn’t feel it that much. I just thought about my daughter and relaxed. That made it a lot easier.”

Barry Hawkins will face Ding in the last four. The Hawk defeated World Champion Mark Williams 6-4 to progress to the semis.

Watch Kyren Wilson 135 in the deciding frame here

Regarding the Mark Williams v Barry Hawkins match, I can’t add anything to WS minimalist report as I didn’t watch it… comments welcome!

Note that there is an error in WS report above: it was Ding who prevailed in the World Grand Prix 2018 too … 

 

Shanghai Masters 2018 – Ronnie books his place in the Semi Finals

Ronnie booked his place in the semi finals this afternoon in Shanghai (morning in Europe) with a 6-2 victory over Stuart Bingham, and had two centuries which brings his tally to 950. And it was nice to see Zhu Ying in action again!

Ronnie will play Kyren Wilson over best of 19 tomorrow for a place in the Final.

Shanghai Masters 2018-ROSQF-Scores

Here are a few images thanks to Tai Chengzhe!

This is the report on Worldsnooker

Ronnie O’Sullivan eased into the last four of the Shanghai Masters after a 6-2 defeat of Stuart Bingham.

The Rocket is competing in his first event of the 2018/19 campaign this week, having captured five ranking titles last season.

Bingham will now have to turn his attention to the China Championship, which begins in 11 days in Guangzhou.

It was Bingham who got off to the better start today. The 2015 World Champion snatched the opening frame on the black. However, from there O’Sullivan wrested control of proceedings. Breaks of 50 and 93 helped him to go into the mid-session 3-1 ahead.

When they returned the pair traded centuries, with the Rocket firing in a run of 111 before Bingham crafted a break of 134. O’Sullivan then reached a landmark 950 career centuries with a sublime 140 break to move one from victory at 5-2.

He then powered over the line thanks to a break of 72 in the eighth frame. Following the match the Rocket quipped that he may not be pushing too hard for 1000 centuries, despite closing within 50 of the target.

I’m just going to get to 999 and keep you all waiting for as long as I want. You can sit here and talk about centuries all day, but I will decide when you get the 1000th one,” said O’Sullivan. “It is more of a buzz for you to write about and less of a buzz for me. I get more enjoyment out of keeping you all sweating.

And the match:

 

Shanghai Masters 2018 – Day 3 Round-up

With only three matches today, it may have come across as a “light” day in Shanghai, but with the Class of 92 in action, it wasn’t really, especially as Ronnie is the Defending Champion and Mark Williams the World Champion. Both came through the winners in their last 16 matches, but John Higgins was beaten, in a deciding frame, by Ryan Day.

You will find the report on Ronnies win here

And the report on the two other matches by Worlsnookere here

….

World Champion Mark Williams is showing no signs of letting his foot off the gas after another impressive display saw him overcome Scotland’s Anthony McGill 6-3.

The Welshman is looking to once again be in fine form this season, after claiming victory at the Yushan World Open last month. Although he did suffer a shock exit at the recent Six Red World Championship against the UAE’s Mohamad Shehab.

Williams is in a strong position to displace Mark Selby from the summit of the world rankings for the first time since February 2015. The Welshman is currently projected to overtake Selby by the New Year.

In today’s match Williams knocked in breaks of 52, 89, 61, 103 and 61. He will now face Barry Hawkins in the last eight.

Ryan Day overcame John Higgins in a final frame decider to secure a tense 6-5 victory.

Both players produced their best snooker in the latter stages of the clash as they attempted to jostle for the finish post. With Day leading 5-4, Higgins produced a sublime break of 136 to force a decider. However, it was Day who clinched victory with a gutsy contribution of 87.

A few years back you would have expected Ryan Day to fold under pressure, but no more so.

This is a link to their deciding frame. The opening red, under the circumstances was pure class, especially after John Higgins 136 in the previous frame! And the plant in the middle pocket that was in effect match ball wasn’t half bad either!