Ronnie booked his place in the quarter-finals tomorrow with a 4-1 win over Yu Delu.
Yu might well be the lowest-ranked player remaining in the tournament, he’s no easy opponent and Ronnie certainly didn’t underestimate him. They know each other’s game very well, having practiced together at the Grove, and Yu beat Ronnie in the Players Championship Grand Final in 2014.
The first frame was error-strewn, both players making mistakes aplenty. Yu got ahead and potted the final green to go 22 ahead with 22 on. However, Ronnie managed to clear to earn a respotted black, only for Yu to win it with a fluke…
Ronnie got in early in the second frame and from there made a fluent 96 that got him settled. From then on it was one-way traffic as the scores clearly show.
After the match, Ronnie said that he was happy with both his scoring and his safety.
He will face Mark Selby in a best of 9 quarterfinals tomorrow afternoon.
Here are some quotes from the press conferences
“I played some reasonable safety and scored well,” said Masters champion O’Sullivan. “I tried to find some rhythm and not worry about the scoreline. I was pleased with how I approached it.” (source Worldsnooker)
“I’m pleased to still be in the tournament. No matches here are a gimme,” said O’Sullivan.“John Higgins, the second greatest player I have ever seen, has been beaten. It takes a top player to have a slightly off day and you are going out.”
“Yu Delu is a brilliant player so I was a bit nervous at the start,” said O’Sullivan.“I maybe was giving him a little bit too much respect. I lost the first frame but got some momentum going after.” (source BBC)
“Michael White is definitely top eight, knocking on the door and if he won the world title this year I wouldn’t be surprised,” said O’Sullivan.
“I really like him as a person and I don’t think you can deny the talent he has, the snooker brain he has and the most important thing, he has bottle.
“He has all the ingredients to be a definite world champion and I love his attitude. He has a love and an enthusiasm for the game and we’re talking about a possible multiple world champion – he has going to win big, he has to.” (source Walesonline)
Some pictures by Tai Chengzhe, big thanks to him!
Finally, here is the full match, if you missed it or want to watch it again: