Ronnie’s bid for a sixth World Title in 2016 came to an end yesterday evening, as Barry Hawkins beat him by 13-12 in the last session of the last 16 round.
It was an absolute thriller of a match, both players playing to a very, very high standard. Both players gave it absolutely everything they had and should be commended for the way they played. The way Ronnie fought back to close the gap from 12-9 down to force a decider was absolutely fantastic. How Barry played the decider, after losing the last three frames in next to no time, was equally remarkable.
This was a real treat for the fans and by far the best match of the tournament so far, even of the season in my opinion. It’s really a shame that those two had to clash at such an early stage because both showed a form that could win them the title. I now wish Barry the very best and would be delighted if he can lift the trophy next Monday.
Here are the statistics after 24 frames, it’s telling it all:
Detailed results and scores can be found on cuetracker as always, this is an excerpt:
Scores (Barry Hawkins first) : 74(54)-23; 0-139(139); 102(102)-25; 0-88(88); 31-107(103); 90-21; 62-21; 60-0; 73-68(68); 1-118(118); 74(74)-1; 0-82(82); 106(65)-0; 0-89(89); 0-78; 81-0; 3-98(93); 68-55; 26-71(70); 68(54)-30; 94(94)-0; 0-124(124); 0-92(88); 52-64(63); 70(56)-15
Centuries: Barry Hawkins: 102; Ronnie O’Sullivan: 139, 103, 118, 124
Referee: Brendan Moore
As you can see, Ronnie made 12 breaks over 60, in winning 12 frames and still lost the match. In his postmatch, he made a good and unbiased analysis of how this could happen.
Here is Ronnie’s postmatch press conference, very balanced, even positive I’d say
A few pictures of the match, courtesy of Tai Chengzhe, thank you Tai.
If you haven’t seen the match, or want to watch it again, here it is:
Session 2 (frames 13-16) :
I was sat in the arena for this match. I remember having no expectations. I knew that Ronnie had been unwell mentally after his first-round match and I was amazed that he was playing at all. The key in that match was that Ronnie was not able to win the close frames;