Ronnie came back from 4-1 down to beat Liang Wenbo by 5-4 in the last 32 of the Shanghai Masters 2016. This was his first competitive match of the season, and he looked vulnerable at the start of the match, especially when things got scrappy. But he got stronger as the match progressed whilst this opponent was increasingly feeling the pressure. The crowd was extremely excited and raucous and mainly supporting Ronnie rather than his Chinese opponent.
Here is the match report on Worldsnooker, with Ronnie’s quotes.
Tuesday 20 Sep 2016 05:11PM
O’Sullivan is making his first appearance of 2016/17
Ronnie O’Sullivan recovered from 4-1 down to beat Liang Wenbo at the Shanghai Masters on the Rocket’s first appearance of 2016/17.
After Liang claimed a scrappy opener, O’Sullivan got his first frame on the board with a run of 84.
However, Liang continued to feed off mistakes from a rusty O’Sullivan. The Chinese potter opened up a 4-1 lead.
Five-time World Champion O’Sullivan countered with a break of 65 in the sixth frame to keep his chances alive and the pressure began to take its toll on Liang. He missed several opportunities to clinch the match and as the Rocket grew in confidence, he began to punish Liang’s mistakes. Visits of 42 and 56 were enough to seal a 5-4 comeback win.
“Being 4-1 down wasn’t an ideal situation, but I thought that I just had to try my best and see what happens. I won a couple of frames and the match turned around,” said O’Sullivan. “I need to start putting more time in now. If I want to compete with the best players in the world I need to play more. I think I have four or five very good years left in my career.”
As Matt Huart explained in his blog, this win is important for Ronnie as it places him inside the top 10, who automatically get an invite to the very lucrative new event to be held in Guangzhou, early November.
Here is the match if you missed it, or couldn’t watch … or want to watch it again
2016 Shanghai Masters: Ronnie O’Sullivan – Liang Wenbo
And here are pictures by Tai Chengzhe and Windy Xu. Thanks to both!
Elsewhere, all pros involved in wilcard round matches, won today; Stephen Maguire made a 147 in frame 3 of his. You can read all about it on Worldsnooker.
The defending Champion Kyren Wilson was beaten by Michael Holt who will be Ronnie’s next opponent, and a very tough one! Here is the account of this match on Worldsnooker. Mark Selby and Mark Allen were the two other seeds playing their last 32 matches today and both won easily.