Ronnie beat Xia Guodong by 6-4 in the last 64 round of the International Championship 2016, in a very tense match played in front of a huge crowd. The end of the match was quite dramatic: Ronnie, leading by 5 frames to 4, forced a respotted black in frame 10 and won it … or rather Xiao lost the frame, and the match, as he went in-off. Despite playing a Chinese player Ronnie got a lot of support from the crowd and security had to step in to prevent a floor invasion.
This is how the match unfolded (source: Cuetracker)
Ronnie O’Sullivan 6-4 Xiao Guodong
Referee: Jan Verhaas
Scores (Ronnie first): 137(137)-7; 100(55)-2; 0-88; 109(78)-1; 0-70(69); 0-79(79); 100-16; 71(71)-7; 36-80(54); 69-62.
Image source: Worldsnooker on twitter
Ronnie started strongly with a great 137, but overall he won’t be too happy with his game tonight: his safety wasn’t great, nor was his long potting. But he applied himself, stayed patient, and battled to the last ball. Both players made mistakes, Xiao was all at sea during the first two frames, but both also scored when in the balls: between them, they had 7 breaks over 50. It was not the highest quality, but it was certainly thrilling.
And here is the match report on Worldsnooker
Monday 24 Oct 2016 05:14PM
Ronnie O’Sullivan has progressed to the last 32 of the International Championship in Daqing, after overcoming a strong challenge from Xiao Guodong.
The Rocket knocked in a sublime total clearance of 137 in the opening frame and things looked ominous for Xiao as the lead was doubled with a run of 55 in the second. However, runs of 48, 69 and 79 meant that the scoreline converged at 3-3.
O’Sullivan claimed the next two frames to make a charge towards the finish line, but Xiao hit back to go 5-4. The Chinese potter had looked set to force a decider, but missed an awkward pink with the rest to take the tenth frame. O’Sullivan forced a re-spot, before Xiao despairingly went in off to hand the Rocket the match.
“Xiao is a good friend of mine. He’s a strong player,” said O’Sullivan. “It’s never nice to lose a game like that, but I’m just really happy to be through to the next round.”
And here is the match itself:
He will face Kurt Maflin in the last 32, tomorrow night, local time (midday in Europe)