Ronnie beat Kurt Maflin by 6-4 in the last 32 of the International Championship in Daqing tonight (local time). It was overall a very entertaining match, played very positively as you would expect from those two.
Here is how the match unfolded (source Cuetracker):
Ronnie O’Sullivan 6-4 Kurt Maflin
Scores (Ronnie first): 91(76)-32; 113(59)-12; 32-85(85); 0-132(124); 85-12; 0-77(77); 47-61; 81-39; 84(84)-2; 107(101)-31
image source: Worldsnooker on twitter
As you can see this was high scoring: 7 breaks over 50, 4 by Ronnie, 3 by Kurt including one century each. Ronnie’s attitude was excellent overall, even if some frustration was evident a couple of times when splits didn’t work or when a (rare) concentration slip resulted in a mistake. However, when he found himself 4-3 down, he upped his game and tightened things up. The last two frames were impeccable.
Here is an excerpt of Worldsnooker report on the day:
Ronnie O’Sullivan had to come back from 4-3 down to see off Norway’s Kurt Maflin. The Rocket looked to be on ominous form as he cruised 2-0 in front. However, Maflin responded brilliantly with consecutive runs of 85 and 124 to level the scores. The world number 42 looked to be playing the better snooker, as he took the lead for the first time. It was at that stage that O’Sullivan upped his levels. He made contributions of 84 and 101 whilst taking the final three frames to seal a 6-4 win.
O’Sullivan said: “Kurt is a good player, very confident and when he gets going he can score big breaks. He’s a powerful player. I had to use my experience to get through.”
Here is the match if you wish to watch it again:
Ronnie will face Michael Holt tomorrow evening in the last 16
One thing that struck me is that the crowd was significantly smaller today than it was yesterday, and that was true for Ding’s match as well. I can only see one explanation: the tickets are usually very expensive for ordinary people in Chines events, and the fans favoured the first round matches where they were certain to see their heroes rather than risk getting a ticket for a further round and be disappointed because their player of choice has lost in an earlier round.