Michael Holt beat Ronnie for the third time this year tonight in Daqing. In the last 16 of the International Championship, it was the “hitman” who came out the winner by 6-4. Michael is becoming Ronnie’s Nemesis.
Stephen Hendry put it on twitter:
As you probably know Mark Johnston Allen is a player who never won a tournament and who’s highest ranking ever was 31 but beat Hendry three times in three meetings… He’s the one who prompted Hendry to tell the press that he was losing to someone who shouldn’t even be in the same room as him. I leave it to you to understand that tweet as you see fit.
Now seriously, Michael is a much-improved player since he started working with Terry Griffiths: he’s currently 12th in the one year list for a reason. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he finished in the top 16 come the Crucible.
Here is how the match unfolded (source Cuetracker):
Michael Holt 6-4 Ronnie O’Sullivan
Scores(Michael Holt first): 59-44; 77(77)-0; 0-87(83); 69-58(50); 61(57)-73; 63-52; 0-96(96); 108(53)-9; 47-76(76); 76(70)-21
As you can see it was a high-quality match overall: both players had four breaks over 50, and ironically Ronnie scored the two highest breaks of the match:83 and 96.
There is no question that Michael deserved the win: he was the most consistent of the two, and his long potting was better than Ronnie’s, as was his safety, particularly before the MSI. Both players had their share of luck and bad luck. Ronnie had an outrageous fluke at one point, but the way he knocked the pink in-off a red into a pocket whilst splitting the pack in the last frame was quite unfortunate. In fact, after the MSI Ronnie was starting to find his game: he came from 3-1 down 5-4.
Ronnie looked very upset at the end of the match, which is a good sign IMO, a sign that he cares. And his attitude was excellent during the whole match despite the mistakes.
Watch the match here (again):
Here is the report on Worldsnooker:
Wednesday 26 Oct 2016 05:36PM
Michael Holt has secured his third win of 2016 against Ronnie O’Sullivan with a brilliant 6-4 victory at the International Championship in Daqing.
The Hitman had already accounted for O’Sullivan at the World Grand Prix and Shanghai Masters earlier this year. He knows that if he can win the event he will move into the world’s top 16, with the cut off for the Masters looming after next month’s UK Championship.
Holt controlled the opening mini-session, making breaks of 47 and 77, as he moved 2-0 ahead. The Rocket hit back with a break of 88 in the third. However, Holt restored his two frame advantage with a double on the final black to go 3-1 up.
With Holt leading 5-3 and on a run of 47, he looked set to secure the match before missing a straightforward ball to middle. That let O’Sullivan in to counter-clear with 76. The Nottingham potter regained his composure well and made a terrific break of 70 to secure the win.
“I think the main thing about facing Ronnie is not letting him effect how you play. If you can do that then you’ve got a great chance,” said Holt. “I’ve got Stuart Bingham next who will be tough as well. It doesn’t really bother me who I’m playing. I just have to go out there and play the balls, then hopefully I’ll win.”