Filming, promo, China Open 2017 draw … and more.

Ronnie was busy today, filming some promotional stuff ahead of the broadcasting of his documentary “American Hustle” for History Channel.

This is what he tweeted, along with these two pictures:

Doing some promo filming for @HISTORYUK American hustle out in the new year

4 games of pool at once filmed in 360

According to Matt Smith on twitter the first show is scheduled on January 26, 2017.

Meanwhile Worldsnooker has published the draw and format for the China Open 2017 qualifying round, to be played in Preston, end January 2017. The players have to win one match, the main event being played in Beijing from the last 64 on.

Tuesday 20 Dec 2016 03:57PM

The draw and format for the qualifying round of the 2017 China Open is now available. It will take place at the Guild Hall in Preston from January 24 to 27, with the winners going through to the final stages in Beijing in March.

click-here-for-the-draw

click-here-for-the-format

Ronnie has entered the tournament and will play James Cahill, over best of 9, on Thursday, 26 January at 7pm (UK time)

One tournament Ronnie has NOT entered this time is the Championship League Snooker 2017.

The tournament has been moved from Crondon Park to the Ricoh Arena in Coventry. I assumed that this meant that there would be an audience this time, but apparently that’s not the case. Surely David Hendon will be devastated: the breakfasts and desserts in Crondon Park are famous! And the players will miss the big leather armchairs … Traditions really go out of the window under Barry Hearn!

I doubt though that the deserts or the armchairs have anything to do with Ronnie giving it a miss. The main factors are probably that he’s focusing on ranking events this season and that Coventry isn’t just down the road …

 

Scottish Open 2016 – Marco Fu is your Champion

Life, family and a birthday celebration came in the way of snooker this week-end … so here is, eventually, the aftermath of what happened over the previous two days in Glasgow.

Congratulations to Marco Fu, our Scottish Open 2016 Champion.

Marco won an extraordinary 8 consecutive frames to beat John Higgins by 9-4, from 0-3 and 1-4 down. That’s some feat, especially considering that John Higgins had made 3 centuries to lead 3-0! Marco had been the heaviest scorer all week, he made 10 centuries in the tournament, so it’s not really a surprise, but the score and the way it happened certainly is. He was presented the Stephen Hendry Trophy by the man himself, and it must have been very special as Marco had been Stephen’s practice partner in the early days of his (Marco) career, when he lived in Sterling. This is Marco’s third ranking title, the second in Scotland.

scottishopen2016esmarcofuwinner

I’m very happy for Marco, who is a very nice man, humble, friendly and always smiling (off the table). I’m very happy as well for his coach Wayne Griffiths, son of Terry, who runs an academy in Hong Kong and also does an awful lot for the young and the ladies players. They have every right to be proud!

Before that of course we had the semi-finals on Saturday:

John Higgins beat Judd Trump by 6-5, from 5-1 down and it literally was a case of one shot turning the match upside down. One miss from Judd allowed John to regain confidence, whilst Judd looked increasingly anxious and vulnerable, probably memories of the Shanghai Masters 2012 final haunting him. John is a true predator at the table, if he smells blood, he’ll come for his opponent throat. He did it again.

Marco Fu beat Yu Delu by 6-1, in a one-sided match and without playing at his best for most of it. But Yu had never reached a SF before and he was very nervous.

All results are on Cuetracker as usual.

Ronnie, Jimmy White, Neal Foulds, and, on Sunday, Stephen Hendry did a wonderful job on ES UK, and, although many of us weren’t able to listen to them “live”, their analysis and comments are extremely interesting to hear, even after the facts. Big thanks to them, they do a great job for snooker.

Pictures posted on twitter by ES/Neal Foulds

Here are the links to a few bits you might be interested in:

MissingClip The John Higgins – Judd Trump SF preview

MissingClip 2016 Scottish Open: part of the MSI of the John Higgins – Judd Trump match

MissingClip 2016 Scottish Open: John Higgins – Judd Trump

MissingClip 2016 Scottish Open: review of the John Higgins – Judd Trump match

MissingClip The Marco Fu v Yu Delu SF preview

MissingClip 2016 Scottish Open: Marco Fu – Yu Delu

MissingClip The Marco Fu v Yu Delu SF aftermatch

MissingClip The Final preview

MissingClip The Final, second session, preview

2016 Scottish Open: John Higgins – Marco Fu 1st session

MissingClip 2016 Scottish Open: part of the review of the John Higgins – Marco Fu match (Session1)

MissingClip 2016 Scottish Open: review of the John Higgins – Marco Fu match (Session2, trophy ceremony)

It was a very nice touch from John Higgins, despite the huge disappointment,  to find the words to congratulate Leo Scullion for his job at refereeing the Final. Leo is very ill and it was nice to see him where he belongs, reffing.  Leo was very emotional.

 

 

Scottish Open 2016 – QF round-up

 

We only have four players standing and surely not all of them were expected to still be live in the tournament at this stage: John Higgins, Judd Trump, Marco Fu and … Yu Delu!

Read here Worldsnooker reports on the QF day and how we got here:

Afternoon session:

Friday 16 Dec 2016 03:18PM

John Higgins outplayed Ronnie O’Sullivan in a battle of two of snooker’s all-time greats, winning 5-2 to book a semi-final spot at the Coral Scottish Open.

Home favourite Higgins is now just two wins away from claiming the 29th world ranking title of his career, which would put him ahead of Steve Davis and O’Sullivan on the all-time list, behind only Stephen Hendry.

If Wishaw’s 41-year-old Higgins does go on to take the title and £70,000 top prize in Glasgow it would also be his third piece of silverware in the past six weeks having won the China Championship and Champion of Champions. His next opponent in the semi-finals at 1pm on Saturday will be Judd Trump (tickets still available, click here for details) who beat Robert Milkins 5-3.

Higgins took a scrappy opening frame today then went 2-0 up with a break of 88. He dominated the third as well and might have gone 4-0 ahead but missed the final green with the rest late in the fourth. In the end it came down to a safety battle on the pink and O’Sullivan doubled it to a centre pocket to raise hopes of a fight-back.

But after the interval Higgins regained control, getting the better of a fragmented fifth to lead 4-1. O’Sullivan made 41 in the next before missing the black off its spot, but he got another chance and added 37 to pull one back. In frame seven, Higgins made 28 before running out of position, but a missed long red from O’Sullivan proved his last shot as his opponent finished in style with a run of 104.

Any time you beat Ronnie it’s a special result, even though he didn’t play anywhere near his best,” said world number three Higgins. “He gave me a few chances too many. It will be another tough game whoever I play tomorrow. It’s great to be able to play here in front of my friends and family.”

O’Sullivan said: “John played really well, his all round game was strong. He’s a class act and very difficult to break down. You always have to feel you can get back into it otherwise there’s no point, but when he’s playing like that he’ll win a lot of tournaments. I’ve had a fantastic week and really enjoyed it. I love my Eurosport work and it means I can’t always prepare as well and focus on tournaments, but it’s the best option for me.”

Trump beat 5-1 Higgins when they met in the quarter-finals of the Coral English Open two months ago and will hope for another victory tomorrow as he chases his third ranking title of 2016.

The 27-year-old from Bristol shared the first six frames against Milkins, with a 58 from Trump in the third the highest break. Six-time ranking event winner Trump then dominated the seventh to go 4-3 ahead before sealing the result in the next with a run of 78.

I have scrapped through the last couple of rounds so it’s good to still be in the tournament,” said world number four Trump. “To play John in front of a big crowd tomorrow is the type of occasion I play snooker for. I think there will be a lot of breaks and high scoring tomorrow. John is probably the best in the world at the moment alongside Mark Selby. But I always fancy my chances when I play him.

Evening session:

Friday 16 Dec 2016 09:43PM

Marco Fu, the best player so far this week at the Coral Scottish Open, thrashed Mark Davis 5-1 to reach the semi-finals.

Hong Kong’s Fu has fired eight centuries and 12 more breaks over 50 in the 21 frames he has won so far in the tournament in Glasgow and will be hard to stop if he continues in the same vein over the weekend. He faces Yu Delu next, at 7pm on Saturday (tickets still available, click here for details).

World number 14 Fu had a poor start to the season but found his form at the recent UK Championship, reaching the semi-finals, and has continued his improvement this week. His first ranking title came in Scotland back in 2007 at the Grand Prix and he is now just two wins away from the third ranking crown of his career and the £70,000 first prize at the Emirates Arena.

In fact it was Sussex’s Davis who started strongly tonight with a break of 114 in the opening frame and he had chances in the second, but Fu won it on the colours. Breaks of 53 and 132 put Fu 3-1 up at the interval.

Davis had a chance to steal the fifth frame from 70-8 down, but missed a tough last red to a top corner on 29 and his opponent potted it to lead 4-1. In frame six, Davis made 62 before missing a red to a top corner with the rest. Fu clinched victory with a tremendous 67 clearance which included a double on the last red to a centre pocket.

I expected a tough match tonight, especially after Mark made a century in the first frame,” said 38-year-old Fu. “I just had to wait for my chances to get among the balls and score heavily, because that’s what I have been doing this week.

“I was really struggling going into the UK in York but then I found some form towards the end. I was able to bring that into the German Masters qualifiers last week and then kept it going in this tournament. After York it was very difficult to pick myself up because I came so close to beating Ronnie O’Sullivan in the semi-finals (losing 6-5). But I took a lot of positives because there’s no disgrace in losing to Ronnie and I played some good snooker.

“It’s always nice to be back in Scotland because I lived in Sterling for one year and I won my first ranking title in Aberdeen.  The fans love the sport here and Scotland is a special place for snooker.

Yu reached the first ranking event semi-final of his career by edging out Liang Wenbo 5-4 in a dramatic Chinese derby. Breaks of 53 and 56 helped world number 59 Yu race into a 3-0 lead, then Coral English Open champion Liang recovered to 3-3. Yu made a superb 76 clearance to win the seventh frame, then passed up a golden chance to secure victory in the eighth when he missed the final black off its spot, allowing Liang to pot it for 4-4.

But Yu bravely regained his composure in the deciding frame and took control with a break of 44, helped by a fluked blue. He added 17 points to leave his opponent needing a snooker, and Liang’s hopes eventually died when he accidentally knocked the pink in when trying to lay a snooker on the yellow.

MissingClip 2016 Scottish Open: part of the MSI of the Marco Fu – Mark Davis match

MissingClip 2016 Scottish Open: review of the Marco Fu – Mark Davis match

Yu Delu is probably a bit of an unknown quantity for many of the readers of this piece so, here are is what you should know about him before the matches today:

tp_0300

Yu is managed by Grove, as are Judd Trump and Neil Robertson, and he is part of their stable for many years now. This is is first semi final in a full ranking event. He is 29 years old and a pro since 2011. His best ever ranking was 46, and he’s currently back to that level in the provisional seedings, having been in danger to drop off the tour this season. Yu may not be the more impressive or consistent player but he is extremely solid under pressure and that’s related to his slightly peculiar background: indeed he used to earn a living by playing big money matches in snooker halls in China. Not for the anxious!

Ok, then … so who will be lifting the Stephen Hendry Trophy tomorrow?

Here, for what it’s worth, is my “why X will win” bit:

Why John Higgins will win:

First of course, there is is pedigree, he’s one of tha all time greats. He’s playing on home turf, surrounded and supported by his family and he’s super motivated. He’s been extremely solid all week and he is surely feeling confidence. What could go wrong? if someone can put him under pressure and he starts to struggle, the home support with the expectations attached to it could be his undoing.

Why Judd Trump will win:

Judd has not been at his best in this tournament yet but he’s still in it and he’s got a goot record against John Higgins who is his opponent today: in fact he’s won 5 of the their last 7 encounters. So he will not be afraid of John, and he has the type of game that can derail the Scot. He will certainly not be dragged into playing the type of game John favours, he will stick to his own guns.

Why Marco Fu will win:

Marco has been the best player all week, he’s made 8 centuries and 12 more breaks over 50 in 21 frames he won. He’s holding the tournament high break too, in fact he’s holding 3 of the 4 highest breaks in this tournament currently. Marco when on form is rock solid, steady, methodical and extremely difficult to beat. He’s a tournament winner, and he has won in Scotland. He will fancy the job. Without jingles or bells, but deadly efficiently.

Why Yu will win:

Basically Yu has already exceeded every expectations anyone had on him, he’s rescued his season, he’s already earned his highest pay-day ever … he can afford to  go out, relax and enjoy the occasion and if he manages that, it will make him very dangerous.

 

 

 

Scottish Open 2016 – Ronnie’s run ends in the QF

John Higgins proved too strong for Ronnie today as he beat him by 5-2 in the QF round. It’s not that Ronnie played badly really; he wasn’t at his best but, in my opinion, he would probably have beaten anyone else remaining in the draw on that game except maybe Marco Fu, and he certainly tried his hardest, but John was just too strong. Ronnie applied himself from start to finish, except for one shot – clearly driven by frustration – when he ran out of position on a 51 break in frame 4; funnily enough this was still one of the two frames he won. Probably playing with a new tip didn’t help, but that was not the main issue. The fact is that John was the better player, the most accurate in his positional game – especially in safety battles – and above all the one who imposed HIS game to his opponent. Frankly, on that form, I can’t see anyone stopping John this week, except, maybe, again, Marco Fu who is scoring very heavily and possesses all the patience in the world.

images posted by Worldsnooker on twitter/Facebook

Here is the official report by Worldsnooker:

Friday 16 Dec 2016 03:18PM

John Higgins outplayed Ronnie O’Sullivan in a battle of two of snooker’s all-time greats, winning 5-2 to book a semi-final spot at the Coral Scottish Open.

Home favourite Higgins is now just two wins away from claiming the 29th world ranking title of his career, which would put him ahead of Steve Davis and O’Sullivan on the all-time list, behind only Stephen Hendry.

If Wishaw’s 41-year-old Higgins does go on to take the title and £70,000 top prize in Glasgow it would also be his third piece of silverware in the past six weeks having won the China Championship and Champion of Champions. His next opponent in the semi-finals at 1pm on Saturday will be Judd Trump or Robert Milkins (tickets still available, click here for details).

Higgins took a scrappy opening frame today then went 2-0 up with a break of 88. He dominated the third as well and might have gone 4-0 ahead but missed the final green with the rest late in the fourth. In the end it came down to a safety battle on the pink and O’Sullivan doubled it to a centre pocket to raise hopes of a fight-back.

But after the interval Higgins regained control, getting the better of a fragmented fifth to lead 4-1. O’Sullivan made 41 in the next before missing the black off its spot, but he got another chance and added 37 to pull one back. In frame seven, Higgins made 28 before running out of position, but a missed long red from O’Sullivan proved his last shot as his opponent finished in style with a run of 104.

Any time you beat Ronnie it’s a special result, even though he didn’t play anywhere near his best,” said world number three Higgins. “He gave me a few chances too many. It will be another tough game whoever I play tomorrow. It’s great to be able to play here in front of my friends and family.

O’Sullivan said: “John played really well, his all round game was strong. He’s a class act and very difficult to break down. You always have to feel you can get back into it otherwise there’s no point, but when he’s playing like that he’ll win a lot of tournaments. I’ve had a fantastic week and really enjoyed it. I love my Eurosport work and it means I can’t always prepare as well and focus on tournaments, but it’s the best option for me.

So we can probably expect Ronnie to be back in the studio for the remaining part of the tournament.

Here is the match preview by the ES pundits: with some infos on the tip issue …

MissingClip

Here is the match itself:

2016 Scottish Open: Ronnie O’Sullivan – John Higgins

and the MSI analysis

MissingClip 2016 Scottish Open: MSI of the Ronnie O’Sullivan – John Higgins match

Here is the postmatch analysis by the ES pundits: with John’s harsh criticism about the conditions and how it affects the player’s game

MissingClip 2016 Scottish Open: review of the Ronnie O’Sullivan – John Higgins match

Barry Hearn’s reaction didn’t take much time to come out on twitter:

@andygoldstein05 His comments are in breach of his players contract and no mention has been made as yet from the players committee.

So basically, John – and others – should shut up and complain only “by the rules”. meaning not publicly, OK? But what if things go on for years, complains are filed and nothing changes? Because we have heard – and seen – about this for years now.

John has my sympathy and support here: he wasn’t speaking ill of anyone, he was just stating the facts, including the fact that the paying public deserves to see the full extend of the players skills under the best conditions. He will probably be punished for being honest and telling the truth. Someone should be ashamed and it’s not him!

Scottish Open 2016 – Ronnie and John Higgins set QF clash

Ronnie had to win two matches yesterday and they couldn’t have been more different. He beat his good friend Jimmy White in the last 32, but it was a struggle, in part because it’s always difficult to play a really close friend, in part because of the damaged tip.

Interestingly, Ronnie was quite happy with the way it went, as he told to Eurosport (here reported in the Daily Mail)

‘I’m so happy with how I approached the match mentally,’ O’Sullivan told Eurosport.

‘We both struggled a bit, but it’s so easy to give up sometimes when you’re playing like that, but I carried on enjoying it.

‘I thought ‘keep playing, keep potting balls, if you miss don’t worry about it. Just keep playing until the end’.

‘I enjoyed that match a lot more than when I played Jimmy in Ireland because he played with a bit more confidence, he’d won a few matches.

‘I know I could have scored more and done whatever, but my mental skills, I was over the moon with.’

O’Sullivan said he had no problem playing two tournament matches in one day and that he preferred the set up in the latest Home Nations Series event.

It’s easier,’ he added. ‘I think these tournaments, it should be done in maybe four days.

‘We all play two matches in one day, best of sevens. It gives you a bit of time to get a bit of rhythm and you feel like you can get some snooker under your belt and maybe play the final on the fourth day, or something like that.

‘I like it. It’s pure snooker.

Now, I’m not sure that Ronnie though much about the logistic implications of this last suggestion, because playing the whole thing over four days is impossible unless you can set up something loke 24 tables … the first round only comprises 64 matches. In the Welsh Open, the first two rounds have been played over 2 days, one half of the draw at a time, with 12 tables. Then the last 32 and last 16 could indeed be played over one day, as could the QF and SF, with four tables, but that would be rather tiring with QF being best of 9 and SF being best of 11. The final being over two sessions needs a day on its own.

Tips issues were so severe that Ronnie decided to change his tip just hours before his last 16 match, which is something that any pro would want to avoid. But it paid off, as he played much better in the evening than he had in the afternoon.

This earns him another clash with John Higgins today, at 12 pm local time.

Here is the report on Worldsnooker (excerpt):

Thursday 15 Dec 2016 11:32PM

Ronnie O’Sullivan and John Higgins will go head to head in the last eight of the Coral Scottish Open on Friday.

img_2383

The two all-time greats met in the recent Champion of Champions final, Higgins winning 10-7, and O’Sullivan will get the chance for revenge in Glasgow at 12pm on Friday (tickets still on sale, click here for details).

O’Sullivan scored a 4-2 win over Mark Allen in the last 16 in a high quality contest which featured breaks of 104, 103, 85 and 51 from the Rocket, while Allen also played his part with runs of 74 and 80 in frames three and five.

Earlier in the day, O’Sullivan had beaten fellow crowd favourite Jimmy White 4-2 in the last 32 with a top break of 114.

I had a new tip on my cue tonight and it was a lot better,” said O’Sullivan, chasing his first title in ten months. “It can take three or four days to adjust to a new tip so it’s unfortunate to have to do that during a tournament but you just have to get on with it. I’m very pleased to win tonight and I scored well. I made a few mistakes from 3-1 up but Mark let me off.

“John will have the crowd supporting him tomorrow and he has done fantastic things for snooker in Scotland.

Ronnie and Jimmy before their last 32 match:

MissingClip 2016 Scottish Open: preview of the Ronnie O’Sullivan – Jimmy White

Last 32 match between Ronnie and Jimmy:

2016 Scottish Open: Ronnie O’Sullivan – Jimmy White

Ronnie post-match with ES

MissingClip 2016 Scottish Open: review of the Ronnie O’Sullivan – Jimmy White match

Last 16 match between Ronnie and Mark Allen:

2016 Scottish Open: Ronnie O’Sullivan – Mark Allen

Ronnie’s interview with Worldsnooker after his last 16 win:

Scottish Open 2016 – Last 64 – Ronnie and Jimmy win to set a legends clash today.

Yesterday saw the last 64 round completed, with most top seeds coming through, except for Ali Carter and Shaun Murphy. Ali’s defeat came at the hands of Chris Wakelin who also defeated Ronnie earlier this season. Shaun was beaten by Xia Guodong who seems to be finding back the sort of form he’s capable of.

We had two more surprise results: Jimmy White beat Ryan Day by 4-0, extending his winning run to 13 consecutive frames and young Sean O’Sullivan defeated Mark King, who later  praised his conqueror, claiming that his winning clearance is one of the best he’s ever seen. Both are from Essex, and good mates. It has been difficult years for Sean recently, dropping off the tour and losing his close friend Billy O’Connor who he supported throughout his battle against cancer (and beyond). So, those are two very pleasing results in my eyes, and important ones too. Jimmy is now on track to rescue his professional status for two more seasons and nobody loves the game as much as he does. Sean also loves his sport and I really want to see the lad succeed.

Ronnie’s win was a bit of a mixed bag: some brilliant shots, a very skilful 78 break, and a few bad misses. Now, it transpired that his tip is damaged and, of course, it doesn’t help.

Read here the official report by Worldsnooker:

Wednesday 14 Dec 2016 10:34PM

ctp_9691

Pics by Colin Poultney – Collarge Images

Ronnie O’Sullivan and Jimmy White will go head to head in the last 32 of the Coral Scottish Open in Glasgow on Thursday after both scored emphatic wins on Wednesday night.

Whirlwind White continued his return to form with a 4-0 thrashing of Ryan Day while O’Sullivan saw off Polish amateur Adam Stefanow 4-1.

The two crowd favourites will clash in the second match on Thursday afternoon (sessions starts 12pm – tickets still available, click here for details) and it will be their second consecutive meeting in a Coral Home Nations event. In Northern Ireland last month they played in the second round, O’Sullivan winning 4-1.

Breaks of 57, 73 and 65 helped 54-year-old White beat Day and he has now won 13 consecutive frames across three matches.

It was a good result,” said White, whose run of results has boosted his hopes of keeping his tour card for next season. “I qualified for the German Masters last week which gave me a bit more confidence. I’m excited about playing Ronnie and I’ll enjoy it and embrace it. I hope I put up a good show.”

Five-time World Champion O’Sullivan enjoyed runs of 78 and 58 in beating Stefanow but admits his task for the remainder of the week could be made more difficult by a damaged cue tip.

Usually a new tip would take a while to get used to,” said O’Sullivan. “I’ll take it down as much as I can and hopefully it will be ok tomorrow. I’m cueing ok, I missed a few balls but I’ve been doing that all season. I’m probably missing too many to be able to expect to win tournaments.

“It will be tough against Jimmy. When we played in Ireland it wasn’t the best of matches but Jimmy is playing better now so I’m looking forward to it.

The match after O’Sullivan v White on the TV table will see local favourite John Higgins take on China’s Mei Xiwen. Wishaw’s Higgins beat Scott Donaldson 4-0 with breaks of 52, 101, 83 and 66.

Higgins said: “I got a few bits of luck at the right time. It will be a long day tomorrow, I’m going home now to get some rest. Hopefully I can have a lie in tomorrow although I don’t know if the Mrs will let me, I might have to take the kids to school! It’s great to have the support on my side here.

Judd Trump took just 43 minutes to beat Igor Figueiredo 4-0, compiling runs of 100, 51 and 69.

Neil Robertson came from 2-1 down to beat Gary Wilson 4-2 with top breaks of 87 and 107 while Mark Allen top scored with 90 in a 4-0 win over Fang Xiongman.

China’s Xiao Guodong fired runs of 132 and 129 in a 4-1 win over Shaun Murphy while Coral English Open winner Liang Wenbo made a 115 in a 4-1 win over Sydney Wilson.

Barry Hawkins recovered a 2-1 deficit to beat Matthew Stevens 4-2 with best breaks of 100 and 83 while Marco Fu made a tournament high 142 in a 4-1 win over Liam Highfield.

Glasgow’s Stephen Maguire top scored with 74 in a 4-2 win over Fegral O’Brien while Chris Wakelin edged out Ali Carter 4-3, winning a tense 43-minute deciding frame by clearing from the final red.

Coral Northern Ireland Open champion Mark King lost 4-1 to Sean O’Sullivan, whose top break was 87.

Here is Ronnie’s match, with the preview:

MissingClip 2016 Scottish Open: preview of the Ronnie O’Sullivan – Adam Stefanow match

2016 Scottish Open: Ronnie O’Sullivan – Adam Stefanow

And here is Jimmy’s reaction to his win and the prospect of his clash with Ronnie:

All detailed results are on Cuetracker as usual.

Today, we will see the last 32 AND last 16 played to a finish. So potentially two matches for the players. And we have a cracker: Ronnie vs Jimmy this afternoon! 

Scottish Open 2016 – Last 128: Ronnie wins, as do most top 16 seeds.

Ronnie won his first round match in Glasgow, as did all of the top 16 seeds except … the number one seed, Stuart Bingham who went out to Mark Joyce.

Here are the reports on Worldsnooker:

Last 128 – day 1

Monday 12 Dec 2016 10:47PM

John Higgins and Judd Trump were among the top stars to score wins as the Coral Scottish Open got underway in Glasgow.

Higgins won a local derby against Alan McManus by a 4-1 scoreline at the Emirates Arena to set up a last 64 tie with Scott Donaldson. McManus won the opening frame and had good chances in each of the next two but couldn’t take them and his opponent recovered to lead 2-1. Four-time World Champion Higgins then added the next two frames with breaks of 64 and 69.

It was tough for both of us to have to play each other in the first round,” said Wishaw’s Higgins, ranked third in the world. “The second frame was massive because if Alan had gone 2-0 up he was halfway there. I was very pleased to come back and win. It would be amazing if I could go all the way and win this tournament. I have won two events in Scotland before and they have really stood out in my career. Hopefully crowds will pick up and it will be a great week of snooker here.

Trump eased to a 4-0 win over China’s Zhang Yong. World number four Trump went 2-0 up with a top run of 58 then Zhang could have won the third frame but missed  a tricky final black along the top cushion. Trump potted it then clinched the tie in the next with a run of 64.

It’s important to do well this week, although I’ve had a good first half of the season no matter what happens here,” said Bristol’s Trump. “I haven’t played in Scotland for a whole and it would be nice to end the year on a high. It’s still the early stages with a lot of games to get through.

World number two Stuart Bingham, the highest ranked player in the event in the absence of Mark Selby, suffered a first round exit, losing 4-3 to Mark Joyce. Breaks of 51, 80 and 86 helped Joyce build a 3-1 lead, before Bingham fought back to 3-3 with 57 and 116. But Walsall’s Joyce took the decider 66-30, securing victory after a safety error from Bingham on the penultimate red.

Brazil’s Igor Figueiredo scored one of the best wins of his career with a 4-3 defeat of Jimmy Robertson. Runs of 74, 96 and 60 helped Robertson into a 3-1 lead, but Figueiredo hit back to win the last three frames despite a top break of just 31.

Anthony McGill made a strong start in his home event with a 4-1 defeat of John Astley, firing breaks of 61, 92, 52 and 72. Mark Allen avoided a shock defeat as he came from 3-0 down to beat tour rookie Chris Keogan 4-3.

Barry Hawkins top scored with 60 in a 4-0 defeat of Hammad Miah while Mark Williams saw off Rod Lawler 4-0 with a top run of 74. Matthew Stevens beat Ken Doherty 4-0 while Marco Fu made breaks of 104 and 110 in a 4-1 win over Sanderson Lam.

Last 128 – day 2

Tuesday 13 Dec 2016 08:10PM

Ronnie O’Sullivan enjoyed a 4-2 win over Matthew Selt in the opening round of the Coral Scottish Open and hopes this could be the week to end his ten-month trophy drought.

abcThe Rocket has reached three finals this season – at the European Masters, Champion of Champion and UK Championship – but has lost all three and is still seeking his first title since the Welsh Open in February.

Today he went 2-0 up, making a break of 124 in the second frame, before Selt fought back to 2-2 with a top run of 82. But O’Sullivan dominated the fifth to regain the lead then sealed victory in the next with a 51 clearance to set up a last-64 meeting with Polish amateur Adam Stefanow.

Matt made it difficult for me today and I was a bit lucky to get the result,” admitted world number 12 O’Sullivan. “I’d rather have had a couple of easy matches to get into the tournament. Hopefully my next opponent won’t play as well against me.

“Three finals this season is not bad but I’d like to have won at least one of them. In the first two I didn’t believe I was playing well enough to win. Since Belfast I have found my game a bit and I’m more optimistic. It would really help if I could win a tournament. At the moment I’m in the habit of losing – I have won matches and got to finals but it gives you a different and deeper feeling when you get the silverware.

Shaun Murphy made two breaks of 100 in a 4-2 win over promising Chinese teenager Zhao Xintong.

I was chuffed to make two centuries as for every one I give £100 to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital,” said world number six Murphy. “Zhao plays as if he hasn’t got a care in the world – I used to be like that! I’m sure he does care but he plays as if he doesn’t and that’s so hard to play against because he gives nothing away. If he keeps going the same way he’ll be extremely dangerous.”

Neil Robertson lost in the first round of three consecutive events last month but today he eased to a 4-1 win over Thor Chuan Leong with top breaks of 104, 135 and 75.

I’ve made a bad habit of going out of tournaments early over the last couple of months so it’s nice to start with a really good performance this time,” said Australia’s Robertson. “When you have a run of bad results, all you can do is practise harder. I have done that and eventually results will turn around. Hopefully I’ve put my bad spell behind me now.

Jimmy White’s recent revival continued with a 4-0 win over David John. Veteran White, age 54, opened with a superb break of 133 and went on to make further runs of 57 and 56 in a comfortable win.

Coral English Open winner Liang Wenbo saw off Darryl Hill 4-2 with a top break of 82 while local favourite Graeme Dott beat Jak Jones 4-0. There was another Scottish success as Stephen Maguire beat Zhou Yuelong 4-0 with a top break of 130.

Iran’s Hossein Vafaei top scored with 108 in a 4-1 win over Jack Lisowski while Ali Carter came from 2-0 down to beat Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 4-2 with a top run of 97.

Later on day 2, Stephen Maguire also went through, beating Zhou Yuelong by a severe 4-0

Ronnie’s mini interview before his match:

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and the match itself:

2016 Scottish Open: Ronnie O’Sullivan – Matthew Selt

the match review:

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Ronnie’s interview with Worldsnooker after the match:

Ronnie in the studio 

MissingClip 2016 Scottish Open: review of the Stuart Bingham – Mark Joyce match