So what happened yesterday?
Well we first got a very, very sad news: Ding Junhui mother, Chen, passed away; she lost her battle to cancer, she was only 55.
Ronnie expressed his condolences on twitter and FB:
truly devastated to hear the news about dings mum, a truly wonderful wonderful woman. thoughts are with the family Ro xx
Ronnie became close friend with Ding after the Masters 2007, when Ronnie comforted a very distraugh youg Ding who was bullied by some in the crowd and he was invited in the family in China. I’m certain the feelings expressed there are genuine.
I had the pleasure to meet the lady in Sheffield and she was indeed a calm, smiling and gentle presence and a wonderful support to her son. My thoughts are with Ding and his family at these difficult times.
Now about the snooker …
Of course, the big news on the day was Mark King beating Ronnie. You can read all about it here.
But there was more, and more surprises …
Tom ford beat Peter Ebdon by 5-2, that’s not a big surprise actually, and made a 147 in frame two. This was his third.
Mark Allen was beaten soundly by Ryan Day, by 5-1, whilst Ali Carter beat Stephen Maguire by the same score on the television table. Maguire looked even more out of sorts than Ronnie! Jimmy White was in front for most of his match against Robin Hull, but lost in a decider. It’s difficult to tell how much the loss of his flat to a fire affected his performance. Ricky Walden finally got the better of John Ashley, but he had to work hard for it: another decider. Defending Champion Martin Gould had no such problems: he beat Jamie Jones by 5-0 and scored heavily. Zhao Xintong, Ronnie’s protégé, beat Akani Songsermsawad by the same score, which surprised me a bit, but then, when Zhao is on form he’s a deadly potter.
So for now, Ali Carter is the only top 16 member who reached the last 16 … but of course we have Stuart Bingham, Mark Selby, Marco Fu, Barry Hawkins, Neil Robertson and Mark Williams in action today. It starts now…