Ronnie played very well in beating his close friend Liang Wenbo by 5-1 in the opening match of the Players Championship 2017. It didn’t start that well though as two elementary mistakes from Ronnie allowed Liang to make the first telling break of the evening. Ronnie looked a bit disheveled and flustered and it later transpired that he had only arrived at the venue a couple of minutes before his match, having been caught in traffic. Not ideal! However after Liang missed at 52-0 up, Ronnie managed to steal the frame aided by a brilliant 72. This settled him and after that he never looked in danger. The match was over before they had reached the MSI on the other table.
The commentators and pundits on ITV4 all agreed that this is probably the best he’s played all season.
Here is the match report on Worldsnooker (excerpt):
Monday 6 Mar 2017 11:31PM
Ronnie O’Sullivan was in devastating form as he eased past Liang Wenbo to make the last eight of the Ladbrokes Players Championship in Llandudno.
The Rocket has been struggling to find his best form since claiming a record seventh Masters title in January. It was at this year’s Masters that the pair last met, where Liang spurned a straightforward black to win the match and O’Sullivan progressed 6-5.
Liang was first out of the blocks in the opener with a run of 52, but O’Sullivan hit back with a contribution of 72 to go one ahead. The English Open Champion Liang restored parity, but from there the Rocket took control. Breaks of 65, 118, 101 and 71 saw him burst to an impressive win.
The result sets up a potential clash with world number three Judd Trump who faces Mark King tomorrow. Trump and O’Sullivan have met in Llandudno before, the Ace in the Pack came from 7-4 down to win the 2015 World Grand Prix final 10-7.
Here is a mini photo gallery thanks to Tai Chengzhe
Ronnie stuck to his word and resolution to avoid discussing snooker with the media and, apart from some comments on a few shots and how difficult it is to play a close friend, basically this quote summarizes his presser with the ITV4 pundits
It’s a nice event, but I’ve got to get out of Llandudno for a few days. It’s a bit windy, there’s not much to do around here.
Here is the match:
And here is the aftermatch and winner interview on ITV4: