Ronnie played an excellent second session to beat Gary Wilson, who played extremely well himself, by 10-7. He will now face either Shaun Murphy or Yan Bingtao in the last 16, starting on Thursday night.
The whole match was very high quality as those stats prove:
There were 16 breaks over 50 in the match, 10 from Ronnie, 6 from Gary, including 4 centuries, 2 from Ronnie, 2 from Gary. At one point in the second session Gary was on 93% pot success, and losing ground in the match because Ronnie was on 98%.
At the end of the match, Ronnie celebrated wildly, something very unusual for him.
Here is the report on Worldsnooker:
Sunday 16 Apr 2017 07:17PM
Ronnie O’Sullivan held off a resolute Gary Wilson to reach the second round of the Betfred World Championship with a 10-7 win.
The Rocket faltered at 5-1 up in the opening session, to end with a 5-4 lead. However, both players produced some high quality snooker this afternoon in a fascinating clash.
Despite his exit, the potter from Tyneside has enjoyed a memorable World Championship campaign, making his second career 147 in qualifying and reaching the Crucible for the first time.
O’Sullivan clinched a record breaking seventh Masters title earlier this year with victory at Alexandra Palace and if he were to win at the Crucible it would see the 41-year-old draw level with Ray Reardon and Steve Davis on six world titles.
The pair went blow for blow in terms of big breaks this afternoon. At 6-4 down Wilson was the first to notch up a ton with a contribution of 100. Not to be outdone, the Rocket restored his two frame advantage with a sublime run of 124. Breaks of 74 and 83 then put him on the verge of victory at 9-5.
However, Wilson refused to back down, taking the 15th frame and then compiling a break of 103 to pull back within two. The Rocket wasn’t to be denied his victory and punched the air with delight after a fine break of 90 secured the 10-7 win.
Wilson was clearly disappointed at the defeat, but was pleased to have put on a good showing on his Crucible debut.
“I’m pleased that I’ve got so close and that I put up a bit of a fight. I honestly felt if it got a bit closer that I had a chance of winning,” said the 2015 China Open finalist. “There’s no better feeling than when you’ve got a chance of beating Ronnie O’Sullivan at the World Championship.
“When it’s your first time that little bit of pressure isn’t there, the expectation isn’t there. I was thinking that it doesn’t matter what the scoreline is, just keep enjoying every frame as much as you can. Obviously if I’d been here 10-15 times, I’d have been annoyed at being 5-1 down, but I’m just happy to keep digging in and showing what I’m capable of. I’ve got fighting spirit, I’m not just gonna lie down and let him walk all over me.”
And a few pictures, courtesy of Tai Chegzhe – Thanks Tai
You may have noticed that there is no mention of Ronnie’s quotes in Worldsnooker report. It’s not because Ronnie didn’t do his press conference, or said nothing… in fact, pressed by Georges Riley, he gave a quite emotional one, hitting out at Barry Hearn and his board.
An emotional Ronnie O’Sullivan has attacked World Snooker for using “threatening” language and said he will not be “bullied” by the governing body.
The five-time world champion is angry at a disciplinary letter sent to him.
After beating Gary Wilson 10-7 in the first round of the World Championship, O’Sullivan said: “I phoned [chairman] Barry Hearn four weeks ago and told him I am done with you and your board.
“I don’t think I’ve done a lot wrong,” added O’Sullivan at the Crucible.
“A friend told me to let the lawyers deal with it. I won’t get involved anymore because I am not being bullied.”
Why is O’Sullivan upset?
Since victory at the Masters in January, five-time world champion O’Sullivan has only replied to questions by the media with one or two-word answers, and has also sung an Oasis song in reply, and on another occasion responded as a ‘robot’ in protest at his perceived mistreatment by World Snooker.
That grievance seemingly dates to an incident during his record-breaking seventh Masters triumph at Alexandra Palace, when he publicly criticised a referee and swore at a photographer.
World Snooker ultimately took no action as they accepted his explanation of the incidents.
But O’Sullivan was sent a letter by snooker’s governing body about his behaviour after the Masters row and was warned he could face further sanctions including a fine. He responded by saying that repeated disciplinary action could cause him to reduce his playing time and media commitments, among other things.
In five events since then, O’Sullivan has failed to win consecutive matches.
Explaining his behaviour, the Englishman said: “I have no problems with the press. Sometimes I say things I should not say, I get myself into hot bother, and I get a letter through saying I need to respond in 14 days – a day before a tournament.
“It messed up my last three or four tournaments. I did not really win a match and it is not fair on the fans or those who invested in me.
“I phoned Barry Hearn four weeks ago and told him I am done with you and your board of people. A friend of mine told me to let the lawyers deal with it. I won’t get involved anymore because I am not being bullied. I am not letting people do that to me ever again.
“I just want to play and have fun. I like Barry but I am not being intimidated or bullied anymore. The language can be quite threatening and intimidating in some of these letters. It is very unsettling.
“To go in with all that on my head, having to see lawyers and having to fight off something I feel I should not have to, they pushed me too far.
“If I did not have good lawyers, I would probably have walked away because I am too old to be dealing with things like that.”
World Snooker said it was unwilling to comment.
‘This felt different’ – analysis
BBC Radio 5 live’s George Riley at the Crucible Theatre:
“We had no idea whether Ronnie would show up and, when he did, he was visibly emotional. Given he has chosen not to engage with the media since the Masters other than through robot impressions and Oasis songs, I didn’t feel there was any alternative but to challenge him.
I have heard Ronnie threaten to retire and talk of falling out of love with the game on so many occasions that you no longer bat an eyelid when he does so. But this felt different – his voice was cracking with emotion when he spoke of feeling bullied, intimidated and threatened by the governing body and its leader Barry Hearn. There were nerves among the press too. It felt like a very tense 10 minutes.
Whether you side with O’Sullivan on this or feel – like Hearn does – that his behaviour is becoming embarrassing, there was raw anger here at the guys who run this sport. While some fellow players feel O’Sullivan receives preferential treatment, he himself feels persecuted.
This was a powerful and reasoned explanation as to why he is so upset. If this had come sooner rather than a series of childish media conferences, O’Sullivan might have found far more sympathy. Yet it appears that in his war with World Snooker, his relationship with the media has become a casualty.”
‘Another world title won’t make a difference’
O’Sullivan, though, did not speak about his victory over Wilson, after which he celebrated enthusiastically by punching the air a number of times, hand-slapping a fan in the front row and blowing a kiss to the crowd.
‘The Rocket’ was 5-1 up in the match, before being pegged back in the first session, but a blistering second session with breaks of 124, 90, 83 and 74 saw him advance.
The 41-year-old goes in search of his sixth world crown, as he looks to equal Stephen Hendry’s record of 18 ‘Triple Crown’ event wins.
“I like to play for the fans, I get a kick out of it,” he added. “It is about entertaining and put in good performances. That is the most important thing.
“I do not need to prove anything to anybody, I have won five worlds, seven Masters and five UK titles and I’m only one behind Hendry on the majors list. Another world title will not make a massive difference.
“I would love to win another world title but it is about working with people I enjoy working with and getting some satisfaction by playing with freedom.”
Here it is in full:
Where this will lead us I don’t know, but maybe getting his emotions out of his system will help Ronnie focus on the job better. After Ronnie’s victory today, Stephen Hendry, who had been writing him off, admitted that this was the best he had seen for a very long time and declared “He’s here to win.”
Now of course, we should expect some statement by WS.