Crucible 2017 – Ronnie exits the tournament in the QF

Ronnie’s run at the Crucible this year came to an end, as he lost by 13-10 to Ding Junhui.

It was a very high quality match as the following statistics prove: there were 23 breaks over 50 in the match, 10 by Ronnie, 13 by Ding, with only one frame not featuring one. Between them they had 5 centuries, 128, 120 and 117 by Ding, 104 and 146 by Ronnie. This 146 is currently the tournament high break.

The match was played in great spirit, Ding and Ronnie are close friends, and, despite the defeat, Ronnie enjoyed it. Ding did the damage in session two: he played incredibly well in that session, his long potting was extremely reliable, his safety rock solid and his break building close to perfection. During that session, Ronnie was outplayed, and very sportively, applauding Ding’s best shots whilst stuck in his chair. In the first and third sessions, there was very little to separate the players, Ronnie being marginally the better one.

Here is the report on Worldsnooker:

Wednesday 26 Apr 2017 07:13PM

Ding Junhui has completed a thrilling 13-10 defeat of Ronnie O’Sullivan to clinch his place in the last four of the Betfred World Championship.

The win for China’s top player ensures a third Crucible semi-final and sets up a repeat of last year’s final, where he lost out 18-14 to Mark Selby.

Ding’s previous meetings with the five-time World Champion O’Sullivan saw him trail 10-2 in terms of head to head record. However, on this occasion the 30-year-old’s third win over the Rocket was sealed in a poised and confident manner. Ding looked at ease, making 13 breaks over 50.

The Rocket’s bid to win a sixth world title and draw level Ray Reardon and Steve Davis will have to wait for another year. However, despite not lifting the sport’s biggest crown, he can reflect on a season where he made history by clinching a record seventh Masters title in January.

A blistering session yesterday evening from Ding put him in poll position to book a semi-final berth this afternoon. He held four frame cushion with the score at 10-6 when they got underway today.

O’Sullivan immediately applied the pressure by taking the first frame of the session. The Rocket then cranked up the heat further with a break of 97 to move within two at 10-8. However, 12-time ranking winner Ding showed no signs of nerves as he responded to O’Sullivan’s charge with a  contribution of 69 to claim the 19th frame.

There was then an extraordinary piece of break building craft from O’Sullivan.  He compiled a quick fire run which fell one point short of the maximum break.  After potting 12 reds with blacks, he fell out of position and was forced to take the pink, eventually clearing up with the third 146 break in Crucible history.

That took the scores to 11-9 at the interval, but when they returned Ding regained control of the match with a tremendous contribution of 87. He then looked set to clear up and secure the win. However, after stringing together 63 points, his attempt to go into the pack left only a tricky ball tight to the cushion to go at. Ding missed and O’Sullivan held his nerve to clear with a break of 73 to extend the match.

It could have been a hammer blow for the world number four. However, he immediately regained his composure and produced a break of 117 to reach the last four with a 13-10 victory. The pair embraced in an emotional moment after Ding deposited the final ball.

Ding remarked: “I played great. I kept my form from the first frame to the last frame and all match I tried put Ronnie under pressure. I don’t know if he felt it, but I tried to do it. I don’t have a good record against Ronnie. Every time I had chances I used to think too much about it, but this time it was quite easy.

“I didn’t know that the score was enough until people were clapping and I realised it was over. It was feeling good to play well every frame. Ronnie just said I look a different player, I’m looking stronger and he knows what happened. Every time I play him I’m really thankful to him, he is a top man and to be like him, you have to work hard.

“I’m proud to have support from Ronnie, my family, the people of Sheffield and China. I just try to do the best I can and this is my dream from when I was a child. Every year I am here and try to win titles, from last year I came through the qualifying to try and win the title, and this year I have more confidence.

“Mark Selby is number one and playing well at the moment. He is always favourite to win any tournament. He has had a good season but I have met him twice in finals this season and we have both won once. This is a big game for us.

O’Sullivan remained upbeat after the loss and emphasised his love for the sport, as well as paying tribute to Ding.

O’Sullivan said: “As I was coming off it felt really emotional. I’m quite an emotional person anyway. It was nice, he’s a special lad and a beautiful guy. I know his family really well, so I know he comes from a good stock, he hasn’t got a bad bone in his body. He wants to win this title so bad. Ten years on from our match at the Masters where he was in tears, he’s hugging me and beating me. Last time it was me beating and hugging him. It’s a decade on and he’s in a great place, I wish him all the best.

“I’ve never been one for chasing records, I won’t stop playing just because I’m not winning tournaments. I’ll just keep playing because I love playing. I’ve had the best year of my life and I’ve not won many tournaments,” said the 41-year-old O’Sullivan. “I love what I do, why would I not do it because I’m not winning tournaments? All the stuff that comes with snooker is the bonus, the real love is just getting the cue out of your case.

And some more pictures, thanks to Tai Chengzhe

Videos of interest:

The match ( full BBC coverage)

Session 1

Session 2

Session 3

Ronnie’s presser:

23 thoughts on “Crucible 2017 – Ronnie exits the tournament in the QF

  1. Why my comment wasn’t published? Too long? Ok, I’ll never more write on this page.

    • Bernd I don’t know what happened but I got no comment from you. And I only just saw this because I’m not 24/7 on my computer either ..

      • It’s now been published. It was automatically sent to the spam box by the wordpress anti-spam software. I don’t see why that happened because there is nothing in there that seems out of order, but that’s were I found it.

  2. So Ronnie has lost with one of the most gifted player all time. Ding deserved this win because he played outstanding snooker. Obviously the second session decided the match. Ding became much more solid in every department, and his mental attitude was great. He did put Ronnie under pressure from the start with his long pots and a fantastic break building. Will Ronnie win the sixth world title one day? No, not more. The big players like Selby, Ding, Higgins, Trump dedicate 100% to snooker. Ronnie will never more do that as he said. He’s not more ready to suffer for snooker, and the Crucible is the place where you have to suffer a lot to win the title. Ronnie has won “only” 5 world titles. So what?! Davis and Hendry won more because they dominated their decades. Ronnie hasn’t had a straight career. It was full of ups and downs. But he was the only player to win a major at 17, the Uk 1993, to this year’s Masters at 41. Nobody has had such a long career in terms of victories. The only loss which I really regret was that world final in 2014 against Selby. Now I would be happy for Ding if he’ll win the title. Nobody else would deserve it more.

  3. Dear Monique, you are right in all you write!! I am also sad and a little disappointed that Ronnie lost, but I think he has done nothing wrong, he played very, very well, but Ding played unbelievalble!! It es bad that from this match only one can be the winner, both of them deserved the title – I hope now that Ding can play as good as against Ronnie and become the new World Champ.
    I hope Ronnie will be happy in his life with playing snooker – this was not allways so in the past – and we can see him in a lot of tournements in the coming years – and I am sure he will entertain us! I wish him success in the tournements and all he wants to do, but very importantly happiness in his life!

    P.S. My husband and I will see Ronnie in Munich – first time life snooker – we got the tickets from our family for birthdays – and we are looking forward and are very exited!

  4. I really hope that John Higgins WILL NOT win this word title.
    His draw is JOKE!!!!!!!!!

  5. I’m a little offended that a site for Ronnie’s fans has some people posting such negative attitudes towards him. I have followed Ronnie’s career, read all his books and feel I know a little about him. He has had some serious struggles in his young life and he’s overcome them quite nicely. Not to mention not many snooker players Ronnie’s age can still play to the level he is at and that includes Stephan Hendry. I really wish people wouldn’t be so harsh unless they’ve walked in that person’s shoes.
    Now that Ronnie’s out of the tournament it won’t be even close to exciting for me, in fact I won’t care if I miss some of the games. But I hope Ding wins now. Seeing genuine emotion between Ronnie and Ding was really lovely and for me one of my favourite moments of this tournament… besides Ronnie’s 146.

  6. Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy he’s in a better place now, but I just thing if he spent maybe 4 or 5 hours a day hard practice for about three months leading up to the World Championship, he would be nigh on unbeatable. I think it’s hard sometimes for Ronnie to find motivation, but when he does, he produces amazing results.

  7. incredible that there are still people who think that Ronnie has any chance to win a world title again. that hug in the end was the most painful thing I’ve ever seen…for me it was a sign of weakness from Ronnie and that is painful to know…he’s no longer the player he used to be

    • Of course he has the chance to win the world title again. He made a 146 the frame before he lost without even breaking a sweat. He did little or no practice since the Master’s and yet he still gives Ding a run for his money. If Ronnie came into the tournament each year with proper focus and attitude, he could be sitting on 10 trophies by now. Even as it is, he has at least another 5 years left him in, and might win another two world championships quite easily. Ronnie is the Gino Bartali of cycling.

      • Ronnie did work hard ahead of this tournament and his attitude was totally right. That’s not the issue, and you shouldn’t underestimate the other top players. Ronnie is an emotional and anxious person by nature, with an enormous level of expectations on his shoulders since 25 years. That is NOT helping him at all. And he’s also the guy everyone wants to beat, because he is still the benchmark, so they all play out of their skin against him… Will he win another World title? I’m not sure. Does he want to continue to play and entertain? Yes. Will he give us more magic moments? Surely. I’m happy with that, especially knowing that he’s happier in his life now than he has ever been in he past as an adult.

    • So, showing sympathy to a close friend who just lost his mother a few weeks ago is weakness? What kind of person are you Adam? And maybe he isn’t the player he was, and yes, at 41 he’s no longer “young” in terms of sport. So what? If you don’t like it, go and support someone else. If there is anything painful in this it’s your constant negative, borderline nasty comments.

      • nah, as a Ronnie fan, it was just really sad to see and quite unusual as Ronnie doesn’t normally show this amount of emotion…of course, there was nothing wrong with that from Ronnie’s side, but I personally couldn’t really appreciate it as my favorite lost…

      • and, by the way, dear Monique, could you please tell me what is so “nasty” and “borderline” in saying that a particular moment pained me to see?

      • I said “borderline nasty” not borderline and nasty. I think it’s showing a total lack of human empathy if someone sees that moment as a weakness. And the tone of your comments don’t come across as particularly “kind” to me. The two of them battled it out to the best of their abilities DURING the match. Before and after they are close friends, and Ding has had it tough recently. I can’t see what’s weak in showing emotion and sympathy.

  8. Great match, would love to see Ding beat Selby and go on to win it in the final. Not least because I have a sneaky bet on him, but he is a great guy and very talented. If he beats Selby then he deserves to go on and win it. A big ask, but he has good form after beating Ronnie and it will be a close match either way. Looking forward to this semi- more than the actual final, as I think whoever wins this will go on to lift the trophy on Bank Holiday Monday.

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