China Championship 2017 – Day 3 – It’s a day of shocks but Ronnie survives…

To say that day 3 brought the unexpected is an understatement. Here are the results:

ChinaChamps2017Day3Result

And here are the reports on Worldsnooker:

the afternoon session (morning in Europe):

Friday 18 Aug 2017 12:47PM

Chinese teenager Zhou Yuelong stunned World Champion Mark Selby 5-4 to delight the home crowd at the Evergrande China Championship in Guangzhou.

Zhou is one of the brightest prospects on the World Snooker Tour and has already claimed World Cup glory, lifting the title in 2015 for China alongside Yan Bingtao. He reached his first ranking quarter-final at this year’s Welsh Open and he is one win away from replicating that feat this week.

Selby was making his first ranking event appearance of the season this week, having missed the start of the campaign due to a toe injury.

Zhou got off to a tremendous start, going 2-0 ahead thanks to a run of 124 in the second frame. Selby fought back to take the following two frames and head into the mid-session at 2-2.

When they returned it went 3-3 before a tense seventh frame. Both players spurned opportunities, but eventually it was Zhou who missed a straightforward final black to allow Selby to go 4-3 up. The 19-year-old then was in first as he looked to force a decider and made 72. That proved to be enough after a missed brown by Selby which could have allowed him to steal.

The deciding frame once again saw the Jester looking to steal from behind, but another miss on the brown allowed Zhou to cross the line for one of the biggest wins of his career.

Ronnie O’Sullivan overcame David Gilbert 5-3 in what proved to be an edgy encounter. The win for the Rocket sets up a potential meeting with Judd Trump in the last 16, who faces Graeme Dott later on.

Gilbert started well and established a 2-0 lead. However, the Rocket immediately propelled himself back into the tie making a sublime 130 clearance, before restoring parity at 2-2.

The second half of the match was characterised by missed opportunities from both players. However, it was O’Sullivan who was the more clinical of the pair. He made further breaks of 42 and 68 on his way to securing the win.

It is important that you put on a good show for the fans. It was an exciting match and I think the fans enjoyed it,” said O’Sullivan. “Whether I win or lose the tournament will go on and this is a great event here in China.

Shaun Murphy is through to the last 16 after Anthony Hamilton was forced to concede the match at 1-0 down. Hamilton suffers from chronic neck pain and was unable to continue after the opening frame.

Mark Davis recorded a surprise 5-3 victory over world number six Barry Hawkins. There were breaks of 40 and 94 for Davis, as he booked a last 16 meeting with Ali Carter.

Carter came through a thrilling clash with David Grace 5-4. The pair contested a high quality match, but it was the Captain who eventually emerged with the spoils. This was largely due to his heavier scoring in the early stages of the match. Breaks of 68, 96 and 133 allowed him to establish a 3-1 lead. Grace fought valiantly, but it was the two-time World finalist who progressed.

and the evening session (afternoon in Europe):

Friday 18 Aug 2017 04:04PM

Alan McManus whitewashed home favourite Ding Junhui 5-0 on a day of surprise results at the Evergrande China Championship, with the top six players in the world all knocked out.

John Higgins, Judd Trump, Marco Fu and Ding all suffered defeats in the evening session in Guangzhou, following the earlier exits of Mark Selby and Barry Hawkins.

Friday’s results leave Shaun Murphy, Ali Carter, Ronnie O’Sullivan and Mark Williams as the only top-16 ranked players left in the draw, with the last 16 to be played on Saturday (click here for the match schedule).

Veteran McManus, age 46, struggled with a back injury for much of last season but played some superb snooker to knock out China’s Ding. Breaks of 48, 73 and 49 helped put him 4-0 up at the interval, and he clinched the result in frame five with a 49 clearance.

“It’s a bit of a thrill, I must admit,” said Glasgow’s McManus, who lost 17-11 to Ding in the semi-finals of the World Championship last year. “I’ve had some battles with Ding and usually I play decent against him. He was off colour tonight, I won a couple of close frames and that was the difference. He wasn’t scoring, which is unlike Ding, and I felt comfortable on the TV table.

“I am trying to prolong my career as much as I can. I have had some real problems with my sciatic nerve, I could barely walk for a while. It has almost cleared up and it’s getting gradually better, so I can stand at the table and I’m able to practise. When you have something wrong and you can’t bend down and execute the shot then you are in deep trouble. I have been through it but I hope I’m fit enough to continue now, and if I can work hard then I’ll get the odd result.

“It would be nice to go deep here. I’ve got Fergal O’Brien next and you know what you will get with him, he prepares perfectly for every event.”

Defending champion Higgins went down 5-2 to Tom Ford, who made breaks of 85, 59 and 133.

Graeme Dott beat Trump 5-3 in a high quality match which featured two centuries and five more breaks over 70. Trump led 3-2 having compiled runs of 104, 128 and 85. But 2006 World Champion Dott won the sixth frame with a 74, a crucial seventh on the colours, then made an 87 in the eighth to secure victory.

“I played really well, it’s the best match I have been involved in for a while,” said Larkhall’s Dott. “It was like a game of nine-ball pool, whoever was getting in first was clearing up. I won the one close frame in the seventh and then made another good break in the last.

“I have been working a lot with (coach) Chris Henry so I am glad to have kicked on this season. I have got Ronnie O’Sullivan next so I’ll have to play the same way as today to have a chance of beating him. I enjoy playing him because he is the best. If you don’t play well he just makes you look like a silly wee boy.”

Belgium’s Luca Brecel enjoyed a 5-2 win over Fu  with a top break of 91. That was a welcome result for Brecel who lost 10-9 to Fu at the World Championship after squandering a 7-2 lead.

Matthew Stevens top scored with 81 in a 5-2 win over Thepchaiya Un-Nooh while Mark Williams won a Welsh derby against Ryan Day 5-0 with a top run of 93. China’s Li Hang edged out Michael White 5-4 with top breaks of 139 and 133.

bold” added by me.

Regarding Ronnie’s match, David Gilbert started really well and never allowed Ronnie to settle before frame 3. That marvellous 130 got him going and he played decent for 3 frames and 1/2. He applied himself and his safety was rather good. After that both players looked out of sorts, missing unexpectedly and losing position more often than not. Maybe they both were tired. It’s not unusual when playing in Asia that players concentration is iffy due to jet lag. Whatever, Ronnie’s last clearance was, under the circumstances, a very good one, and overall he deseved the win as the match stats prove:

ChinaChamps2017ROSvGilbertStats

and here is the match:

Also enjoy a few action pictures thanks to Tai Chengzhe

So it’s Ronnie vs Dotty tomorrow evening (afternoon for us in Europe). Dott said he will need to play well, but the same is true for Ronnie in this clash of former World Champions.

2 thoughts on “China Championship 2017 – Day 3 – It’s a day of shocks but Ronnie survives…

  1. Ronnie missed a lot of (seemingly) easy shots against David Gilbert, but all of the players that would normally pose a big threat are gone so Ronnie has a pretty good chance of winning this thing. He probably won’t get a better chance than this…

    • I think the word “seemingly” is important here. The fact that so many top players are out is a bit surprising and I wonder about the conditions because one of the fitters had published a picture of himself absolutely soaked in sweat earlier in the week saying it was very hot and humid in Guangzhou, whilst yesterday a British journalist said on twitter that the airco made it absolutely freezing in the arena. And also, regarding Ronnie, he may have had a rather short night before his match yesterday: indeed his partner was in Barcelona and was caught in the van incident. She is OK, and she tweeted about it afterwards, but if Ronnie heard about what was happening, knowing she was there, he may have gone through some worrying times that night…

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