English Open 2017 – Ronnie into the QF

Ronnie won two very different matches yesterday, to book a quarter-final spot in the English Open 2017.

In the last 32, he faced Zhang Yong, a 22 years old Chinese player, and despite Zhang winning one frame, it was rather an onslaught. Ronnie won in less than an hour, with three centuries. The match ended in a bizarre fashion when a young lady invaded the floor, started running around the table and Ronnie offered her to pot the last black, which she missed twice. The whole thing in good spirit. Even Zhang Yong was all smiles.

The last 16 was an entirely different affair. It was the clash of the round as old rivals Ronnie and John Higgins were set to face each other for the 62nd time, with Ronnie having won 30 for 27 to Higgins and 3 draws. They also had played 12 deciders, winning 6 each. Ronnie has the uttermost respect for Higgins’ game, he’s often said that Higgins is the toughest player he’s ever played, with Hendry, and the best all-rounder the game ever had. So it was a tense affair and Ronnie admitted in the post match that he was nervous. The match didn’t disappoint. It was very high quality from both. Ronne was never in front, and it’s Higgins who scored the only century, a 138 TC in the first frame. But it was Ronnie who came on top in the deciding frame, with a fantastic 91 break, starting with a great long red, and treating the fans to a breakbuilding masterclass.

Here are the match stats:

EnglishOpen2017L16ROSHigginsStats

The report on Worldsnooker (excerpt)

Ronnie O’Sullivan and John Higgins met in yet another classic encounter, with the O’Sullivan coming out on top 4-3.

It was the 62nd clash between the pair and it certainly lived up to the billing, with a run of over 50 in every frame.

The Wizard of Wishaw was the first to impose himself on proceedings with a brilliant break of 138, after a misjudged safety from O’Sullivan. The Rocket responded immediately with a break of 88 as they went blow for blow with big contributions.

There were further runs of 73 and 78 for Higgins and 84 and 60 for O’Sullivan as the match went down to a decider at 3-3. The five-time World Champion made a superb long red from Higgins’ break and compiled a break of 91 to claim a tremendous win.

O’Sullivan said: “We are pretty even in our record. That is a compliment, I’ll take that all day. If somebody said to me you will have an even career with John Higgins I’d take that. I’m happy to be compared alongside him.

“Nothing gets you focused like playing a top player. I think I got more out of that match than my last six or seven games.”

A few pictures taken on the day by Tai Chengzhe, thanks Tai! 

Videos of interest:

Last 32

Ronnie v Zhang Yong – preview

Ronnie v Zhang Yong – match

Ronnie v Zhang Yong – review

Last 16

Ronnie v John Higgins – preview

Ronnie v John Higgins – match

Ronnie – John Higgins – review

Again very good, very positive interviews from Ronnie. It’s obvious that he feels at ease with the ES gang, with no fear to be baited or misquoted afterwards.

Ronnie will now play Jack Lisowski, who beat Judd Trump last night, in the first match of this evening session. It’s now best of 9.

4 thoughts on “English Open 2017 – Ronnie into the QF

  1. Yes Ronnie looking good, but Kyren also sharp. It will be interesting to see how they can sustain it over a longer match.

    But I am upset with that idiotic woman at the end of the O’Sullivan-Zhang match. I do hope it doesn’t lead to barriers and increased security shielding the players away from their fans. Also, some online predictably joking that she played better than Zhang Yong…

  2. Ronnie had a tough draw. He might have had to beat Higgins, Trump, and Robertson just to make it to the final, but as it turns out he won’t have to play Trump or Robertson, which is a relief.

    Ronnie potted several fantastic long reds against Higgins, which was arguably the difference in the match. I think he seems to be caring a bit more right now about winning titles and a bit less about “entertaining the crowd” than he normally does, which hopefully bodes well for the rest of the season…

  3. Hello Monique,
    thanks for the great coverage of the English Open, especially for the “previews” and reviews”. Yesterdays match between Ronnie and John Higgins really had me at the edge of my seat with sweaty palms. Happy Ronnie could proceed into the QF and looking forward to the remaining matches. Hopefully he will be able to do well and even might raise the trophy in end?!
    Cheers
    Silvry

    • possibly, but he’s still got three matches to win to get there. Jack is no mug, and it could be Neil Robertson and Kyren Wilson if he goes all the way. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

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