It will be an unusually youthful line-up today in Barnsley as we reach the semi finals: it features players aged 21, 25, 26 … and 41. Ronnie is literally the old guy in there.
Read the reports on Worldsnooker here:
Anthony McGill defeated Neil Robertson for the first time in ranking competition to reach the Dafabet English Open semi-finals by a 5-3 scoreline.
The Scot has enjoyed his most consistent run as a professional over the last few months, having reached a final and three quarter-finals already this campaign.
Today’s victory for McGill was a significant one, with him and Robertson in direct competition for a place at the Dafabet Masters in January. In the race to Alexandra Palace, the 26-year-old occupies the 14th spot, with Robertson is currently projected to miss out in 17th.
The start of the match was characterised by big breaks. Robertson came fastest out of the blocks with a run of 85, before McGill restored parity with a contribution of 65. There were further breaks of 79 and 72 for Robertson and 82 and 69 for McGill as they entered the latter stages of the match level at 3-3.
For all of the break building prowess, the key to the tie was a marathon 60 minute tactical battle in the seventh frame. With the balls positioned awkwardly, McGill chipped away with several small contributions to gain the edge and eventually found himself 4-3 ahead. The two-time ranking event winner got himself over the line with a fine run of 86 in the next. He faces either Ronnie O’Sullivan or Jack Lisowski in the last four.
“The tournaments I’ve won have been in shorter formats,” said McGill. “The next stage would be to win an event like this. It would be another hurdle for me.”
Kyren Wilson emerged the 5-3 victor in a tense battle with Iran’s Hossein Vafaei.
It will be Wilson’s second semi-final appearance this season, after a fine run at the Yushan World Open which saw him finish runner-up. Vafaei’s second appearance in a Home Nations quarter-final ends in defeat.
The Warrior will face the winner of this evening’s clash between Alexander Ursenbacher and Michael White.
Ronnie O’Sullivan defeated Jack Lisowski 5-2 to reach the last four of the Dafabet English Open in Barnsley.
The win sees the Rocket reach a remarkable 65thranking semi-final, where he will face world number 14 Anthony McGill. The Scot has never lost a last four tie, but will have his work cut out maintaining that record when he faces O’Sullivan, who hasn’t lost a semi-final for five years.
Lisowski will reflect on a tremendous run which included memorable wins over two-time World Champion Mark Williams and 2011 UK Champion Judd Trump.
The 26-year-old made an immediate impact with a tremendous break of 128. He had the first chances in the next three frames, but didn’t seize the opportunity to build a lead. The five-time World Champion claimed three on the bounce, making breaks of 64 and 125, as he charged to a 3-1 advantage at the interval.
When they came out for the second session it was a deficit which Lisowski couldn’t overturn, as O’Sullivan ran out a 5-2 victor. The 28-time ranking winner remains on course to level John Higgins’ tally which is at 29 after the Scot won the Indian Open earlier this campaign.
O’Sullivan said: “I haven’t been winning as much these past two years, and so I am excited getting to this stage of the tournament. I want to win it now.”
“I am over the moon to be into the semi-finals. Jack is a talented player, and plays like he is practising and scores quickly. He is a lovely guy, I want him to do well.
Alexander Ursenbacher continued his phenomenal run, with a 5-0 demolition of Paul Hunter Classic winner Michael White.
The Swiss potter, who regained his place on tour by winning the European Under-21 title in March, hadn’t made it beyond the last 32 stage of an event coming into this week. However, wins over Stuart Carrington and 2005 World Champion Shaun Murphy yesterday secured his place in today’s last eight tie.
This evening the world number 91 simply cast his opponent aside in a rapid one hour and ten minutes. He trailed 41-4 in the first frame, but hit back with a run of 55 to take the opener and lead 1-0. Further breaks of 84, 51 and 93 saw him establish a 4-0 advantage at the interval and when they returned he won the fifth to seal the biggest win of his career.
Ursenbacher said: “I was so nervous when I walked in at the beginning of the match. I had a good start and I was surprised at that because of the nerves. I got the first two frames on the board and I felt alright. I just thought I had to keep concentrated and focused and thought it could go my way.
“I hope people will notice this. Not only am I the only Swiss professional, but now I have made the run to a semi-final in a world ranking event. If that doesn’t open some eyes I don’t know what will. I hope that it will convince people to want to play snooker in Switzerland.”
Videos of interest:
Ronnie’s match preview:
Ronnie v Jack Lisowski QF:
Ronnie’s performance wasn’t the highest standard, but he did the job. No player can play at their best in every match. He seems to be in the right frame of mind though and hungry again.
Some more pictures, courtesy of Tai Chenghez, thanks Tai!