Elliot Slessor put an end to Ronnie’s great run of late as he beat him fair and square in the last 32, this afternoon in Belfast. Elliot played really well, and held himself together really well too. To say that Ronnie was out of sorts is an understatement. He was visibly tired – rubbing his eyes and stifling yawns – and missed some balls he would never miss normally. He did try, and now and again potted great balls, only to miss the easy one a couple of shots later.
He’s clearly fatigued, physically and mentally and his quotes, as reported by the Belfast Telegraph, confirm that.
“I am so happy the chance of the £1million is gone, all the silly headlines, it was ridiculous. I went along with it, but you have more chance of winning the lottery,” said O’Sullivan.
“Elliot played really well and handled the situation well. He potted some good balls, and was solid and sometime solid is good enough.
“I am a bit fed up with playing, all the travelling and going from one hotel to another, one country to another. It’s greed really, and I’m not greedy, and haven’t done my training camps.”
Over-playing has never done Ronnie any good and I just hope that he now gets some rest and can bounce back in a not too distant future.
It was already clear yesterday that this was coming sooner than late and it may well also explain the state of mind that lead to this interview.
Here is the match:
and the preview:
To say they got it all wrong is an understatement. And, sorry Joe Johnson, but saying that you don’t feel tiredness if you win is ridiculous. When you have traveled to China and back twice in a month, and made it to 3 finals in 4 tournaments played, you are tired, even if your name is Selby or O’Sullivan. They are only human and the schedule has been ridiculous!
And here is the report on Worldsnooker:
Elliot Slessor produced a career best display to defeat 30-time ranking event winner Ronnie O’Sullivan 4-1 at the Dafabet Northern Ireland Open in Belfast.
The loss to the world number 82 ends O’Sullivan’s hopes of earning snooker’s £1 million bonus attached to winning all four Home Nations events. He was the only man in the running this week after his victory at the Dafabet English Open.
Slessor came close to causing an upset against John Higgins in Barnsley at the English Open, where he lost out 4-3 . Today the 23-year-old once again looked to be at ease in the big match situation. He compiled a run of 62 in the opener and dictated the remainder of the clash to secure the victory.
Slessor said: “I like playing these sort of matches. I’ve played a lot of the big names and I am quite comfortable out there. I enjoy playing in front of big crowds. I like that feeling of trying to impress.
“I would say it has to be the best win of my career. Especially because of the packed crowd.”
I will cover day 4, tomorrow morning, but it’s already been a strange tournament. There is only one top 16 player in the last 16: Mark Williams, ranked n°16. Neil Robertson was beaten by Robert Milkins, John Higgins was beaten by Gary Wilson despite making 3 centuries. And both veterans Jimmy White and Ken Doherty are out too.
The last 16 round will be played tonight.
What happens next?