There were a few surprises in Glasgow as the last 128 round of the Scottish Open unfolded. Shaun Murphy, Ryan Day, Mark Allen, Martin Gould, Barry Hawkins, and Graeme Dott all fell at the first hurdle. I’m not sure that the timing of this tournament is doing it any favour. Players are tired and, maybe, after the height of the UK Championship, they find it difficult to be fired up for this one.
Graeme Dott was aggrieved that he wasn’t put on the TV table, and, again, I’m not sure how this impacted his performance. Here is what he did put on twitter and Facebook:
Win or lose I never put anything on here but today I need to get this off my chest. I’m playing in my home city of Glasgow as a former world champion and I still don’t get put on a tv table and I find this unacceptable. As the Welsh lads get on tv tables in wales and also the Irish in Ireland, it’s been well documented that I get shown no respect from Wsa or TV and today proves it, and people might ask who was on the tv table Ronnie O’Sullivan, John Higgins the answer is nobody it was empty, hard not to feel victimised, the biggest slap in the face I’ve ever took, total lack of respect.
He has a point.
Cao Yupeng made a 147, his first in official competition. Unfortunately, he was on a side table.
Ronnie beat Michael Georgiou by 4-1, and it could have been 4-0 hadn’t a red gone in a pocket whilst he split the pack from the blue in frame 4. Michael played well, better than he had in York, and was first in most frames, but he couldn’t win them in one visit, and one mistake was all Ronnie needed. Ronnie was calm, collected and professional. After the match though, he admitted that he was feeling “jaded” and wasn’t expecting miracles in this tournament. He needs a break, and he’s not getting it just yet as he has entered the German Masters. The qualifiers take place next week and Ronnie needs to win two matches. His first opponent will be Rory McLeod… surely not his favourite.
He will face Robert Milkins in the last 64, early afternoon today.
Here are the reports on Worldsnooker:
John Higgins is off to a strong start in his bid to secure home glory at the Dafabet Scottish Open in Glasgow, after defeating Jack Lisowski 4-1.
The Scot is in familiar surroundings this week, with the event taking place at the Emirates Arena just across the road from the home of his favourite football team Glasgow Celtic.
Last year the four-time World Champion relished the local support and went on a run all the way to the final, before losing out 9-4 to Marco Fu.
However, he didn’t come into this year’s event full of confidence after suffering an agonising 6-5 loss in the last 16 of the UK Championship against Mark King in York.
There were no signs of that defeat lingering today, as Higgins produced a razor sharp display to see off one of the form players of the season so far Lisowski. He fired in breaks of 54, 99 and 88, as he eased to victory in just over an hour and a half.
Higgins now has his eyes set on going one better than he did in 2016 and pick up the trophy named after fellow Scot and seven-time Crucible king Stephen Hendry.
“I have good memories from getting to the final last year, so I will give it a go,” said the 42-year-old. “Every one of the Scottish guys would be thrilled to get a trophy named after their hero. When Stephen came onto the scene he became all of our heroes so it would be amazing to win.”
Marco Fu began the defence of his title with 4-0 win over Welshman Duane Jones.
The Hong Kong potter made an incredible 11 centuries as he stormed to the title last year. However, he will need to improve his form if he is to recreate that performance. He is yet to get beyond the last 16 of a ranking event in this campaign. Today’s win over Jones secures a last 64 clash with Fang Xiongman.
World number three Judd Trump booked his last 64 spot by whitewashing Finland’s Robin Hull 4-0.
Trump went on a thrilling run to the semi-finals in Glasgow last season and was only defeated 6-5 in one of the matches of the season against Higgins.
The Juddernaut wasted little time in securing today’s win, coming through in just 48 minutes and top scoring with a run of 82.
Stephen Maguire carried over his form from a run to the semi-finals of the UK Championship with a 4-0 whitewash win over Alex Borg.
The Scot is keen to put in a strong showing on home soil and hopes he can recover quickly from the disappointment of his last four defeat at the hands of Ronnie O’Sullivan last week.
“It’s a pity I fell at the second last hurdle. I felt ok going into the semi-final and fancied it. I just didn’t get off to a good start. I felt a bit sore after that,” said the five-time ranking event winner. “I haven’t had time to dwell on it which is good. I was a bit tired tonight and I knew I wasn’t going to pot everything, but I’m glad that is it done now and I have a day off.”
Glasgow’s 2006 World Champion Graeme Dott suffered a disappointing 4-2 defeat against 2015 Ruhr Open winner Rory McLeod. While Michael White scored an impressive 4-0 win over Thai legend James Wattana.
The Rocket’s 10-5 win over Shaun Murphy on Sunday sealed a historic UK Championship victory. It saw him win the event for the sixth time and move level with Steve Davis on UK titles, as well as equaling Stephen Hendry’s record 18 Triple Crown wins.
This afternoon Georgiou had led 52-0 and 42-0 in the opening frames, but runs of 68 and 57 from O’Sullivan saw him overturn the deficits to lead 2-0. He moved a further frame in front before Georgiou pulled one back. However a sublime run of 136 saw the five-time World Champion through as a 4-1 winner.
Afterwards O’Sullivan said he was pleased with his record equaling feats in York, but admits he is looking forward to the break in the season over the Christmas period.
O’Sullivan said: “Stephen Hendry is a hero of mine and so is Steve Davis so to equal their records is nice. I’m not driven by it though.
“I’ve proved to myself I can do it, but it gets to a point where I don’t like how intense it is. I need a break now and I think it will do me some good.”
Shaun Murphy suffered a shock 4-3 defeat at the hands of world number 63 Daniel Wells.
The Magician couldn’t continue the sublime form which saw him reach his third UK Championship final last week.
It was a tremendous victory for the Welshman Wells, who despite having reached the last 16 stage of two ranking events had never previously won a full length match in front of the television cameras.
Anthony McGill recorded a resounding 4-0 whitewash over Ryan Day to keep his hopes alive of silverware on home turf.
The Scot is enjoying some of the most consistent form of his career this campaign, having reached a final, a semi-final and three quarter-finals in ranking competition.
Day can take solace going into the Christmas break from the fact he secured his place at next month’s Masters with a run to the semi-finals last week at the UK Championship.
It was 2010 World Champion Neil Robertson who he dislodged. However, the Australian recovered quickly from the disappointment of failing to qualify for the Masters for the first time in 11 years. He defeated Rod Lawler 4-0.
Robertson looked to be in fine touch this evening. He compiled runs of 51, 113 and 143 in the win.
The 12-time ranking winner said: “There are plenty of other tournaments. The Masters is obviously one of the Triple Crown events and I have such a great record at Alexandra Palace as well and have never been beaten before the quarter-finals. The most important thing is I am enjoying my snooker again. I miss out on it, but I am sure I will be back next year.”
World number four Ding Junhui came through a 4-2 winner over Jak Jones. While Ding’s compatriot Cao Yupeng became only the third player from mainland China to make a competitive 147 during a 4-0 win over Andrew Higginson.
Leicester’s Ben Woollaston secured a shock 4-3 defeat of world number eight Mark Allen to progress to the last 64.
Videos of interest
The match preview
Ronnie’s match vs Michael Georgiou
The match review with Ronnie’s postmatch interview