Those are the scores as we enter the second and last day of the QF round.
And Ronnie is back in the studio alongside Colin Murray, Jimmy White and Mark Selby
So what do we do with yesterday’s outcome?
Ding was really poor against Barry Hawkins. Barry was rarely first in the balls but efficiently capitalised on his opponent mistakes. The ES pundits team, especially Mark and Ronnie, stressed that there was something fundamentally wrong in Ding’s attitude: as soon as things don’t go his way, he seems to give up. Ronnie suggested that Ding could benefit from seeing someone, just like himself has benefitted from seeing Steve Peters, as himself also in the past has been guilty of self-sabotaging when things were getting sticky. Both Ronnie and Mark agreed that if nothing changed the chances for Ding to ever become World Champion were close to zero. Ding played seemingly outstanding in the previous rounds and the truth is that he’s not been seriously tested. That said, Barry Hawkins in his quiet way has an outstanding record at the Crucible over the last 5 years. He should not be underestimated: he is playing well in winning this match.
It came to a surprise to me that after finishing the first session all square, Mark Allen lost the second session by 7-1. I don’t know how it happened, as I didn’t see it, but I was always expecting “The Warrior” to come into that match fired up and determined to “avenge” the Masters final defeat. Kyren must be on the warpath!
Judd Trump has a small advantage over John Higgins, starting the day 5-3 up. It could and should have been more. I’m a bit nonplussed that nobody seems to recognize that when John Higgins is put under pressure nowadays, he DOES miss more often than in the past. He was vulnerable yesterday and, once again, if Judd had played just a fraction more cautiously he could have easily been 6-2 up.
Finally Ali Carter and Mark Williams are all square and I couldn’t for the life of me pick a favourite there. Before the match “Willo” jokingly said that he may have to walk sideways to avoid a barge… but at the table both are playing it tough.
Speaking of “barges”, Ronnie explained this on ES yesterday
So, exactly as I initially understood, Ali started the whole thing by barging Ronnie first, but as usual, the media just ignored it, and only focused on Ronnie’s retaliation. Ronnie is taking it all with a good zest of humour…
Another interesting bit yesterday was the interview with Chris Henry on the impact of battle scars and how it works in the players brain. I’ll try to find a footage of that one.
And finally the pundits discussion around the future of the game and the importance of developing grassroot snooker. Hopefully the new World Snooker Federation will be up to the task.