Champion of Champions 2018 – Fifth Final for Ronnie

Ronnie beat Shaun Murphy by 6-3 in a rematch of last year’s final … to book his place in this year’s final. It’s the fifth time that Ronnie reaches the final, in five participations to the tournament.

Ronnie wasn’t at his best and, in his press conference, admitted that he had felt edgy all day. There were signs of frustration but he managed to regain his discipline pretty quickly. After the match, not for the first time, he said that this is the kind of match he would have lost before his work with Steve Peters.

CofC 2018 ROS-Murphy scores

One might wonder why, with these stats, I say that Ronnie wasn’t at his best, especially knowing that he finished the match with 95% pot success. The thing is that Shaun was in first with a chance in almost every frame. Ronnie capitalised well on his opponent’s mistakes but wasn’t creating his own chances. That said, his safety game was quite decent, but his long potting was a bit iffy.

Thanks to Tai Chengzhe some great pictures!

Here is the report on Worldsnooker:

Ronnie O’Sullivan maintained his bid to win the ManBetX Champion of Champions for the third time as he beat Shaun Murphy 6-3 in the semi-finals on Friday evening.

O’Sullivan is into the final of the event at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry for the fifth time, and will face Mark Allen or Kyren Wilson on Sunday.

Breaks of 64 and 83 helped O’Sullivan build a 3-1 interval advantage, and though he missed chances in the fifth frame, he then fired runs of 129 and 127 to lead 5-2. Murphy made a 102, his second century of the match, to take frame eight, but O’Sullivan dominated the next to seal victory.

”I feel relieved to get over the line because I didn’t have the cue ball under complete control,” said world number three O’Sullivan. “That caused some nerves in my game, but my competitive instinct kicked in.”

The preview:

The match:

The MSI analysis:

The review:

and the interview with the sponsor

Tomorrow Ronnie will face either Kyren Wilson or Mark Allen over a best of 19 final. The way Mark Allen played in the group stage, he has to be favourite to win today, although Kyren’s methodical style might disrupt Mark’s rhythm. Whoever goes through it should be a great final.

3 thoughts on “Champion of Champions 2018 – Fifth Final for Ronnie

  1. 1. With Ronnie’s win yesterday, he moved ahead of Steve Davis into #3 on the all-time professional matchwins list at 921. He will almost certainly never make it to #1 on the list, as that position is held by John Higgins who is now just 2 wins short of 1,000.

    2. I think that Ronnie’s edginess/nerves yesterday were at least partly a result of him really not wanting to lose to Shaun Murphy again. I think it’s true that they have reconciled at least some of their past animosity (if that’s the right word?) toward one another, but I think it’s probably also true that Shaun is one of the last players that Ronnie wants to lose to, especially at this tournament after how last year’s final turned out. Ronnie has played most of his matches this year with a carefree attitude where he wouldn’t have minded losing so much (at least, that’s what he says), but I think yesterday’s match was different in the sense that he clearly didn’t want to lose, and I think that desire to avoid losing is partly what made him so nervous. It’s a good sign for him (and his fans) that he’s still able to score heavily and beat good players even when he’s not comfortable with himself, his cue action, etc. As he said in one of his post-match interviews, that was the type of match that he would have given up on and lost in his pre-Steve Peters days.

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