Northern Ireland Open 2018 – last 64 round-up

The last 64 round was played in Belfast yesterday and saw the departure of the defending Champion, Mark Williams who was defeated by Ali Carter.

The pundits discuss rivalry, dominating the sport, winning the world championship, and preview the defending Champion match.

here is the report on Worldsnooker:

Ronnie O’Sullivan put on a display of aggressive snooker in his 4-1 win over Mei Xiwen on day three of the BetVictor Northern Ireland Open in Belfast.

The Rocket has already pledged to keep his shot-time down as low as possible this week on social media and he lived up to that promise today, averaging just 14.7 seconds per visit.

The match was characterised by O’Sullivan taking the attacking play at every opportunity. He also adopted an unorthodox breakoff style, trying to hit the opposite side of the pack between the blue and the pink. On one occasion that backfired with the Rocket catching the blue on the way down (watch here).

The attacking approach to the encounter paid off in terms of the result, with the five-time World Champion securing a comfortable victory, making breaks of 119 and 54 along the way.

“Seven matches in a tournament is like a marathon or an ironman,” said O’Sullivan. “The winning line is a long way away. I get interested at the last 16 stage or the quarter-finals. Until that comes I am just going to go for everything in sight, try to be creative and try to have fun. I shouldn’t really change my game no matter what. The aim is to have fun.”

Ali Carter beat defending Northern Ireland Open champion and current World Champion Mark Williams 4-3.

The Captain trailed 3-1, but overhauled Williams’ lead to secure what could prove to be a crucial win. Carter is currently ranked 18th in the world and has just the remainder of this week’s event and the UK Championship left to move into the top 16 and clinch a place at the Masters in January.

Judd Trump stormed to an impressive 4-0 win over Stuart Carrington in just 45 minutes.

Trump produced a thrilling display and compiled breaks of 137, 53, 55, 51 and 69 as he booked his place in the last 32.

World number one Mark Selby was in fine touch as he eased past recent European Masters champion Jimmy Robertson 4-0. While Neil Robertson battled back from 3-0 down to defeat Norway’s Kurt Maflin 4-3.

Not mention by Worldsnooker – despite snooker being described as a “land of opportunities” by Barry Hearn (*) – Chris Totten, BIlly Joe Castle, Hamza Akbar, Hamad Mia and Sanderson Lam, all ranked lower than 90th, reached the last 32 yesterday. Well done to them. However…

Chris Totten for instance has played 10 matches this season, having entered 8 events. Ronnie has played 16, having entered 4 events, and Kyren Wilson has played 39 having entered 10 events, 2 being invitational. If the way to create “opportunities” is to exhaust the top players with a mad schedule, and have us believe there is strength in dept because they come at a stage where they are barely standing … yes then it is a land of opportunities and a dreamland for the bookies.

You can read all about Ronnie’s strange performance yesterday here