Northern Ireland Open 2018 – Ronnie books his place in the QF

Two rounds are played today as the 32 become 8. Ronnie won his two matches today and is now in the quarter finals where he will play David Gilbert.

In his first match today, Ronnie beat Tom Ford by 4-0.

NIOpen2018ROSL32-Result

Ronnie played well in that match but not exceptionally well. However, there were no signs of taking things casually this time: he was focused and solid.

Here are a few images of this match, thanks to Tai Chengzhe

Ronnie’s mood after the match was clearly more positive than before it. Despite some misses, he feels that his game is coming together, which is good news with the UK Championship coming next.

In the second match of the day Ronnie beat Zhou Yuelong by 4-1.

 Thanks to Tai Chegzhe again

In this match Ronnie appeared fully focused. As David Hendon said in commentary he had his “match head” on, and he needed to because Zhou Yuelong is a very capable young player. If in the previous match one could sense that at a point Tom Ford felt beaten, Zhou stayed positive and fighting throughout.

Zhou won the first frame with an excellent clearance after Ronnie missed the last red, playing with the rest cueing awkwardly over the brown. Ronnie played very solidly overall, brilliantly at times. When he made mistakes, he was clearly annoyed with himself, which was good to see. He even banged his head against the table in frustration at one point. But he applied himself from start to finish. The finish BTW was quite extraordinary. After Ronnie missed the black after the 14th red, it seemed for all the world that Zhou was going to clear for 3-2. However, a bad position on the last pink meant that he was not able to pot it. At that state he was leading by one point, meaning that if he potted the pink, Ronnie could only tie. A short battle followed and Ronnie was given a chance on the pink, a very difficult pink. Ronnie potted it, not seeking position on the black.  As a result he was left with a very tricky pot to a middle pocket or a difficult safety … you guess what happened.

It was a very good match actually, and enjoyable too. Ronnie added to his tally of centuries as well, with a great 132 in frame 4.

As you can hear Ronnie was very positive after the match. He feels that his work with Sightrigh is starting to pay off and that he’s more in control of his shots than he used to be.

Here is Ronnie’s postmatch with the sponsor:

and talking China, and expectations for the future