Ronnie booked his place in the semi-finals by beating David Gilbert by 5-2 yesterday evening. It wasn’t a great performance by any means, despite some good breaks.
The problem mainly was that Ronnie needed to capitalise on his opponent’s errors. He never was the one creating the occasions for himself. Ronnie was very critical of his own performance after the match.
Ronnie O’Sullivan defeated David Gilbert 5-2 to set up a blockbuster semi-final clash with Mark Selby at the BetVictor Northern Ireland Open in Belfast.
O’Sullivan secured this evening’s victory with breaks of 51, 83, 102, 75 and 85 which ensured his progression to face three-time World Champion Selby tomorrow afternoon at 1pm.
The O’Sullivan and Selby rivalry has seen the pair do battle in the final of all three of snooker’s Triple Crown events and is arguably the most prominent clash in the sport today.
The Rocket holds the upper hand in their head-to-head record, leading 13-9. However, they haven’t faced each other on the World Snooker Tour in almost two years. Their most recent meeting came in the 2016 UK Championship final, where the Jester from Leicester won 10-7 to take home the title.
Following today’s match five-time World Champion O’Sullivan said: “I remember when I was playing against people like Stephen Hendry when he was number one and you have to just give it your all. It doesn’t get any tougher than playing Mark Selby in a semi-final, but that is what you practise for and what you look forward to.”
Ronnie was in the studio in the afternoon for the preview of the Mark Selby v Thepchaiya Un-nooh clash
Here is the coverage of his own match v David Gilbert:
Preview and MSI:
Frame by frame:
Big thanks to Tai Chengzhe for these images
I’m not particularly optimistic regarding today’s match, although Mark Selby himself made his fair share of mistakes yesterday. There is one important thing that yesterday’s win brought though is that Ronnie is now ranked 28 in the race to the World Grand Prix. He still needs a decent performance in the UK Championship and the Sottish Open to secure his position, but it’s likely now that he will qualify for the first ITV ranking event in February.