Northern Ireland Open 2018 – Ronnie v Mark Selby in the semi finals

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.

NIOpen 2018 ROS QF Scores

The problem mainly was that Ronnie needed to capitalise on his opponent errors. He never was the one creating  the occasions for himself. Ronnie was  very critical of his own performance after the match.

Here is the report on Worldsnooker

(excerpt)

NIOpen2018ROSQF-1Ronnie 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:

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.

 

2 thoughts on “Northern Ireland Open 2018 – Ronnie v Mark Selby in the semi finals

  1. Ronnie was carefree up till this point of the tournament but I agree it’s not just here but last couple of seasons he’s been stealing frames here and there more than frontrunning, a win’s a win but Ronnie is THE frontrunner, not Selby or Higgins which is why we love him most but while I’m happy for him to win, even if it’s from his opponent’s mistakes or some good luck it’s always sweeter when it’s due to Ronnie attacking his way to victory. Guess us Ronnie fans think the way he does, we want him not just to win but win dominantly! He’s always made some silly errors sadly at the worst times but it does at times seem to be increasing with age, though at the least he’s better equipped now to matchplay out the bad days and is getting results still. (Yes that’s more Higgins and especially Selby style) From what I do know with Ronnie vs Selby if it goes close it is more in Selby’s favour but Ronnie in good form without unforced errors will be too strong for even Selby’s tricky play.

    All fairness however from the match with Un-Nooh, if it had been Ronnie in Un-Nooh’s position ahead he’d have punished Selby and crushed him quickly but sadly Un-Nooh showed why he’s not a top player despite his talent with his errors and inferior matchplay, Selby did show signs of weakness (Not that Ronnie has been invincible either throughout the week though he did start really well first day, he seems to do best when he’s playing carefree. How he destroyed Marco Fu in this year’s Masters so convincingly despite being unwell, just playing on adrenaline and instinct he said. Sadly it wore out come Mark Allen but he did go on to win more things again saying he was playing on instinct after his Masters defeat)

  2. I can see your point Monique.
    Ronnie plays some weak shots during the week.
    Ronnie cannot create his chances. He has to wait the opponent’s mistake.
    In this week: Ronnie played 29 frames. Only 13 times he potted the first ball of the current frame.
    His long potting game seems good, his break-builder machine seems good. BUT what about the safites? I think it’s poor. And against Selby he needs A+ safety game.

    I cannot see with this form how Ronnie is able to beat Selby who is very good during the week. He was punished by Un-Nooh yesterday but the tipycal Selby victory helped Selby to secure the place for the semi.

    Of course another day, another form, but… According to how this week goes, Selby is the favourite.

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