Ronnie beat Zhou Yuelong by 6-0 this afternoon to book his place in the last 16. He will play Marco Fu or Jack Lisowski next on Wednesday.
Here are the stats
Ronnie did play really well, even if there was no century. Zhou had a few chances, not that many actually , but couldn’t take any.
Thanks to Tai Chengzhe for these images
O’Sullivan is chasing snooker history this week; if he wins the tournament he will set new records of seven UK titles and 19 Triple Crown events, surpassing the records he currently shares with Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry respectively.
He meets Jack Lisowski or Marco Fu in the fourth round in York, on either Wednesday or Thursday (tickets for both of those days available – for details click here).
Breaks of 66, 60, 68, 89 and 69 helped world number three O’Sullivan to an emphatic win over China’s Zhou.
“I felt for my opponent because it’s hard out there when things are not going for you,” said O’Sullivan, who turns 43 on Wednesday. “Zhou wants to make a statement and show the snooker world what he is capable of, because I know he is capable of wonderful things. I made a few mistakes but he didn’t punish me, I dodged a bullet.
“It is a learning curve for him, but at some point you have to stop learning and start giving out a few lessons yourself. I think he’s going to win tournaments because he’s a superb player. I have to train myself to block out my opponent and focus on what I have to do, and if I can do that I can make it difficult for whoever I play.”
And the action (BBC coverage)
Honestly, I don’t understand why people make such a big fuss about what Ronnie says about a “breakaway”, that isn’t a rival tour anyway, and that he only sees as a last resort, and I certainly don’t believe for a minute that Steve Davis was confused. He admitted eventually that he would go for the “10 best results” gladly if he was still an (ex) top player on tour. Top pros take pride in their performances and want to present themselves at the competitions, well prepared and physically as well as mentally fit and rested. The hectic schedule doesn’t allow that anymore. And, yes, they can pick and choose, but at the expense of their ranking. Of course, I can see why Barry Hearn doesn’t like the idea. He wants to have all the top players in all the tournaments because that’s what sponsors and broadcasters will want and they hold the purse. But why brand Ronnie’s point of view as “nonsensical”? It isn’t, it’s just coming from a totally different perspective. It would be interesting to do a simulation of how the rankings would look with only the ten best performances counting each season. I would expect the ranking list not to be significantly different from the current one baring a few exceptions.
And BTW Steve’s current feed on twitter shows that he perfectly got it, and does see Ronnie’s point of view, as well as Hearn’s… And it also shows that not all the fans think it’s nonsense, far from it. Have a read whilst it’s still current!