Scottish Open 2018 – Day 2

Yesterday saw the conclusion of the first round in Glasgow.

Here are the reports on Worldsnooker, summarising the main results of the last 128 round.

Day 1

Chinese number one Ding Junhui put on a blistering display to sweep aside compatriot Niu Zhuang 4-0 on day one of the BetVictor Scottish Open .

Ding stormed to victory this afternoon, remarkably only conceding two points in the process. Both of those came in the first frame, following which Ding went on a run of 437 unanswered points to get over the finish line.

The 13-time ranking event winner produced a barrage of breaks throughout, firing in contributions of 105, 66, 93 and 134 on his way to the victory.

Ding faces a battle to secure his place at February’s World Grand Prix in Cheltenham. With the top 32 on the one-year list qualifying, he currently lies in 31st position. The series then progresses, as the top 16 gain entry to the Players Championship and only the best eight players of the season qualify for the brand new Tour Championship.

Ding said: “My position on the one-year list isn’t very good at the moment. I need to try and win some matches and make sure I get into the top 32. I will try to enter some more tournaments, practise harder and see what happens.

“Today was a very good performance against another Chinese player. I played very aggressively and didn’t miss any balls. It felt good.”

Top Scottish star John Higgins overcame a broken rib to secure his place in the last 64 with a narrow 4-3 win over amateur Adam Duffy.

The four-time World Champion has admitted to being downbeat with his current form and that he had been considering retirement following a devastating 6-5 loss against Alan McManus at the recent UK Championship. However, Higgins did make a final earlier this season, when he was runner-up to Mark Selby in a nail biting clash 10-9 at the China Championship.

Higgins led this evening’s match 2-0, before eventually being pegged back by Duffy, who forced a deciding frame. The Scot then ultimately got himself over the line with a the help of a break of 53.

“I wouldn’t have played if it wasn’t here in Glasgow. There isn’t far to travel,” said Higgins. “I was out watching the Scottish League Cup football final a couple of weeks ago when I hurt my rib.

“It would be amazing if I could go far, but I really don’t think I will get much further in this event. Adam played well today and potted a few good balls, but he missed some crucial ones so I was lucky.”

Higgins’ fellow Scots Stephen Maguire and Anthony McGill succumbed to disappointing defeats. Maguire was beaten 4-1 by Billy Castle, while McGill exits after a 4-2 loss against China’s Zhang Yong.

Defending champion Neil Robertson got his campaign underway with a 4-1 defeat of Peter Lines.

Australia’s 2010 World Champion made breaks of 88, 63 and 67 on his way to this afternoon’s victory.

Day 2

Judd Trump surged to a comfortable 4-0 whitewash of ten-time ranking event winner Jimmy White in under an hour to progress to the last 64 of the BetVictor Scottish Open in Glasgow.

Trump is enjoying a strong run of form, having scored a sensational 9-7 win over Ronnie O’Sullivan in the final of the recent BetVictor Northern Ireland Open. However, he did succumb to a narrow 6-4 loss against Joe Perry in the last 16 of the UK Championship last week.

The last time Trump locked horns with the legendary White in a ranking event was at the 2012 China Open, where he came out a 5-3 victor.

This evening’s match was a more comfortable victory. Trump rattled off four frames in just 45 minutes, composing runs of 73, 61 and 73 on his way to the win.

Trump said: “I played some good stuff at times. Jimmy was always finishing in slightly awkward positions. The table may have been playing a bit differently to what he is used to, as he isn’t on TV as much these days.

“My game is there, you can’t win every tournament you play in. You need to look to the next event and stay positive. I had a bad match at the UK Championship in York and that can happen.”

Mark Allen, fresh off a 10-6 defeat in the UK Championship final against Ronnie O’Sullivan, earned a hard fought 4-2 win over Liang Wenbo.

The Pistol doesn’t have the best of records against China’s Liang. The 2016 English Open champion Liang had won all five of their previous meetings going into today’s clash. However, it was Allen who got the win this evening, making breaks of 69 and 78 along the way.

“It was all about the win. I knew it probably wasn’t going to be pretty after Sunday night’s antics,” said Allen. “It is nice to finally get a win over Liang. He has had my number over the years. He is a very tough player to play. He has an awkward style, pots good balls and scores heavily.”

Scotland’s 1994 Masters champion Alan McManus and three-time ranking event semi-finalist Scott Donaldson secured wins on home soil.

McManus edged through 4-3 against John Astley, while Donaldson come through a 4-2 victor against Rory McLeod.

Regarding  John Higgins this is what he told BBC about his situation

….

John Higgins has stressed he will “seriously” consider retiring at the end of the season if he continues to struggle for motivation.

The four-time world champion said earlier this month he felt he was “near the end” of his time in the game.

Despite reaching the 2018 world final, Higgins says he is living a “soul-destroying” existence.

“If I still feel the way I’m feeling just now I’d seriously think about it,” he said.

“I just feel as though I’m stuck in the house now 24/7.

“My wife works three days, which is great because she’s brought our three kids up over the years and she’s got a bit of independence. She’s out working which is great but now I realise how people can go stir-crazy when they’re in the house.

….

“I know now there’s house husbands but it can be pretty soul-destroying when you’re stuck in the four walls. That’s what I feel I’ve been doing a lot now with my practice game in the house.”

If he does continue to play next year, Higgins says he would “look at” the opportunity to take part in a breakaway snooker tour.

Ronnie O’Sullivan has mooted his desire to form a “Champions League-style” format because of his dissatisfaction with the current schedule.

“If there was something like that in the future of course you would look at it,” four-time world champion Higgins said.

“There are a lot of countries that want to see tournament play but a lot can’t come up with the money because they’ve got to fund a 128-man ranking event which is tough – it takes a lot of money to do that,” he said.

“So if other countries are wanting to put on smaller events for smaller fields and that would suit me, it could suit other players, who knows?”

And here is Alan McManus reaction to this, as well as his assessment of Ronnie as a sportsman and a person

My personal feeling is that John Higgins is going through some kind of depression. With his wife working three days a week he doesn’t need to stay at home 24/7. If he feels that way, which I don’t challenge, if he feels trapped, then maybe he needs a bit of help.

As for yesterday action, just two things.

Ryan Day’s win over Rhys Clark was one of the most puzzling matches I ever watched. Day started in all dominant form. Clark, a young pro who has only won two matches over the last two seasons and has made it known that he doesn’t intend to carry on after this one, looked unable to pot a ball for his life. Then some how Ryan missed a couple and Rhys came to life. Before you knew it, we were into a decider. It was all very strange.

Jimmy White’s performance against Judd Trump was terrible and very sad to see. I’m not saying that Jimmy should retire, that’s not for anybody to decide (or advise) but Jimmy himself. But it was painful to watch. He did have chances in every single frame …

5 thoughts on “Scottish Open 2018 – Day 2

  1. To Csilla’s comment about Ronnie, is stated last season that he would quit once he starts losing to Numpties, and then this season he said he would quit once he feels like he can no longer win tournaments. According to what he said, making it to the QF or SF (or F) isn’t good enough for him to want to keep playing.

    As for John Higgins, he made a 147 today and said during his post-match interview something to the effect that he has been using a tip for his cue that is popular with other players but has not felt good to him, so he just switched back to his old style of tip and feels much better with it. Perhaps that will turn his game around and make him happier than he has been…

    • Mark, I wouldn’t take too much from what Ronnie’s says about when he will retire. He will retire quite simply when he loses the desire to compete for good, or feels that he can’t compete anymore. When he “retired” in 2012 he genuinly felt that this was it, then a few months later, he started missing competition badly. It’s the same for all great champions, they are competitive animals. But they are human as well and go through highs and lows like everyone of us.

  2. Yes and what’s even more painful about Jimmy White is that there are a huge number of fans that follow him around, convinced that he can ‘still do it’. The trouble is, he can still occasionally turn in a decent performance, but they are becoming increasingly rare.

    If John Higgins is suffering from a broken rib, then how can he expect to perform well? Surely he should wait until it is fully healed before evaluating his form, motivation and prospects. Even more so if he is taking any kind of medication, such as painkillers.

      • Of course, Higgins does not have to stay among the 4 walls all the time, but if there is only snooker on his life, I can imagine that after such a long career he feels jaded. I can see ho good it is that Ronnie does all these other things in his life, so he does not go crazy.

        Oh, watching Jimmy was painful. It is such a rare occasion to have him on TV table, and then it is rather depressing what we see. Obviously it’s his decision when to retire, as it is everyone’s own, but I dearly hope Ronnie does not wait for this state of his game…

Comments are closed.