It was quite an eventful match this! Ronnie ran to a 4-0 lead, punishing every mistake from Ding. During the first mini session, Ronnie didn’t make a century, but he looked extremely solid in all departments, and his concentration was excellent.
After the MSI, mistakes crept in Ronnie’s game and his concentration went walkabout. Ding took full advantage. He started scoring very heavily.
He made two centuries, the 122 in frame seven a 147 attempt. Ding had left himself a very tricky last black. He managed to cut it into the top left pocket (as seen on the screen) but wasn’t great on the yellow. He missed the yellow in the intended pocket, only to fluke it in the opposite corner. But that was it, the green proved to be too difficult.
At 4-3, it was everyone’s match. But Ronnie managed to re-concentrate just in time. He won a very disjoint eighth frame, but then finished with an excellent 93.
There was another great moment during this match: Ding was in a devilish snooker and failed to escape. However when he came very close to hitting a red, Ronnie refused to take the miss, in the opinion that his opponent had given it his best effort to reach, and played a containing shot from the position. He got an ovation from the crowd, and praise from the commentators. Sportsmanship is at the highest level in snooker and this was yet another expression of it. In his QF, Ding himself had called a foul on himself, for touching the cue ball whilst feathering. No one had seen it, not even the referee. That’s why we love snooker.
After the match, Ronnie tweeted this:
What a match against my brother Ding. The guy is amazing and a class act on and off the table. A real asset to the game not easy playing against someone so close to you but delighted to get through to my 13th Masters final
Masters Snooker 2019: O’Sullivan holds off Ding to reach 13th final
At the end of the match, the players were both smiling, talking, embracing and hugging each other, It was great to see. Ronnie was full of praise for Ding, as a player and a person in the BBC studio.
Ronnie Wood (Rolling Stones) is Ronnie’s close friend and he was in the crowd… and later in the Eurosport Studio.
Ronnie’s postmatch with Rob Walker
And the always great images taken by Tai Chengzhe. Thank you Tai!