The 147th 147 …

Mark Selby won the Championship League Snooker Group 5 yesterday and here is the report on Worldsnooker:

Mark Selby overcame a stubborn Stephen Maguire 3-2 before easing past Barry Hawkins 3-0 to claim the honours at Championship League Snooker as Group Five played out in the Ricoh Arena, Coventry.

World number one Selby had started out the group on Monday with just one win from his first four matches.

However, he recorded wins over Anthony McGill and Joe Perry to make it into the top four and the play-off stages on ‘frames won’. The Leicester man then edged past Maguire in a heavy scoring affair before beating Hawkins with telling breaks of 82, 59 and 97.

Selby said: “It was looking like I was going out the group. I won the last two to get into the semi-finals and that’s the beauty of this tournament.

“It’s great match practice playing the top players in the world so it’s a win-win for me. The winners’ group is going to be tough, the players who have won the groups so far are all top class players so I’m looking forward to it.”

Earlier, an in-form David Gilbert recorded the 147th maximum break in snooker history. He collected £500 for the group’s high break prize.

Selby will now join Stuart Bingham, Neil Robertson, Jack Lisowski, and Judd Trump in the Winners’ Group, which takes place at Barnsley Metrodome on March 13th and 14th. They will be joined by the winners of the next two groups.

Having finished fifth in the round robin group table, Ali Carter will return to compete in Group Six along with Hawkins, Maguire and Gilbert. They will be joined with Mark Davis, Xiao Guodong and Martin Gould.

Group Six commences at 11am on Wednesday.

Group Five

Dave Gilbert 0 – 3 Barry Hawkins
33-90 (Hawkins 90), 0-81 (Hawkins 77), 53-62

Stephen Maguire 2 – 3 Mark Selby
124-13 (Maguire 124), 6-111 (Selby 98), 77-0 (Maguire 77), 39-68, 0-76 (Selby 50)

Barry Hawkins 0 – 3 Mark Selby
0-83 (Selby 82), 35-93 (Selby 59), 16-97 (Selby 97)

Mark Selby looked in fine form yesterday, but not the day before. That’s been the story of the last two years in a way, and we saw it at the Masters too: what he lacks is consistency.

The but man who stole the show is David Gilbert, and he wasn’t even supposed to be there. Indeed he was invited last-minute after Luca Brecel withdrew yesterday morning, citing illness.

The”angry farmer” made the 147th 147 in frame two of his last match of the group stage, the only group match he lost BTW, and there was nobody there to watch it live, except for his opponent and the referee.

But you can watch it here…

After that, unfortunately, David appeared to have lost his focus; he didn’t win another frame!

The Masters 2019 – Judd Trump is the Master


Congratulations Judd Trump !

Masters 2019 Judd Trump Winner

Judd Trump beat Ronnie by 10-4 to win the Masters for the first time. This is Judd’s second “Triple Crown”, seven years (and a bit) after the first, the 2011 UK Championship.

Judd played outstanding snooker in the first session; he totally outplayed Ronnie in building a 7-1 lead. In the evening session, Ronnie made a fight of it, had two centuries, but could only “share” the session.

All week Judd has been disciplined and patient, not taking rash shots. He’s clearly matured a lot in recent months and putting the work in. Teaming with his brother Jack has helped him massively. He always had exceptional potting abilities, he now has a rock-solid safety game as well AND the right mentality. He will certainly add many more titles to his tally and will be one of the favourites come April at the Crucible.

As for Ronnie, it was a very disappointing ending of an otherwise great week. In the afternoon, his game deserted him – it happens to all of them occasionally – and, as Judd kept him cold in his seat for most of the session, he never really settled. His long potting was non-existent and his safeties were not good enough. In the evening he played better – he was reliable in the balls, his long potting was decent and he never gave up – but he would have needed to be at his very best to stand any chance, and he wasn’t.

screenshot 2019-01-20 at 22.43.54

Here are the reports on Worldsnooker

Afternoon session:

Judd Trump is just three frames away from his first Dafabet Masters title as he built a 7-1 lead over Ronnie O’Sullivan in the final at Alexandra Palace.

Seven-time Masters champion O’Sullivan is in danger of one of his heaviest career defeats having been completely outplayed by his opponent so far. He’ll need to win nine of the last 11 frames tonight to avoid defeat.

Trump is playing in his first Masters final and the third Triple Crown final of his career. His only previous Triple Crown win came at the 2011 UK Championship. The £200,000 top prize would give the 29-year-old from Bristol his biggest pay day. Just two months ago he beat O’Sullivan 9-7 in the final of the Northern Ireland Open to win his ninth ranking title, a result which has surely given him a boost of confidence for today’s contest.

O’Sullivan, age 43, won his 19th Triple Crown title at last month’s UK Championship and is aiming to win his fourth title of the season from the six he has contested. The Chigwell cueman previously won the Masters in 1995, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2014, 2016 and 2017 and has also lost in five finals.

Trump made a tremendous start with breaks of 89 and 87 to take the first two frames. O’Sullivan scored his first points of the match in the third but managed just a break of 8 as Trump took it to extend his lead. And Trump made a 56 in the fourth as he came from 33-0 down to make it 4-0 at the interval.

A run of 69 from O’Sullivan saw him get a foothold in the match by taking the fifth, and he led 37-0 in the next when he missed a red to a baulk corner. Trump punished him with a break of 66 for 5-1.

Runs of 46 and 40 gave Trump frame seven and he made a 66 in the next. O’Sullivan had a chance to snatch it but missed the penultimate red to a top corner on 22, handing his opponent the chance to make it 7-1.

Evening session:

Judd Trump won the Dafabet Masters for the first time by beating Ronnie O’Sullivan 10-4 in a one-sided final at Alexandra Palace.

O’Sullivan, seven times a winner of this title, suffered his heaviest defeat in any final since he lost 9-2 to John Higgins at the 2006 Grand Prix as he was outplayed by his opponent.

Tickets for the 2020 Dafabet Masters are on sale now and selling fast – click here for details

Bristol’s 29-year-old Trump landed the second Triple Crown title of his career and first since the 2011 UK Championship. He had never previously reached the final of the Masters but rose to the occasion with a dominant display to capture the Paul Hunter Trophy. The top prize of £200,000 is the biggest of his life.

And Trump did it the hard way, coming through a draw which could barely have been tougher, knocking out Kyren Wilson, Mark Selby and Neil Robertson to reach the final before beating the best player in snooker history. O’Sullivan had landed a 19th Triple Crown victory, surpassing Stephen Hendry’s record of 18, at last month’s UK Championship. But he couldn’t recover from a slow start today and has now lost six of his 13 Masters finals.

Only time will tell whether this moment represents a changing of the guard, with O’Sullivan perhaps coming towards the end of his career and Trump, another crowd favourite, coming into his prime.  But there is certainly a sense of Trump coming of age, as he has matured as a player in recent months, and has now ended an eight year wait to double his tally of major titles. He has worked hard in practice and developed the safety side of his game to become a stronger all-round player.

His 9-7 win over O’Sullivan in the final of the Northern Ireland Open in November, his ninth ranking title, gave him confidence ahead of today’s match, and he will now embrace the challenge of trying to win his first World Championship title in the Spring.

Trailing 7-1 after the first session, O’Sullivan got the better of the opening frame tonight with a break of 46.  World number five Trump hit back immediately with a run of 88 to lead 8-2. He had first chance in the next and made 23 before missing a red to a top corner, and O’Sullivan punished him with 114, the first century of the match.

O’Sullivan’s crowd support was immense as his fans willed him to fight back, but he crucially missed a tricky black to a top corner on 25 in frame 12. Trump, looking calm and collected, made 68 to go 9-3 ahead at the interval.

A break of 109, his 991st career century, proved no more than a consolation for O’Sullivan. He had a scoring chance in frame 14 but made just 16 before leaving the pink in the jaws of a top corner, and Trump replied with 53 to cross the winning line.

“I was quite calm at the end. I think I played so well today that it gave me confidence throughout the whole game,” said Trump. “I believed in myself the whole way through. I knew Ronnie was going to come back a little bit tonight but I stuck with him and took my chances.

“Against Ronnie you’ve got to play your absolute best to even get close to him, so obviously I was very surprised to get a 7-1 lead. It’s been a long time since I won a massive event. It’s taken a lot of hard work, a lot of sacrifices, but I think the rewards are there because of the practice I’ve done over the past four or five months. Hopefully it’ll be a major turning point in my career and I can really kick on.

“The way I played back then when I won the 2011 UK Championship was all-out attack, and now and again it would pay off. But the way I played this week, I was able to get through against top class players. I was very pleased with how I dug in with my safety and stayed patient.

“It’s good for the younger generation. Everyone’s a big fan of Ronnie, including myself, but it’s nice to have someone competing with him every now and again. It’s very pleasing to be able to beat him in two finals this season the way he’s playing. It shows me where my game is at.

“It was amazing to have my family here. I wouldn’t be in this position without them.”

World number three O’Sullivan said: “Judd played a great match, he played brilliantly this afternoon. Sometimes you have to accept that the better man won on the day. He’s always been a very good player. Sometimes you just need silverware to prove it to everyone else. He’s a great talent.

“The youngsters start coming through to take over eventually and there’s a lot of good youngsters out there. Snooker’s in great shape. That’s the exciting thing about sport, you can sit back and watch it unfold. You get to watch their careers and it’s exciting. Snooker’s in great hands, you’ve got some really good players there. Judd’s more than capable of winning the world title, so are a lot of players that haven’t won it.

“I’ve got two weeks off now, I’m going to do some go-karting, have a nice spa day tomorrow and just chill out. It’s been a nice week and I can take the positives out of it.”

The action (BBC full coverage):


and the punditry

BBC (also in the above coverage)

Preview Session1

MSI Session 1

Review Session1


MissingClip Preview Session 2

MissingClip MSI Session 2

MissingClip Review Session 2

The Masters 2019 – Day 7

The semi finals were eagerly anticipated, with potentially two cracking matches.

The afternoon semi final did live to expectations. Ronnie beat Ding by 6-3 in a match that had everything: outstanding snooker from both players, a comeback, a dramatic maximum attempt and two centuries … by Ding. It was played in great spirit, and complete sportsmanship between two men who are close friends off the table.

You can read all about this match here

The evening match opposed Judd Trump and Neil Robertson. Most expected a close, high quality match. It was close-ish, yes, but for the best part of it wasn’t quality. At a point, Steve Davis in the commentary box said that they were playing like club players.

In fact, Judd looked very good for the first two frames, then lost his way completely for most of the rest of it. Neil was never at the races, despite a century. It ended up being 6-4 for Judd, which was probably the right result.

Here is the report on Worldsnooker:

Judd Trump saw off Neil Robertson 6-4 to reach the final of the Dafabet Masters for the first time, setting up a showpiece clash with Ronnie O’Sullivan.

The two most exciting talents in the sport will go head to head at Alexandra Palace on Sunday, with first to ten frames to win the Paul Hunter Trophy and a top prize of £200,000.

Given Trump’s success over the past decade it is surprising that this is his first run to the final of snooker’s biggest invitation event. His three previous appearances in the semi-finals had ended in painful defeat, particularly last year when he squandered a 5-2 lead against Kyren Wilson, losing 6-5.

The 29-year-old from Bristol has now laid that ghost to rest and will hope to go one better as he seeks the second Triple Crown title of his career and first since the 2011 UK Championship. Two months ago he beat O’Sullivan 9-7 in the final of the Northern Ireland Open to win his ninth ranking title, a result which will boost his confidence ahead of tomorrow’s meeting. Trump practised hard over the Christmas period to maintain that form and has played some fine snooker this week in London.

Breaks of 86 and 73 put him 2-0 up tonight then Robertson got the better of a scrappy third frame before making a 127 for 2-2. A run of 61 in the fifth helped world number five Trump regain the lead and he came from 46-1 down to snatch the next with an excellent 60 clearance.

Australia’s Robertson, who won this event in 2012, took the seventh before Trump made it 5-3 with a 68. World number ten Robertson raised his hopes of a fight-back with a 127 in the ninth, and he had a chance to clear from 48-0 down in the tenth, but crucially missed a tricky red to a centre pocket on 30. That proved his last shot as Trump added 49 for victory.

“It’s a relief to win,” said Trump. “It was edgy out there, we both missed a lot of balls. Towards the end there was a lot of pressure. I’ve managed to nick the bad frames all week, which are the frames I normally lose. I think that’s been the major difference.

“Every game now seems to be about my safety. It’s pleasing because I don’t really think I’ve played that great all week. I’ve never really felt relaxed. I’ve managed to dig in, without playing brilliant snooker I’m making my way through tournaments.

“I’m going to have to raise my game by about 50% to get close to Ronnie. But I’m in with a chance, whereas I’m usually watching the final on TV.  I don’t have anything to lose after that performance. Hopefully I can go out there and play somewhere near how I played in Northern Ireland, take the game to him, speed up and go for my shots with confidence.”

Robertson said: “Physically I was exhausted. Playing back to back evening sessions is quite tough. It was really warm out there tonight, and I struggled to hold my concentration at times. Moving forward that’s something to look at, to do some better things physically to make sure I’m always in top condition.

“When you’re playing the night matches it’s important to be sharp. If I carried on playing like that I would have got hammered in the final. Last night I didn’t get to sleep until about 2.30am. That has a knock-on effect.

“I stuck in there. I’m proud of the way I dug in, got it back to 5-4 and had a really good chance to make it 5-5. From that point of view I’m disappointed. I’m sure Judd will play much better than that in the final. I felt as though I dragged him down a little bit tonight.”

The final starts at 1pm.

Today is indeed a different day, and I wouldn’t read too much in Judd’s lack of form yesterday. Since 2015 Ronnie and Judd have played each other six times in finals and its 3-3 in the head-to-head. So, it’s hard to predict. Let’s just try to enjoy it.

Masters 2019 - before the final

Jan Verhaas will be the referee.

And yesterday, the ES pundits went over Ronnie’s history at the Masters again…


Tha Masters 2019 – Ronnie beats Ding to advance to his 13th Masters Final


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.

Masters2019 ROS SF Scores

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.

Masters 2019 ROS SF Stats


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 🏆

Here is the report on BBC website

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.



MissingClip MSI

Action and review



MissingClip MSI

MissingClip Review

Ronnie’s postmatch with Rob Walker

And the always great images taken by Tai Chengzhe. Thank you Tai!


The Masters 2019 – Day 6

We saw the conclusion of the quarter finals round yesterday with wins for Judd Trump  in the afternoon and Neil Robertson in the evening. So now, Ronnie is the last poster boy standing! Hopefully he will still stand at the end of today.

Again, things took a turn for the unexpected. Mark Selby had looked coming back close to his best in the first round, but he was really poor yesterday. Judd played OK, he kept his discipline but he wasn’t faultless, his opponent did have enough chances. He nevertheless had a very comfortable passage to the semi finals.

Here is the report on Worldsnooker:

Judd Trump remained on course to reach the final of the Dafabet Masters for the first time thanks to a 6-2 win over world number one Mark Selby.

Trump cited an improved safety game as a key reason behind his impressive recent form as he outplayed Selby to set up a semi-final with Barry Hawkins or Neil Robertson on Saturday evening.

The Bristol cueman previously reached the last four of snooker’s biggest invitation event in 2012, 2016 and 2018 but missed out on the final. This time he’ll be confident of going one better and reaching his first Triple Crown final since the 2014 UK Championship.

Selby may have eight Triple Crown titles to his name but he has struggled to produce his best in those events since capturing the 2017 World Championship. That was the last time he won two consecutive matches in any of the big three.

The opening frame today took 43 minutes and went Trump’s way, and a break of 54 helped world number five Trump take the second. Selby pulled one back with a 64 but it was Trump who stepped up a gear with 81, 101 and 60 to surge 5-1 ahead.

Leicester’s Selby made a 110 in frame seven to raise hopes of a trademark fightback and he had chances in frame eight, which came down to the colours. In potting the brown, Selby tried to dislodge the blue from a side cushion and was unlucky to snooker himself behind the black. He hit the blue but went in-off, handing Trump the chance to pot a long blue and add the pink for victory.

“It was important for me to dig in, make sure my safety was good and not leave any easy chances for him,” said 29-year-old Trump, who won his ninth ranking title at the Northern Ireland Open in November. “My safety has been good for the past couple of years. It’s creating more chances for me, and that’s probably why I’m starting to do a little bit better.

“There was a lot of pressure out there, and I was able to deal with it. I keep getting to the semi-finals here. I’m giving myself the chances which is what you’ve got to do. The more often I put myself in that position, hopefully sooner or later I’ll win it.

“I practised hard over Christmas to give myself every chance of doing well in this event. It’s paying off so far, I’ve beaten two tough players in Kyren Wilson and Mark, and I’ve beaten both quite comfortably.”

Selby said: “I had more than enough chances, but every time I got in everything fell awkward. Judd played better than me and took his chances. His safety game has improved over the years, so I know he’s got a good all-round game now.

“Every time I missed I felt like I was leaving them over the hole for him, and every time Judd missed he didn’t really leave me anything. I felt good out there, but it was frustrating because nothing seemed to happen for me. In the end I started laughing in my seat because it’s just the way the day went for me.”

The second match also unfolded in unexpected manner. Barry Hawkins started well, he won the first two frames. At that stage he looked solid. Then Neil Robertson won the next and Barry, all of a sudden started making mistakes, a lot of them. Neil took advantage of course and went on to win quite easily, without being at his best himself.

Here is the report on Worldsnooker:

Neil Robertson beat Barry Hawkins 6-3 to reach the semi-finals of the Dafabet Masters then said he will need total belief in himself ahead of a battle with Judd Trump.

Champion in 2012, Robertson will be aiming to reach the final at Alexandra Palace for the fourth time when he faces Trump on Saturday evening. And the Australian drew a comparison with England’s two leading football teams as he looked ahead.

“I watched Manchester City and Liverpool going at each other and it was inspiring to see two teams completely confident that their game plan would work,” said Robertson. “I guess I’m a bit like (Liverpool manager) Jurgen Klopp – good to watch but with a few crazy shots! I will need to have total belief against Judd.

“He’s got it in his locker to take a match away from you when you’re not doing a lot wrong, and I have too. I think the crowd and everyone watching are going to enjoy it.”

Former World Champion Robertson wasn’t even among the field for the Masters last year having dropped out of the top 16, but he has now climbed back to tenth and is showing glimpses of his best.

Hawkins started strongly tonight with breaks of 64 and 72 to take the first two frames, before Robertson recovered to 2-2 with 73 and 72. A scrappy fifth went Robertson’s way and he added the next two with a top run of 43 to lead 5-2.

Robertson appeared to be cruising past the finish line in frame eight until he missed a red to a top corner on 42, allowing Hawkins to clear with 66 for 5-3. But that only delayed the result for a few more minutes as Robertson sealed victory in the ninth with a break of 72.

“Barry looked super strong in the first two frames,” Robertson added. “He punished a slight mistake and cleared up, and in the next frame he cleared up too. I didn’t do a lot wrong. It just was about taking advantage of any mistakes he did make and I managed to do that. I started flying then from 2-0 down to lead 5-2.

“I lost my concentration a little bit towards the end because a few people in the crowd were shouting out. That was probably my fault for not being able to re-focus. I would never take that away from what this tournament brings because it’s a fantastic atmosphere.”

Hawkins said: “I got off to a good start but all credit to Neil, he dug in and played two good frames to go 2-2. I felt like I was in my chair for long periods of time. I lost my timing towards the end, and it was tough out there.

“I wasn’t going to give in, I had to keep trying and wait for something to click. Unfortunately it didn’t really click. Neil looks like his best is ready to come out. His technique and long potting is so good, he’s very strong.”

The crowd was very raucous yesterday evening, and particularly Barry’s supporters. It’s a strange thing really because Barry himself is a rather quiet chap, but I have seen the same at the Crucible: a group of very noisy Barry supporters, shouting and disturbing the play in progress, so much so that a couple of them were removed from the arena. I don’t think they help Barry in any way with this attitude.

Now, that’s what we get today:

Masters 2019 - SF line-up

Ronnie v Ding

If both played like they did in previous rounds, I can only see one winner: Ronnie. However, Ronnie looked tired and tense after both previous matches. He doesn’t seem to best 100% in a good place mentally for some reason. Until now this didn’t affect his game too much. As a fan, I hope he will feel better today and able to keep his concentration and discipline. Ding looks very happy in himself right now, but his game wasn’t at its best, yet, in the previous rounds. Those two like and respect each other. Whatever happens it should be played in good spirit.

Judd Trump v Neil Robertson

They are stablemates, they surely know each other’s game inside out. This one will be on the form on the day. It’s hard to predict. Both have played well, but not at their best. If everything stays as it was in the previous rounds, I’d favour Judd slightly. However there is a side to Neil’s game that many fans overlook because he’s a very good long potter and goes for a lot of long distance shots. But Neil, if under pressure, can go very defensive, and he’s a master at mind games, taking long comfort breaks at strategic moments, even during frames at times. He has the means to frustrate Judd if things become difficult for him. Would that work on the new focused Judd? Not sure. But not sure it won’t either.



The Masters 2019 – Day 5

The first day of the QF round brought its fair share of excitement at Alexandra Palace.

Ronnie booked his place in the semi finals round at the Masters for a remarkable 14th time. He beat Ryan Day by 6-3 in the afternoon session. It was an excellent match overall. Ronnie was very sharp, but still looked tired and had a few lapses of concentration, mainly before the MSI. Ryan played really well himself.

You can read all about the Ronnie v Ryan Day QF here.

Quite remarkably, out of 13 past appearances in the SF at the Masters, Ronnie won 12. Can he make it 13? We will see. What is certain is that he has a match on his hands as his opponent will be Ding Junhui who, in the evening,  got the better of Luca Brecel, in a decider!

Here is the report on that match (Worldsnooker)

Ding Junhui won an exciting quarter-final against Luca Brecel 6-5 to set up a match with Ronnie O’Sullivan at the Dafabet Masters.

China’s Ding made an excellent match-winning break in the deciding frame to settle an enthralling contest which never had more than one frame between the two competitors.

Eighth seed Ding is through to the semi-finals of this event for the first time since he won it in 2011. He’ll face O’Sullivan on Saturday afternoon in a repeat of the 2007 final, which the Englishman won 10-3. Ding is seeking his first title since the 2017 Yushan World Open.

The first six frames tonight were shared, Ding making breaks of 125 and 64 while Brecel knocked in 63, 74 and 87. World number 14 Brecel, who was aiming to reach the semi-finals of a Triple Crown event for the first time, took frame seven in two scoring visits before Ding responded with a 105 for 4-4.

In the ninth, Ding trailed 35-0 when he was faced with a tough safety, and tried to come off the side cushion to rest against a red on the top cushion. He could have hit the ball directly, so when he failed to make contact three times in a row, referee Greg Coniglio had to award the frame to Brecel.

Unfazed by that error, Ding won the tenth with runs of 32 and 57 for 5-5. The key moment of the decider came when Brecel, leading 23-6, missed a straight-forward red to a centre pocket. Ding got the next chance and made no mistake, his cool 65 clinching the tie.

Ding said: “I believe in myself to do well in deciders. I’ve won most of them in the last couple of seasons. In a decider, it’s about who wants to win it, and I believed that I could win the game. Luca had a brilliant chance to win it, but he missed the red in the middle pocket which was unbelievable.

“I’ve finally got a chance to play Ronnie. I had a chance to play him in the UK Championship and in the Shanghai Masters but each time I lost the game before I met him. This time in the Masters, a big tournament, I’m looking forward to playing him.”

Brecel added: “It’s disappointing to lose today, I had my chances. Normally I’m very good in deciders, today I lost one. It happens. I have to get over it but it’s tough at the moment.”

It was a truly crazy match this, and from a neutral point of view a very entertaining one. Luca Brecel has all the ability in the world, and, incredibly, he played the whole match with a badly damaged tip. He had damaged it whilst having some practice minutes before the start of the match, with no time left to fix it.

Masters 2019 Luca damaged tip

Paul Collier did some repair work on it at MSI, but it still wasn’t right by any means.

Despite this Luca played some really incredible shots throughout the match, but then, he also made equally incredible mistakes. It was a real mixture of the sublime and the ridiculous at times.

Ding forfeited the ninth frame over the “three misses” rule.

Here is how this happened:

Asked what happened there by the pundits in the ES studio, Ding just said that he was so sure that he would reach one of the three reds at third attempt that he took the shot again; his rationale was also that taking the one he actually saw full ball would definitely have given Luca a good opening, from which he expected him to win the frame.

All week the cushions have been a talking point in the studio as, apparently, they are quite not reacting to shots played with side they way they usually do on match tables at WS events. This may be caused by conditions in the venue. Alexandra Palace is very peculiar, the arena is set in a huge room, with a very high ceiling, Getting the air conditioning right isn’t easy especially with a nearly 2000 capacity. One fitter told me once that humidity level could go up by as much as 15% when Ronnie was playing and every seat was taken. It has been full capacity nearly all week this time.

And I was very pleased to see Ding so happy and relaxed, laughing and joking with the pundits.

The Masters 2019 – Ronnie beats Ryan Day in the Quarter Finals


Ronnie beat Ryan Day by 6-3 this afternoon, but it wasn’t a comfortable match by any means. Both players scored well: there were ten breaks over 50, in only nine frames.

Masters2019 QF ROS Scores

Ronnie looked tired, he admitted he was actually feeling tired when interviewed in the studio, and his concentration was far from perfect, particularly before the MSI. He had a couple of really bad misses on basic shots and was visibly annoyed with himself.  However, he didn’t let this affect him for long and that was great to see.



Here is the report on BBC website:

Masters Snooker 2019: Ronnie O’Sullivan beats Day to reach last four

The report by Worldsnooker

With a bit of help from his dance teacher, Ronnie O’Sullivan waltzed into the semi-finals of the Dafabet Masters with a 6-3 win over Ryan Day.

It was a closely fought battle for seven-time Masters champion O’Sullivan, and it was a chance meeting with his instructor which helped him through.

“I found out my dance teacher was here,” said O’Sullivan. “I said to him, I haven’t got any rhythm going. He told me go 1-2-1-2-1-2-1-2-3-4 and that sort of worked for me! Once you get the rhythm going you’re ok.”

The Rocket goes through to face Ding Junhui or Luca Brecel on Saturday afternoon.

World number three O’Sullivan is aiming for his fourth title of the season having already won the Shanghai Masters, Champion of Champions and UK Championship. The last of that trio was his 19th career Triple Crown victory so he can break the 20 barrier by winning two more matches this weekend in his native London.

O’Sullivan won the opening frame with a break of 68 before Day fought back strongly with 54 and 68 to lead 2-1. Back came O’Sullivan with 74 and 119 – his 989th career century – to lead 3-2. Welshman Day made a 77 to win the sixth then O’Sullivan regained the lead with a run of 65.

Frame eight proved the turning point as Day looked set to make it 4-4 when he led 66-0. But he misjudged a safety shot, gifting his opponent a chance, and O’Sullivan took advantage with a rapid 78 clearance. A break of 92 in the ninth put O’Sullivan into his 14th Masters semi-final.

“The frame I snatched to go 5-3 was a big turning point,” said 43-year-old O’Sullivan. “At one stage I was sitting there thinking if Ryan beats me he could go on and win the whole tournament. He’s a class act and a class player.

“It’s a fine line between winning and losing these days. I’m not that much better than anyone else. It’s very close between eight or nine players. I know it’s touch and go in most matches you play. It just comes down to how you play on the day.”

World number 13 Day said: “I could have quite easily gone 4-4, and then you never know what might have happened. A couple of safety errors cost me. It was only a couple of shots here and there, there was nothing in the match really.

“I’m just looking forward to the next tournament, the German Masters, I really enjoy that event. Then we’ve got the World Grand Prix in Cheltenham which is a new venue, so there’s plenty to look forward to in the coming months.”

Here is some coverage:



 Action (including short preview, MSI and review) 





And Ronnie’s interview with Worldsnooker after the match

With some great pictures thanks to Tai Chengzhe!