Ronnie played his first match of the season tonight in Shanghai (afternoon in Europe).
He beat Zhang Yi by 6-0, in one hour and thirthy-two seconds.
As you can see, Ronnie scored heavily and finished with two centuries. He currently shares the tournament high break, 136, with Shaun Murphy.
Ronnie looked very sharp in the balls. He was very focused and didn’t take any liberties against his amateur opponent. The only slightly weaker aspect was his long potting. He left a few opportunities to his opponent but whenever Zhang missed or lost position, Ronnie took his chance and converted it in a telling break.
Zhang who had beaten Ali Carter yesterday adopted an all attacking approach, spreading the reds at first opportunity. The problem for him was that he couldn’t finish the job in one visit. Once Ronnie was in, it was basically frame over.
After the match Ronnie had a lot of time for the fans, staying in the arena and signing tickets and pictures. There was a big crowd for his match and they were treated with some very good snooker.
Here are some great pictures courtesy of Tai Chengzhe. Thanks Tai!
Ronnie O’Sullivan got his season up and running with a 6-0 whitewash of amateur Zhang Yi at the Shanghai Masters.
The Rocket hasn’t lost in Shanghai for over three years after winning the title in 2017 and 2018. O’Sullivan pocketed £200,000 for his victory last year, when the event transitioned to the 24-player format which saw it become the most lucrative invitation event in snooker.
There were few signs of ring rust this evening as the five-time World Champion powered to victory with a top score of 136.
O’Sullivan recently lost his world number one spot to current Crucible king Judd Trump. However, he feels his longevity sets him apart from his rivals down the years.
O’Sullivan said: “I’ve been at the top of the game for 26 years. For the last nine or ten years I have been the leading player every season along with other players. Selby in the past, last year it was Trump. Other years it has been Higgins and Williams.
“My longevity has been pretty good. I wouldn’t say I am the best in all departments, but I am efficient in most. There are a lot of tournaments up for grabs this year, but also a lot of great players. It should be an exciting season.”
He will face Kyren Wilson in the last eight after the Kettering potter saw off the challenge of Xiao Guodong 6-4.
Here is the match …
And Ronnie’s postmatch reaction