The 2019 English Open – Ronnie wins on day 1.

English Open 2019 - ROS Last 128 scores

Here is the report by Worldsnooker:

Ronnie O’Sullivan avoided a shock exit on day one of the English Open in Crawley as he came from 2-0 and 3-2 down to beat former tiler Jamie O’Neill 4-3.

All results

EnglishOpen2019ROSL128-1World number 105 O’Neill had a golden chance to register his biggest career win in the sixth frame until he accidentally fouled on 33. O’Sullivan, ranked 103 places higher, punished him to progress to the last 64 at K2 Crawley. He’ll be back in action on Wednesday – tickets are still available –  click here for details.

O’Neill, who had been working on roofs for the past five years before regaining his pro status at Q School last May, coped well with the dizzy heights of the televised table in the early stages tonight, winning the opening frame with a break of 114, then dominating the second.

Five-time World Champion O’Sullivan hit back with runs of 90 and 102 for 2-2 then O’Neill made a 59 as he regained the lead in the fifth. In the next he was 33-0 ahead when he accidentally grazed a red he was cueing over. O’Sullivan replied with 54 then got the better of a safety battle on the last red and capitalised for 3-3.

O’Neill had two further chances in the decider but could only muster 15 points and had to watch as his opponent rattled off 81 to seal victory.

Ronnie O’Sullivan V Jamie O’Neill | English Open 2019 – Last 128

Here is Ronnie’s postmatch:

And couple more pictures thanks to Tai Chengzhe

Ronnie is right in saying  that the top player is on a hiding to nothing in those matches. They have all expectations on them, and their opponents usually can just play with freedom and enjoy the occasion. We saw it in other matches yesterday too as many top seeds struggled to win or actually lost like Ding Junhui, Yan Bingtao, Ali Carter and Anthony McGill. The very short format doesn’t help the best players either: yesterday Ronnie was 2-0 dow; in a best of seven, without interval, that a very perilous situation.

Inevitably, when Ronnie is struggling, there are people on social media who immediately claim that he isn’t bothered. It’s stupid and it’s unfair. If he hadn’t been bothered yesterday, he would have lost. It’s that simple. It’s unfair on Ronnie – or on any top player in the same situation – because they are human and form is not a tap they can turn at will. It’s unfair on their opponent, because they are pros or top amateurs and most of them can play. Jamie O’Neill never really made it as a pro, although he has been on and off the tour since 2003, but he has won two big titles as an amateur: the 2003 Under-19 European Championship and the 2006 English Open. He came back on the tour last May, via the Challenge Tour Event 1. He played very well yesterday. Presenting him only as a “former tiler” is reductive and a bit misleading as for most of his adult life he’s been a professional snooker player.

Also lets hope that the bad neck issue is solved asap.


2 thoughts on “The 2019 English Open – Ronnie wins on day 1.

  1. In addition to the fact that Ronnie feels like he has nothing to gain and everything to lose when he’s facing a player like Jamie O’Neill, I think it’s also true that Ronnie doesn’t get any pleasure out of beating players like that and actually feels a bit sorry for them. Thrashing a journeyman who has struggled for years to make ends meet makes Ronnie feel like a bully picking on a little kid, and he would much rather “pick on someone his own size” by facing a top player (even if that means he’s more likely to lose). This is a big part of why he has complained about having to play Numpties in qualifiers.

    Some people think that Ronnie is being disrespectful to players like Jamie when he plays Kamikaze-style like he did in yesterday’s match, but I think the situation is more nuanced than that. He might be showing a lack of respect for the other player’s snooker ability (in the sense that he doesn’t think the other player can beat him if they are both trying 100%), but on the other hand, I think that Ronnie is showing respect for the other player as a person, in the sense that he doesn’t feel right about possibly hurting the other player’s feelings and making them look bad if Ronnie were to try his hardest and blast the other player off the table. Ronnie’s psychology is complex in this way, and a lot of snooker fans are too simple-minded to be able to understand it.

    I actually thought it was funny when Ronnie potted the pink instead of the blue. He had snookered himself and the frame was already over, so the “right” shot to play would have just been some kind of pointless hit and hope off a cushion to maybe make contact with the blue. The frame was already over either way, so he thought it would be more fun to try to pot the pink. And it was an excellent pot. That kind of stuff rubs some people the wrong way: I am not one of those people.

  2. IMO there is nothing wrong with being a former tiler, taht is a respectable occupation. 🙂

    It is true that the best of 7 is a perilous format, as Ronnie sometimes has the tendency to start slowly like against Murphy in the Shanghai final, but it is different in a best of 21. That might be the whole idea behind this format that some low-ranked players can shock the top guys before tehy get into the match, Yesterday though Ronnie was lucky at times, I was sure O’Neill was on his way to victory when he fouled, and he also missed some sitters that gave Ronnie his chance. There were also some of the exhibition shots I didn’t care for and what happened at the end of frame 6 with potting the pink instead of the blue? I know it did not matter, but still shows problems with concentration or attitude and tend to rub people in the wrong way. (Honestly, this is what I’d expect Trump to do and… well… let it remain unsaid what I think of him.) It might be unfair to suggest Ronnie did not care about winning or playing, but he does not do himself any favours by utterances like “I was so happy I lost” (the first Coral against Fu).

    In any case, happy he is through and good luck to him in the next round.

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