Ronnie beat Yuan Siju by 4-3 in the last 64 round today. However the scoreline is the only thing this match had in common with his first round win over Jamie O’Neil. Ronnie was focused, patient and totally professional from start to finish. And yet he had to come back from 2-0 and 3-1 down to get the win. Yuan, who is rated very highly by Stephen Hendry, played extremely well, and it’s only towards the end that he showed some signs of nerves and where, I assume, Ronnie’s experience got him through. The commentators stressed that this was the best match of the tournament so far.
In the studio, Ronnie was full of praise for his young opponent and quite happy with his own performance. He has barely played competitively for five months and he said that matches like this one is just what he needs to get sharp.
This is Ronnie postmatch in the studio:
Ronnie O’Sullivan had to come from 2-0 down for the second consecutive match at the 19.com English Open but once again prevailed 4-3 to reach the third round.
He joins top stars including Judd Trump, Neil Robertson, Mark Selby, Shaun Murphy, Kyren Wilson and Mark Allen in a strong line up for Thursday’s action.
On Monday, O’Sullivan had to come from 2-0 and 3-2 down to beat Jamie O’Neill, and today’s meeting with China’s up-and-coming Yuan Sijun followed a similar pattern. Breaks of 79 and 104 put Yuan 2-0 ahead. Five-time World Champion O’Sullivan pulled one back with a run of 68 then Yuan went 3-1 up with a 66.
O’Sullivan then stepped up a gear and took the last three frames with 81, 84 and 87, making it six wins from six matches so far this season, having triumphed at last month’s Shanghai Masters. His next opponent is Iran’s Hossein Vafaei.
“I don’t judge whatever I do these days, I just go out and play,” said O’Sullivan. “Whatever happens this will be a fantastic week for me, if I lose I can do a bit of punditry.”
This is the match::
Here are a few images … big thanks to Tai Chengzhe