The day started reasonably well for Ronnie as he beat Hossein Vafaei by 4-1 in the last 32.
It wasn’t a great match by any means. Hossein played badly and Ronnie picked up the pieces without playing well himself. Both players made unexpected mistakes, plenty of them in Hossein’s case, and Ronnie’s concentration wasn’t the best. Players losing concentration happens sometimes when the match is “broken” because one player struggles badly, but I think there was more than just that here
Ronnie O’Sullivan v Hossein Vafaei – English Open 2019 – Last 32
This is the report by Worldsnooker (excerpt):
Ronnie O’Sullivan is yet to find top form this week but he booked his fourth round spot with a 4-1 defeat of Hossein Vafaei. Iran’s Vafaei took the opening frame on a respotted black but O’Sullivan won the next four with top breaks of 55, 52, 60 and 56.
and some great images by Tai Chengzhe
In the evening he faced Mei Xi Wen who played an excellent match to beat him by 4-3.
Mei is 37, and had never before reached the QF stage in a main tour event. He’s a very capable player though, and well respected as a mentor to younger Chinese players. This season he seems to have found an extra gear. He will face Mark Selby today.
Ronnie O’Sullivan v Mei Xiwen – English Open 2019 – Last 16
(very start of the match is missing)
Here is the report by Worldsnooker (excerpt):
On a day of surprise results, O’Sullivan suffered a 4-3 defeat against China’s Mei Xiwen. That brought to an end O’Sullivan’s perfect record so far this season – he won last month’s Shanghai Masters and his first three matches this week, before falling to world number 70 Mei, who is into the quarter-finals of a ranking event for the first time.
After sharing the first four frames, O’Sullivan appeared to gain the momentum with a run of 134 to lead 3-2. Mei got the better of frame six then had first chance in the decider and made 52 before missing a red to a centre pocket . O’Sullivan had a chance to counter but only made 16 before failing to pot a difficult red along a side cushion, and that proved his last shot as Mei added 71.
And more nice pictures by Tai Chengzhe – Thank you Tai!
I think we all saw it coming. Ronnie wasn’t at his best. He made no mystery of the fact that his main purpose was to gain some match sharpness ahead of the Yushan World Open, starting on October 28, 2019. Some of the shots he played against Hossein were the kind of shots I’ve seen him play in practice matches. That said he played much better against Mei Xiwen, and it really came down to only a couple of errors.
It’s also clear that he is no fan of the venue and he will be happy to sit on the couch in the studio or in the commentary box although he looked really annoyed with himself towards the end of his last match, which is good to see.