Mark Selby beat Ronnie by 5-4 in a very high quality match. Here are the scores:
There were four centuries, three from Ronnie, one from Selby and there were outstanding safeties from both. There was never more than one frame between them.
There is no point dwelling too much on what could have been, but in the eighth frame this happened:
As you can see Ronnie did hit the red there, it moved. But the referee didn’t see it and called a foul and a miss. I can only suppose that neither player saw it move, or that they weren’t sure and trusted the referee. Mark Selby asked for the ball to be replaced. On the second attempt, Ronnie hit the red thicker and stuck it up, allowing Selby to take a long pot at it, which he got and basically won the frame from there. There is of course absolutely no guarantee that Ronnie would have won that frame had the miss not been called but fact is that Selby had no shot to go at after the first attempt.
In the last frame Ronnie got in first with a fantastic long red, tried to develop the pack from the black, spread the reds open, but ended on nothing. Subsequently, they engaged in a longish safety battle that Mark Selby won by forcing Ronnie to take a long red from tight on the cushion. He missed it and Mark made 63 from it. At that point Ronnie needed one four points penalty to tie. He got it. But then, playing a safety shot he was very unlucky when the last red, deflected by the green ended right over the top right pocket. Mark potted it and Ronnie conceded.
That’s two tournaments in a row where Ronne plays really well and still loses. That said, Mark Selby played really well also, and I’m wishing him the best in the rest of the tournament. I’d like to see him win it now.
Obviously, I would have preferred to see Ronnie win today, but I enjoyed the match, really did. It was snooker at its best, played in great spirit, by two fantastic players.
Selby Wins Classic Contest
Mark Selby won a thrilling encounter with Ronnie O’Sullivan 5-4 to reach the semi-finals of the 19.com Scottish Open in Glasgow.
Selby is aiming to become the first player to win more than one Home Nations event in a single season. The three-time World Champion produced a sublime display to crush David Gilbert 9-1 and win the English Open title back in October.
Selby and O’Sullivan have been facing each other on the World Snooker Tour since they first met at the 2002 China Open. Selby won on that occasion and their subsequent battles have seen the fixture become one of snooker’s greatest rivalries.
Despite today’s victory for the Jester from Leicester, it’s the Rocket who holds a 14-10 lead in their head-to-head record.
This afternoon’s match saw both players fire from the start. Selby got off the mark in the opening frame with a sublime break of 120 to move 1-0 up. O’Sullivan hit back immediately with an equally impressive break of 123 to restore parity.
Selby took a scrappy third, before O’Sullivan fired in a century run of 113 to make it 2-2 at the mid-session.
When they returned O’Sullivan composed his third century of the tie with a break of 111 to take the lead for the first time at 3-2. They traded frames, until Selby forced a decider with a run of 56. He then composed a break of 63 to secure victory. Next up he faces a repeat of his English Open final with Gilbert.
“I’m over the moon. To play Ronnie in any tournament is a great feeling and to come out with a win is even better,” said Selby. “At one stage there were four centuries in five frames, which was incredible. After that I didn’t really score as well, but I didn’t miss too many easy pots. I thought my safety was quite good.”
Big thanks to Tai Chengzhe for those great images.
Ronnie will now take a long break: he will not play until next February. He’s currently 17th on the one year list, surely safe to qualify for the World Grand Prix 2020. But he will need good results in that one, and in the Welsh Open 2020, to qualify for the Players Championship 2020, and unless he wins one of them, he probably won’t be able to defend his Tour Championship crown.
There weren’t any interviews with the players on ES after the session. Probably there wasn’t enough time for that before the evening session. But during the evening session preview, the pundits discussed the incident shown above, and how this was dealt with differently from the one involving Mark Allen earlier in the week.
And finally, the Ronnie postmatch interview was shared on twitter on the next day
and here is the review… thanks Kalacs!