2020 Welsh Open – Ronnie beats Zhang Jiankang in the Last 128

Screenshot 2020-02-11 at 16.31.37

Ronnie won his all important first round match in Cardiff, beating Zhang Jiangkang by 4-1.

It was a decent match. Ronnie wasn’t at his best, but he looked very focussed, was patient and applied himself. He was very good in the balls, his long potting was decent without being outstanding. His break-off was slightly better than in previous matches, but still his main weakness. He finished the match wit 93% pot success, and 63% long pot success.

To me, Ronnie looked quite tense out there. He certainly knows that he needs to go deep in this tournament to get any chance to defend his Players Championship title, never mind his Tour Championship title. Seeing how he played today, and his attitude around the table, I think he wants it and will try his best this week.

His next opponent is Stuart Carrington. He’s a hard match player and rather slow. Ronnie will certainly have to be patient and apply himself  like he did today. Hopefully, having won one match already will help him to relax a bit.

Here is the report by WST (excerpt)

Lift Off For The Rocket

Ronnie O’Sullivan secured his passage to the second round with a 4-1 defeat of China’s Zhang Jiankang.

The Rocket is in need of a strong showing here in Cardiff and at next week’s Shoot Out if he harbours any hopes forcing his way into the upcoming Coral Players Championship. Only the top 16 players on the one-year list will earn a place at the elite Southport event and O’Sullivan lies in 20th position in the live rankings.

This afternoon five-time World Champion O’Sullivan composed breaks of 51, 53, 69 and 81 on his way to dispatching world number 88 Zhang. Next up 44-year-old O’Sullivan faces Stuart Carrington.

“It was a good game. I’m pleased to win. He can play, so I am just pleased to be through to the next round,” said O’Sullivan. “It is only one match, it is very hard to assess after one match, but hopefully I will feel a bit stronger after each game. That is the idea, so we will just have to wait and see.”


The pre-match assessment by the ES pundits

The match

Last frame of the match, with BBC commebtary, and the interview post-match with BBC Wales

And the post-match analysis by the ES pundits

Great thanks to Tai Chengzhe for those beautiful pictures



6 thoughts on “2020 Welsh Open – Ronnie beats Zhang Jiankang in the Last 128

  1. I suppose that Ronnie hasn‘t any chance to take part in the Tour Champinship. In any case he‘ll not enter amongst the best 8 players on the ranking.

    • Of course he has a chance, if he qualifies for the Players Championship because the points of that one would count for the Tour Championship. As it stands for now, if he could win this week – big ask of course – it would bring him ahead of Graeme Dott who is currently n°8.

  2. Ronnie was fine. It was an unremarkable match, which is good, and how top players should conduct their L128 match.

    I am in one of Tai’s photos, but horribly out of focus (maybe he needs lessions?).

  3. I always thought he’d like to play the PC and the TC, and was a bit surprised he didn’t try to help his point collection by entering those European tournaments on offer. I know he has a particular beef with qualifying, but it can’t be worse than the Shootout. 🙂

    Today was OK. Except frame 2, which was full of misses on both sides. But certainly he applied himself, playing such an opponent would otherwise make him try some of his crazy shots and he did not do it, but looked annoyed losing frame 3 and that was good to see.

    IF and that is a big if, he made the PC and had to play Trump in the fist round, it may not be that bad, as Trump is usually not that great in early rounds (neither is Ronnie, but…)

  4. It’s really surprising to me that Ronnie seems to care so much about qualifying for the PC and TC, given how little he seems to care about any given tournament and given how little commitment he showed to winning earlier in the season. If he really cared about the PC/TC, it seems like he would have tried harder to get the necessary ranking points. That said, I think he probably intended to get more points from the UK Championship, and losing relatively early there kinda messed up his season.

    It would be kinda funny if Ronnie were to successfully qualify for the PC after all, only to have to face Judd Trump in the first round…

    • Mark two things, two that I have said already but will repeat. 1. Ronnie DOES care, trying not to care too much is just his way to try to cope with the unreal expectations he has on his shoulders all the time, including his own 2. That idea that you have that he didn’t try hard enough is wrong, he did try properly. Playing an attacking game has been what he’s done all his career, and what Hendry did too. It’s worked for them more often than it backlashed, their tallies show that. Hendry stopped enjoying the game and did only win 4 titles after the age of 30, being unhappy for the best part of 12 years after that. Ronnie wants to continue to play and doing in a way that allows him to enjoy it.

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