World Championship 2020 – Ronnie and Ding all square after the second session of their last 16 match

The second session of Ronnie versus Ding last 16 match followed the same pattern as the first. Misjudged safeties from Ronnie and an unexpected miss gave Ding the opportunity to win the first mini session by 3-1. Just like yesterday, after they resumed, Ronnie  managed to win three frames on the trot to lead by 8-7. Ding took the last of the session after Ronnie missed a couple of long pots.

Again the feeling was that Ding was the better player out there. Ronnie appeared very frustrated at times, by his own mistakes or by the conditions, or by both.

Regarding the conditions, Stephen Hendry in commentary reflected that the table was playing very heavy, and that finger marks on the cloth were a sign that the cloth was damp despite the heating. The table was slow, but the cushions were bouncy. It’s a bad combination. Both Ding and Ronnie are touch players, they don’t like to have to hit the balls hard and they tend to lose accuracy when they are forced to do so. Both missed a few long ones at speed by some margin. Also, whatever side they put in their shots,  it takes on differently depending on the state of the cloth.

Ding however seems better than Ronnie at keeping his negative emotions in check.

Tomorrow morning the tables will be reclothed, or mabe it’s just the cushions, I’m not sure. Hopefully the table will play a bit better.

What will happen in the last session is hard to predict. From what I’ve seen so far I have to make Ding slightly favourite… I hope to be wrong.

Here are the numbers:


And the report by WST:

Ronnie O’Sullivan and Ding Junhui are tied at 8-8 going into the final session of their Betfred World Championship second round clash.

Having started the second session at 4-4, the pair shared the eight frames again, leaving the match perfectly poised. They return at 7pm on Sunday with first to 13 frames to go through to the quarter-finals to face Mark Williams.

O’Sullivan is targeting his sixth world title, though he hasn’t been past the quarter-finals since he lost to Mark Selby in the 2014 final. China’s Ding is aiming to become the first Asian winner; the closest he has come was runner-up spot to Selby in 2016.

A scrappy opening frame today went O’Sullivan’s way, then Ding hit back with breaks of 64, 118 and 101 to lead 7-5.  The high scoring continued after the interval as O’Sullivan turned the tide in his own favour with 90, 89 and 73 to take three frames within 35 minutes. In the last of the session, Ding made 41 and 53 to restore parity.


17 thoughts on “World Championship 2020 – Ronnie and Ding all square after the second session of their last 16 match

  1. Possible Quarters:
    JT KW / KM JC / MJW RO’S / MS NR
    future / surprise / past&class / present…of Snooker : ))

  2. Hate it that Ron will prolly nonchalantly lose again to a player I cannot stand. But Ron seems to profess his love to him on regular basis so who am I to object.

    • There was nothing “nonchaland” in Ron’s attitude over the last two days, quite the opposite; he looked nervous, anxious and very tense. As for Ding, I would be curious to understand why you “can’t stand” him. Have you ever met him at all?

      • Yes that’s just what I meant. He nonchalantly plays quick and reckless as he did the whole season and keeps repeating he enjoys it that way. He will more likely than not lose again with that attitude at this level v an opponent who again is playing his match of the (half) season v Ron, whereas he was nowhere to be seen meanwhile, just as he was nowhere to be seen for couple of years b4 his UK win over Ron. It irritates me unbelievably. And I’ve never met Ding just as I’ve never met Ron. And just as I love Ron I can’t stand Ding. Or Trump. Or Wilson, or Bingham, Selby etc.

      • He is NOT playing nochalantly nor reckless. He plays his game, which he should. When he allowed himself to be dragged in Selby’s game is when he lost here in the 2014 Final and that defeat left huge scars. He was praised by the commentators for the quality of his safeties in this match. He is nervous and anxious out there. Can’t you see that? He’s a human being, not a robot rolled to the table programmed to win. If it irritates you so much, don’t watch. And I can’t understand why you can’t stand Ding. Him and Ronnie play a similar game and, he’s a lovely man who remains humble despite his status in his country.

    • I second Ivan in the “complaint” that Ding was “absent” almost for years and then he comes up against Ronnie and plays out of his skin. Otherwise I’m fairy neutral about him (which also means I have no interest in or sympathy for him), I haven’t met him either, but I haven’t really met anyone, so it’s just (maybe wrong) impressions, but Selby for example impresses me a lot more as a personality. But as I said it a few times, the continuous love expressed for Ding by Ronnie does make me uneasy when they play.

      Having said that, the way they sit and don’t look at each other, don’t exchange jokes and pleasantries is encouraging and I don’t think Ronnie plays recklessly, and in he first frame he won yesterday the commentators praised his discipline for not trying to pot the blue in the end when he ran out of position, but going for a safety/snooker. (He might have potted it, most likely would have left it in the jaws or at some another bad place. I can imagine him trying it at some other tournament.)

      I think, Ron tries and struggles and when he plays well, he is so great, when he does not, he seems worse than many others. Despite all his problems, it is still even, so I just hope he will find that little extra (in his game, in his nerves, in luck, a good run of the balls for him, a bad run for Ding, a slump in Ding’s form, the nerves getting the better of Ding, what do I care, that extra that made him beat Trump last season after being 2-6 down) and jumps/runs/limps/crawls over the winning line.

      • Csilla, I think that we see Ronnie as “worse” than the others when he struggles because we want him to win so much and because at his best he’s so much better. As for Ding, yes, he’s not had a great season either and he’s been “missing” for months but sometimes with just don’t know what happens in their lives don’t we?

      • You are right Csilla, Selby has a certain personality to a certain degree, I just can’t stand him cuz he stood in Ron way with his slow play to get under Ron skin and deprave him of more titles :-). Actually the only other players I like are Allen, Williams, Hawkins and Perry (and maybe Wenbo). They are all either cool and sportsman or real gentlemen pleasant to watch play the game of snooker. As for Ron for, I stay with what I said. And just the thing that he is nervous shows that he cares but he insists on playing too fast beyond the need like the whole season, which is just in direct confronation with the behaviour he seems to be showing. Claims to play for fun but is nervous. WIll you decide for once do you want to poop or pee. Why the heck did he bring Steve Peters with him anyway as it is obvious he is of no help anymore, LOL.

      • You don’t know what Peters is telling him, do you? How people try to cope with pressure is different for everyone. Trying to downplay his own expectations is Ronnie;s way to try to cope wit the burden of expectations, his own and others’ . You don’t win as much as he has if you’re not competitive by nature, and that never goes. That’s all there is. Once you understand that, there is no contradiction anymore. Playing faster usually prevents players from overthinking and getting bogged down. Even Selby admits to that, and he is playing faster in recent times, now he’s working with Chris Henry.

      • No, I don’t know what Peters is telling him, but I know it isn’t working cause he doesn’t look a happy man. Just as I don’t know anyone of them players in person. I watch snooker on TV and get impressions. Last two seasons he won ten titles and he didn’t play like he plays this season, when the titles were on the line played a bit slower and more commited. Remeber the safety battle with Bingham over that non important frame when left pocket was blocked. He won it. But if he says he happy now with no more titles, just to go out all guns blazing and lose to his friend Ding, who am I to object. Could at least smile during match and show how he happy. I still think he will become happier in the near future once he gets over this phase and accepts some realities on tour. He is going to win that last ranking title, I have no doubt, even if it takes Gibraltar to do it.

      • Only that yesterday he didn’t go all guns blazing, and he did play some really good safety shots at critical moments, no matter what he said earlier this season. That’s what you don’t want to see because he didn’t get the result you expected. Of course he will never turn into a grinder.

      • I didn’t watch the session yday, was busy w something. And actually wanted to save me from heart attack. Watched only the last two frames when I got home and after a friend texted me he turned it around. But it seemed the same. He played fast and won his frame, then went for tuff red, which wasn’t exactly needed, and lost the frame. If it goes on like that he will lose bc this other guy is again playing out of his skin just like the last two meetings.

      • Well you better watch the whole session before forming an opinion then, and listen to Hendry/Davis in commentary. They know what it takes. And, yes, he may lose tonight, or he may win. In 2017 Ding came to the last session well ahead. This time they are all square. We shall see.

  3. Yes, but variable table conditions are quite normal at the Crucible. This year it hasn’t been too bad, probably due to the lack of spectators. I’m not so sure about the pockets…

    During the MSI, the BBC played a very interesting interview with Ding about his new academy. It looks like many of the players are not Chinese, which is a different philosophy than Victoria (and to an extent Chusak Phetmalaikul) who try to build a family ‘atmosphere’. Ding’s looks a more competitive focus, and he was extremely positive about it. If setting all this up and enjoying the fresh new facilities (e.g. main table lighting) has taken Ding’s mind off the pressure of the World Championship, then that might explain why he’s been playing quite freely in this match. I also see a few technique changes, which he’s probably been working on in Beijing during the lockdown with one of the CBSA coaches. Anyway, Ding is a bit unlucky not to be ahead. At 8-8 anything can happen, and the pressure will really start to bite.

Comments are closed.