Mark Williams played very much the way he played to win the 2018 World Championship this afternoon and he did build a good lead over Ronnie in their first session.
Here are the numbers
The first mini-session was shared, both players playing well, and it seemed at that point that this would be a close match. But it all changed after the MSI. Mark won the first frame of the second mini session. It was a scrappy, disjointed affair. Mark is one of the best at winning this sort of frames. He doesn’t mind picking balls one by one. He played better and better after that, keeping Ronnie cold in his chair for most of the time, and when Ronnie came at the table, more often than not, things were awkward. Mark took full advantage … as he should.
It will be hard for Ronnie to recover from this deficit unless Mark Williams’ level drops a bit. It’s just as well that this session came to an end. They will resume tomorrow afternoon.
And before anyone gets their knickers in a twist, Ronnie didn’t play recklessly, nor did he rush things as the AST above shows. As much as I want Ronnie to win this match, as a snooker fan, I could only admire and enjoy Mark’s skills on display.
Ronnie O’Sullivan struggling against brilliant Mark Williams at World Snooker Championship
Ronnie O’Sullivan is in a spot of bother in his World Snooker Championship quarter-final, trailing Mark Williams 6-2 after the first session at the Crucible.
The Rocket hardly played badly over the opening eight frames, but Williams was in excellent form as he took the imposing lead in a race to 13.
The Welshman took the first frame with a break of 70 but O’Sullivan appeared to be near his brilliant best as he took the next two with breaks of 101 and 70, without Williams scoring a single point.
However, few would have bet on it, but that was the last from the five-time world champion would win in the session as Williams reeled off the next five.
The next two were relatively scrappy affairs compared to the first three frames, but then the Welsh Potting Machine really hit his stride, making 72, 56 and 130 to storm into a four-frame lead.
The three-time world champion was looking as good as he has done since he last won the World Championship in 2018, and if he continues that form then it will be a very difficult road back for the Rocket.
This is the fifth time Williams and O’Sullivan have met in the World Championship and the Englishman has won the previous four.
The Welsh Potting Machine has not beaten the Rocket in a ranking event since the 2014 International Championship, so history remains on the side of O’Sullivan as he looks to fight back into the match over the next two sessions.