Ronnie and Mark Selby played just one session yesterday, in the afternoon, and it was a good one for Mark Selby and a rather disastrous one for Ronnie. Mark won that session by 6-2 and now leads by 9-7 in the match.
Here are the numbers:
and the report by WST
Mark Selby won six of the eight frames in the second session of his Betfred World Championship semi-final against Ronnie O’Sullivan to go 9-7 ahead.
Selby has made only four breaks over 50 in the match so far, but his tactical game has given him the edge over his opponent. O’Sullivan has shown signs of frustration, notably in the last frame of the day when he rapped his knuckles on the table after letting a chance slip away.
Friday could see a monumental battle for a place in the final, with a possible 17 frames still to be played. They resume at 10am for eight more.
The first frame today lasted 32 minutes and went the way of Selby, reducing his arrears to 5-4. A break of 97 from three-time champion Selby squared the match. O’Sullivan led 33-0 in frame 11 when he missed a black off its spot, letting Selby in for a run of 36. A safety exchange on the last red ended when Selby cracked a long pot into a top corner and he took advantage to go ahead for the first time.
A missed red with the rest early in the next from O’Sullivan gave Selby the chance to make 58 and he saw out the frame to lead 7-5. At that stage O’Sullivan had lost five in a row, but he bounced back after the interval with a run of 87. Selby’s 62 made it 8-6 then five-time champion O’Sullivan made an 82 to halve the gap.
In frame 16, O’Sullivan had first chance but made just 9 before rattling a tough long pink in the jaws of a baulk corner, banging the table as he walked back to his chair. Selby was ruthless, compiling a break of 76, and clenching his fist as they left the arena, having secure a two-frame overnight cushion.
In a way, the first frame set the tone for the session. Ronnie managed to get first in with the balls in promising positions, but a terrible kick caused him to miss the black of its spot. What followed was a long, drawn out, torturous, saftey-dominated frame that Mark Selby eventually took. It affected Ronnie’s fluency and confidence.
One of Mark Selby’s biggest assets is that he doesn’t mind too much playing that way, he’s not a “Mr Perfectionist” who will get annoyed with himself in those circumstances. Of course he takes pride of his performances and he would like play fluent snooker all the time if possible, but he accepts that this isn’t always possible. I know that a few readers of this blog will doubt the previous sentence, but I remember the 2011 German Masters Final, I remember how Mark Williams and Mark Selby both struggled to build any sort of telling break , missing all sorts because it was kicks galore, and I remember them complaining to the TD, saying that they were there to show their skills and entertain the crowd, and that the conditions were preventing them to do that and made them look silly. Here we have two former World Champions – they have won this event eight times between them – and there hasn’t been a single century in the match so far…
The conditions at the Crucible yesterday afternoon were shocking. From what transpired in commentary, it was very cold inside, very hot outside. It was obvious that the table played very “heavy” and there were a lot of kicks. Here we have two former World Champions – they have won this eight time between them – and there hasn’t been a single century in the match so far… The simple truth about yesterday’s outcome however is that Mark Selby coped much better than Ronnie with those difficult conditions and with the frustration they caused.
That said, it was not 2014 all over again. Ronnie kept trying and that’s how, despite losing all four frames before the MSI, and five in a row, he managed to share the second mini-session. And he does care. His reaction when he missed that pink in the last frame is proof of that. That pot on the pink was a very difficult one, and he had found himself in this position because splits and cannons weren’t working as expected because of the conditions. When he missed, he was both frustrated and annoyed with himself.
Mark leads by 9-7. It’s first to 17. Nothing is done, there is all to play for, and all we can hope for is that Ronnie will come at the table in the right frame of mind and that the conditions will be a bit better today.
Kyren Wilson and Anthony McGill played two sessions yesterday and Kyren Wison turned a four frames deficit in a two frames advantage. Here are the reports by WST.
Kyren Wilson produced a superb display to fight back and draw level with Anthony McGill at 8-8 in their Betfred World Championship semi-final.
World number eight Wilson had trailed 6-2 after an impressive first session showing from Scotland’s McGill. However, three-time ranking event winner Wilson turned the tables on his counterpart this morning.
Wilson is playing in his second Crucible semi-final. He made the last four in 2018, but succumbed to a 17-13 loss against John Higgins. McGill is competing in the one-table setup in Sheffield for the first time in his career.
The Warrior got off to a fast start this morning, immediately closing the gap to 6-4 with breaks of 100 and 77. McGill then claimed a 31-minute 11th frame, before Wilson fired in a run of 73 to make it 7-5 at the mid-session.
McGill edged three ahead again, but three frames in a row from Wilson, including a sublime break of 116, saw him end level at 8-8.
They will return at 7pm for the third session of this best of 33 encounter.
Kyren Wilson is just four frames away from his first Betfred World Championship final as he surged into a 13-11 lead over Anthony McGill.
Wilson was 6-2 behind at the start of the day but has stormed back today to win 11 out of 16 frames and take the lead. They play to a finish from 2.30pm on Friday with the winner to face either Mark Selby or Ronnie O’Sullivan in the final.
Three-time ranking event winner Wilson is playing in his second Crucible semi-final and, after a slow start, is rising to the occasion. Glasgow’s McGill, competing in the semis for the first time, continues to battle hard and took the last frame of tonight’s session with his first century of the tournament to keep in touch.
World number 39 McGill took the opening frame tonight to lead 9-8 then Kettering’s Wilson won the next with a break of 99. The next two frames, lasting a total of 57 minutes, were shared to leave the score at 10-10.
After the interval, Wilson made a 116 to take the lead for the first time in the match. A fragmented 22nd frame came down to a safety battle on the pink, and eighth seed Wilson converted an excellent pot to double his lead. A 105 in the next, his seventh century of the tournament, made it 13-10. McGill then finished the session strongly by knocking in a long red and building a 136 total clearance.
Although I watched the second session, and marked the scores, I can’t comment because it’s all a blurr … and, no, I din’t drink 😉. The best of the day was spent moving furniture around and repainting the walls of the condo in scorching heat. I suppose that this took its toll on this not-so-young lady. And, no, it wasn’t a case of me preferring to watch paint dry either although I was in perfect circumstances to do so, had I wished to.