After two weeks, only two players remain and they started the battle for the trophy yesterday.
pictures shared by WST and ES on twitter
Ronnie finished the day 10-7 ahead, but I’m not quite sure how. He was terrible, especially in the evening. Kyren had a bad start by improved, Ronnie got worse.
Here are the numbers:
The conditions were even worse than in previous rounds, which must be very frustrating for both players. They are playing a very important match, for Kyren surely the most important of his life so far, and the table is unrealiable.
This are not the opinions of some random fans. Neil Robertson is a top player and former World Champion, Neal Foulds is a former top player and an experienced commentator and pundit. This is a disgrace.
Here are the reports by WST
Ronnie O’Sullivan took a step towards a sixth Crucible crown as he went 6-2 up on Kyren Wilson in the first session of the Betfred World Championship final.
Neither player was at his best in a tense opening session, but it was O’Sullivan who made fewer mistakes as he opened up a substantial early lead in the best-of-35 contest. They return at 7.30pm on Saturday night for nine more frames.
O’Sullivan is playing his 90th match at the Crucible, equalling Stephen Hendry’s record. He is aiming for a sixth world title, which would bring him level with Steve Davis and one behind Hendry’s record of seven. Victory would give him his first ranking title since the 2019 Tour Championship and his 37th in all, which would put him one ahead of Hendry.
This is his seventh Crucible final and at the age of 44 he is aiming to become the oldest champion since Ray Reardon lifted the trophy in 1978 at the age of 45. If O’Sullivan takes the £500,000 winner’s cheque that would double his previous highest prize and that would move him from sixth to second in the world rankings.
Wilson is playing in his first world final and, at the age of 28, he could become the youngest champion since Neil Robertson in 2010. He is playing in his third ranking final of the season and ninth in all. Victory would give him a fourth ranking title and first on UK soil. The Kettering cueman is hoping to become the 27th player to have his name engraved on the famous trophy. That would move him from eighth to third in the world rankings.
O’Sullivan has won four of their previous six meetings, notably in the finals of the 2017 English Open and the 2018 Champion of Champions. Wilson, though, did win their most recent match 6-5 in the semi-finals of this year’s Welsh Open.
A run of 80 saw O’Sullivan regain the lead and he capitalised on a missed red with the rest from Wilson in frame four, making 75 for 3-1. Wilson’s 63 gave him frame five, then O’Sullivan took the sixth with a top run of 48. The first century of the match and 78th of the tournament, a 106 from O’Sullivan, stretched his lead to 5-2.
The final frame of the session lasted 40 minutes and came down to a safety battle on the pink. Wilson, leading 49-47, attempted a long pot to a baulk corner but missed his target, and O’Sullivan took pink and black to finish the afternoon well on top.
Ronnie O’Sullivan took a crucial last frame of the first day of the Betfred World Championship final to lead Kyren Wilson 10-7.
Wilson came from 8-2 behind to narrow the gap and looked set to draw within one frame until he missed the last red in frame 17. O’Sullivan struggled with his technique for much of the day but is still in front and edging closer to a sixth Crucible crown. First to 18 frames on Sunday will take the trophy and £500,000 top prize.
Wilson trailed 6-2 going into the second session and had first chance in the opening frame tonight, making 53 before running out of position. After a safety exchange, O’Sullivan made an excellent 49 clearance to extend his lead. A run of 51 in the next put him 8-2 ahead.
Kettering’s Wilson, playing in his first Crucible final, got his cue arm going in frame 11 with a break of 92. A run of 50 from Wilson in the 12th left O’Sullivan needing a snooker. He laid a tough one on the green, and Wilson played one of the best shots of the match so far to swerve between brown and blue and make contact with the object ball. He later potted the green to close to 8-4 at the interval.
Wilson’s run of 40 put him in charge of frame 13 and he sealed it with an excellent long pot on the penultimate red. Breaks of 28 and 58 in the next saw him draw within two frames at 8-6. In the 15th, Wilson was among the balls, trailing 29-17, when he was unlucky to knock a red in when splitting the pack off the blue. O’Sullivan capitalised on the chance with a run of 48 to end a sequence of losing four frames in a row.
A failed attempt at a long red from O’Sullivan let Wilson in for a break of 100, his first century of the match, to go 9-7. In the last frame of the session, Wilson had a chance to clear from 29-40 behind, and got to the last red before missing a tricky pot along the top cushion. O’Sullivan gratefully accepted the chance to take a three-frame overnight lead.
They resume on Sunday at 1.30pm for eight more frames.
During the first session, Kyren had not settled, and Ronnie took advantage despite playing badly. His technique let him down and his long potting must have gone lost somewhere backstage. Hopefully someone finds it and brings it back before they resume playing today …
During the second session Kyren improved, and Ronnie got even worse if that was even possible.
Joe Johnson in commentary reflected that Ronnie looked “spent”. I agree. Friday’s win over Mark Selby was massive psychologically and Ronnie has surely spent a huge amount of mental and emotional energy in that match. Yesterday, he looked like someone with very little left in the tank. Two things he did though, from start to finish, is stay patient and fight with all he had.
Kyren of course also spent a lot of energy in his semi-final, but he seemed to get better as the match went on yesterday. Two things probably helped him: he’s 28, not 44, and he fisnished his SF match in early evening, not late at night.
Hopefully, Ronnie will have a good night sleep and will come out rested today. If not Kyren could well run away with the match this afternoon.