Playing with a new tip, Ronnie booked his place into the 2020 Scottish Open “moving day” by beating Chang Bingyu by 4-1. Here are the scores.
Chang is only 18 years old, and he’s in the second year of his tour card. He’s currently ranked 72th in the World. However his results this season have been very encouraging, and he’s currently set to get a new tour card via the onle year list “top four” . He has beaten Mark Allen, Ken Doherty and Sam Craigie this season, and pushed Mark Selby and Zhou Yuelong to a decider. Often players fighting for their tour card find it hard to get results, but Chang, for now at least, continues to improve.
World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan sealed his place in the last 32 with a 4-1 win over Chinese teenager Chang Bingyu.
The Rocket opened up his account with a sublime total clearance of 134. He then made it 2-0 by taking a scrappy second, before a break of 78 made it 3-0. Chang showed his potential with a run of 81 to take the fourth, but O’Sullivan got over the line in the fifth. Next up the Rocket faces Tian Pengfei.
O’Sullivan said: “I didn’t think it was great to be honest with you. All day I just didn’t feel I was going to play well tonight. I just thought something wasn’t right. You can feel it. I had to just block it out of my head and focus on the game. I knew I was playing a very good player. He is super talented and nearest to someone who plays like Judd, because he scores so quick.”
Ahead of the match, the Eurosport pundits mentioned that Ronnie has a good relationship with the Chinese players in general, and in particular with the youngest ones. He was indeed seen having a few words with Chang before they entered the arena, and it came across as a very friendly conversation.
There were no quarters given on the table though.
Ronnie is one of the players who are able to go home, although it’s probably about a 1 hour and 15 minutes drive if the traffic is light, and he’s almost certainly the one driving. It’s not an ideal match preparation, but then nothing is ideal right now and it’s better than being confined in a hotel room.
As usual Eurosport shared some short videos on social media:
Ronnie with Andy Goldstein at the practice table discussing break building
Two little clips showing nice moments in the match
And Ronnie in the studio after the match praising his young opponent
He’s impressed with Chang, who he says plays a bit like Judd Trump and has the ability to be the best of the young Chinese players. He scores quick, he says, and ultimately you need that if you’re to be a serious, tournament-winning player.
He’s happy with his new tip and is still getting used to it, but played with it for 45 minutes this morning. He says his old one was spongy but this one’s hard and the white was fizzing about.
He’s off to Champneys Spa tonight, seven mile run in the morning, “then back in the morning to disco!”