A bit late maybe but here goes…
Moving day in the Home Nations is always interesting as 32 become just 8. This is the quarter-finals line-up that yesterday “produced”
There are still five of the top 16 in there, and the two who are set to clash are Ronnie and Ding. Practice ahead of the 2021 Masters then? Just kidding.
Ronnie’s presence in this line-up is testimony of his sheer will to win yesterday, as he struggled badly with tip problems all day. Read about Ronnie’s matches here.
As usual there was no report by WST about the last 32 round. Actually the only surprising result in that round was Shaun Murphy’s 4-2 defeat to Jamie O’Neill, and it wasn’t actually that surprising given that Shaun has been unable to prepare for tournaments properly for some time now because of the quarantine rules enforced in Ireland.
Rocket Survives Day Of Tip Trouble
World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan produced battling displays to come through two rounds on Thursday, beating Tian Pengfei 4-3 and Robbie Williams 4-1, to reach the quarter-finals of the Matchroom.Live Scottish Open.
The Rocket was playing with a new tip today after biting the previous one off at the conclusion of his 4-1 win over Chang Bingyu yesterday. However, he visibly showed his frustration with the replacement throughout today.
Neither O’Sullivan or world number 84 Williams managed to produce their best in this evening’s encounter. However, 37-time ranking event winner O’Sullivan dug in to craft a run of 60 to secure the opener, before taking a tight second frame to lead 2-0.
Williams got a frame on the board by claiming the third, but O’Sullivan responded immediately to move one from victory and lead 3-1. The Rocket then took a tense 27-minute frame to get over the line and secure a 4-1 win.
Next up O’Sullivan faces a mouth watering quarter-final with Ding Junhui, who beat Jamie O’Neill 4-3.
O’Sullivan said: “Really happy to come through considering the tip. I’ve just got no touch and feel, so mentally you are always battling, no matter how well you play. You can’t hit every shot perfectly and this tip requires you to hit every shot perfectly. There’s no forgiveness in it at all. I was cueing alright, so I could have little spells where it was ok, but I couldn’t keep it going for long enough.
“I’ve been cueing ok for quite a while now. I just haven’t practised a lot, when I say I don’t practise, I do but it is four or five hours a week. That keeps my eye in. As far as cueing, I feel there are a few victories around the corner. I’m not chasing anything and I’m not worried. I’m just enjoying playing, which is a good place to be.”
Kyren Wilson edged out Barry Hawkins 4-3 in a high quality contest, to set up a quarter-final meeting with Jamie Jones, who beat Eden Sharav 4-3.
Wilson got his first frame of the evening with a sublime break of 134. The Warrior then missed the last black before the colours on 113, going for a maximum break, to lead 2-1. Further runs of 83 and 81 were enough to see the Crucible finalist through by a single frame.
World number one Judd Trump beat Mark Williams 4-1 to book his place in the quarter-finals.
Trump is aiming for a unique clean sweep of Home Nations events, having won the first two this season at the English Open and the Northern Ireland Open. He faces Li Hang in the last eight.
Mark Selby beat Lyu Haotian 4-1 to secure his progression to the quarters, where he will face Ricky Walden, who beat Mark Allen 4-3.
Ricky Walden’s win over Mark Allen may be a bit unexpected, but then Ricky has been a very top player before back injuries derailed his career. He was ranked as high as 6th in the World five years ago. He’s a very entertaining player to watch when on form, and I’m glad to see him playing well again.
Li Hang beating Stuart Bingham isn’t a big surprise. “Ballrun” has shown no form to speak of in recent months and Li is a very, very solid player who is badly underrated by most fans.
Jamie Jones is clearly putting the work in and determined to put his ban and the events that caused it behind him. He beat Eden Sharav in the last 16 yesterday, and Eden’s presence at this stage of the tournament is hopefully a sign that he’s turning the corner after a few torrid and horrid months.
World Grand Prix Field Confirmed
The line-up of 32 players for next week’s World Grand Prix is now confirmed. The ITV4-televised tournament will run from December 14 to 20.
Thursday’s action at the Matchroom.Live Scottish Open concluded with the top 32 players on the live one-year rankings sure of their place in the draw next week.
Six players are tied on a tally of £26,000, from Li Hang in 29th place down to Graeme Dott in 34th. As usual the ‘countback’ rule applies, which means that players are ranked on the basis of their performances in the most recent events.
Dott was knocked out in the first round this week while Thepchaiya Un-Nooh lost in the second round, so they miss out as the four players above them reached at least the third round. Li’s 4-3 win over Stuart Bingham on Thursday night (from 3-1 down) proved crucial as it vaulted him into the top 32.
But while the line-up will not change, the draw cannot be confirmed yet, as the seedings are sure to change before the end of this week’s event. The World Grand Prix draw will see the number one seed play number 32, number two face number 31, and so on. The only two matches already confirmed are:
Judd Trump (1) v Michael Holt (32)
Neil Robertson (2) v Robert Milkins (31)
Further matches and the schedule will be confirmed as this week’s event progresses. The 32 players are:
I’m not sure why some of the Chinese players’ names have been written in the “wrong order” whilst the others are correct… Wenbo Liang? Hang Li?