Ronnie won his two matches yesterday, but it wasn’t pretty. He struggled all day with tip problems, but applied himself, and battled his way to victory.
Here are the scores:
There was no report by WST on the lat 32 match, but Eurosport made up for it.
SCOTTISH OPEN 2020 – ‘IT WAS TERRIBLE’ – O’SULLIVAN LAMENTS PERFORMANCE IN WIN OVER TIAN PENGFEI
Ronnie O’Sullivan replaced his tip following his win over Allan Taylor and was not happy with how it performed in his meeting with Tian Pengfei at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes. He closed the match with an excellent break of 78, having knocked in a 93 when 3-2 behind, and will face Robbie Williams in the next round.
Ronnie O’Sullivan has described his performance in the 4-3 win over Tian Pengfei in the Scottish Open as “terrible”, and lamented the state of his tip.
The world champion was off colour for much of the contest, but saved his best for the final two frames – and breaks of 93 and 78 sealed his place in the last 16.
O’Sullivan faces Robbie Williams later on Thursday, and is aware he will need to up his game to keep his hopes of winning the tournament alive.
“It was terrible,” O’Sullivan told Eurosport of his 4-3 win. “Probably as bad a performance as you could do. That’s how it is sometimes.”
O’Sullivan replaced his tip following his win over Allan Taylor in the first round, and felt his cue action in victory over Chang Bingyu masked problems with the tip.
“The tip is not great,” he said. “I don’t want to make excuses but in the first match I kind of felt I was cueing well so you can override it but when you know something is not right with it, it starts to dent your confidence.
I JUST DID NOT FEEL GOOD, SO I HAD TO TRY AND FIND A DIFFERENT CUE ACTION WHICH WOULD COMPENSATE FOR IT. I FOUND SOMETHING IN THE LAST TWO FRAMES, BUT YOU HAVE GOT TO HIT EVERYTHING OUT OF THE MIDDLE WITH THAT TIP. THERE IS NO FORGIVENESS. SOME TIPS DO GIVE YOU SOME FORGIVENESS.
The sound of the ball off the cue would not be unusual to the average snooker player, but O’Sullivan was unhappy with the noise.
“I want to put some headphones on as the noise is so bad,” he said. “When you have a good tip the noise is beautiful.
“I play snooker by sound and if it sounds good I get a bit of a buzz, but if it sounds bad it’s a hard day at the office.
I WAS MISSING SO MANY BALLS BY A LONG WAY. I WAS NOT TIMING IT TERRIBLE, BUT IT WAS NOT PERFECT AND WHEN YOU HAVE TO TIME EVERYTHING SO GOOD IT MAKES IT HARD.
Reflecting on his break of 78 in the final frame, which was started by a brilliant long red, he said: “It was frustration after a hard day at the office; you just throw caution to the wind.”
Interestingly, Reanne Evans had been tweeting this during the match:
About the last 16 match against Robbie Williams, there were reports by WST and Eurosport.
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.”
SCOTTISH OPEN SNOOKER 2020 – RONNIE O’SULLIVAN EASES PAST ROBBIE WILLIAMS TO REACH QUARTER FINALS
World champion Ronnie O’Sullivan bounced back from a disappointing display against Tian Pengfei earlier in the day to ease past Robbie Williams. He opened up with an excellent break of 60 and never looked back. He has been unhappy with his tip, but it did not prevent him from advancing to the quarter finals of the Scottish Open at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes
Ronnie O’Sullivan moved into the last eight of the Scottish Open with a 4-1 win over Robbie Williams.
The 45-year-old produced a mixed bag of snooker. Early in the contest he looked totally transformed from earlier in the day, as he struck the ball cleanly and with confidence, but the momentum stalled in the third frame and it became a grind to reach the quarter finals, where he will face Ding Junhui who fought back to beat Jamie O’Neill 4-3.
Having described his performance against Tian Pengfei as ‘terrible,’ there was a doubt as to what sort of form he would bring to his meeting with Williams.
There were positive early signs as he opened up with a break of 60, but he had to dig in – which to his credit he did to set up a meeting with either Ding Junhui or Jamie O’Neill.
Williams began with a couple of excellent long reds but was unable to convert them into decent scoring chances, and paid the price.
O’Sullivan was out of sorts for long spells of his win over Tian earlier in the day, but he found some form towards the end of the 4-3 win – and carried the momentum into the meeting with Williams.
He took the opener with a break of 60 and began the second frame with a contribution of 38.
O’Sullivan chewed off his tip after his first-round win over Allan Taylor, and he mimicked doing the same when missing a black in the second. It did not derail his momentum and he sealed a tight frame when potting an excellent long blue.
The third was a scratchy affair that lasted 27 minutes, with the highest break being a mere 15. At one stage, O’Sullivan muttered “I can’t play with this any more” in reference to his tip as his game descended to the levels of the early stages of his match with Tian.
Williams was able to keep his composure and take the frame to reduce the deficit to one.
World number 85 Williams had a chance in the fourth frame, but missed a black to hand the table to his opponent and the world champion hoovered up a break of 51 to restore a two-frame gap.
An excellent red handed O’Sullivan an opening in the fifth and he put together a break of 50 to get within sight of the winning post. A missed blue handed a lifeline to Williams, who won a safety battle before getting his chance.
However, he broke down from blue to pink and later went in-off off the pink to allow O’Sullivan to get over the line.
‘I GOT AWAY WITH IT TONIGHT’ – O’SULLIVAN ON ‘MIRACLE PERFORMANCE’
O’SULLIVAN WOULD DESCRIBED HIS WIN AS A “MIRACLE PERFORMANCE” IN THE EUROSPORT STUDIO AFTER THE MATCH.
“I thought I did really well considering the tip,” O’Sullivan said. “I was struggling to get any touch and feel.
UNLESS I WAS BANG BEHIND THE BALL, IT WAS TOUCH AND GO. I THOUGHT I PROVIDED A MIRACLE PERFORMANCE. I WAS HAPPY, I FEEL LIKE I WAS PLAYING WELL.
Commenting on his tip, O’Sullivan said: “It is like a bullet, it is so hard and I have no touch and feel.
I HAVE TO CHANGE IT, OTHERWISE I HAVE NO CHANCE. I GOT AWAY WITH IT TONIGHT.
“I feel sorry for Robbie, as I think they should change it,” he said. “He has played all his matches on the outside tables, he’s grafted for four days and come on now. If he comes up against someone who has been playing their matches on there and he hasn’t he has no chance.
IT IS REALLY UNFAIR THAT THEY HAVE GRAFTED THAT HARD AND AGAINST SOMEONE LIKE ME THEY ARE 100/1 AGAINST ME OR JUDD [TRUMP] OR NEIL [ROBERTSON].
“They should at least be given an hour, two hours. I felt sorry for him as I could see he was cueing well. Some of the shots he was hitting, it’s just because of the table.
“It’s like playing golf at your local course and then going out and being stuck on Augusta and you are hitting it in the lake. It is impossible. They need to change the rule. They work hard for three or four days and are then stuck on that, they have no chance.
“There was time between my match and tonight. He should be given that chance. He could have gone on after my match. If you’d asked him he would have taken that table time.
“If they are coming from an outside table to that one – you can’t adapt that quickly, it is impossible.”
Ronnie can be very critical towards the lower ranked players at times, but he’s also one of the very few who speaks for them, asking for changes when he feels that they are put at a disadvantage because of circumstances completely out of their control.
He also recognises why young talents struggle so much to get through. Here is an exceprt of an article by Phil Haigh on the subject:
‘In general I do think that the young players coming through are not as good as they was years ago,’ O’Sullivan told the Track and Ball Podcast.
‘There’s a lot of people who are 35, 40, 45 that I grew up with coming through the game. They’re very good players, they might be top 64, top 80 players and they’re still around.
‘You’d think there’d be a lot of teenagers coming along and taking the game by the scruff of the neck and there isn’t.
‘I put that down to there isn’t enough money put into the grassroots of snooker.
‘In football there’s so much money in the sport, they’re getting hold of these kids at a young age and there’s great academies. Whereas in snooker you’ll be hard pushed to find a snooker club.
‘It’s not like it was when I was kid there’d be seven or eight snooker clubs within a three or four mile radius of my house, now the nearest snooker club is probably 20 miles from my house. There’s just not the places for them to go and play.
‘There’s no amateur game, there’s no competitions. I was probably playing three competitions a week when I was 11 or 12, now you might find one every six or seven weeks, one!
‘I was playing 24 competitions in the spell that they’ll get the chance to play one. Imagine how match sharp I was! Practice will only take you so far, it’s competing that really fine tunes yourself.
‘That has to be the reason that the younger generation are not really developing like we did. It’s not a criticism of them, but the opportunities aren’t there for them to learn.’
O’Sullivan, picture aged 10 in 1986, was competing against adults from a very young age(Picture: Getty Images)
O’Sullivan is aware of a handful of very promising young talents in snooker, he just feels they do not have the grounding that his generation, the likes of John Higgins and Mark Williams, had.
O’Sullivan picked out Leicester’s Louis Heathcote and Cork’s Aaron Hill as two standout talents, while China’s Zhao Xintong could be the best player he has ever seen, but is still lacking the abilities O’Sullivan learned from hours of match play as a youngster.
‘There’s a couple, I like this guy Louis Heathcote. Aaron Hill from Irealnd has got very good potential. There’s one or two other ones that are UK-based that could be decent,’ he continued.
‘Then there’s quite a big batch of good Chinese players because they have invested in the younger generation, they have some very good academies in China.
‘They’re doing well but not as well as they could do, the language barrier for them is very hard.
‘There’s one kid, for me he’s the most talented snooker player I’ve ever seen, I call him the Roger Federer of snooker, but he hardly wins a match because he doesn’t know the game.
Zhao Xintong is very highly rated but extremely inconsistent (Picture: VCG via Getty Images)
‘I’ve tried to talk to him, he quickly gets it, but it’s very hard because there’s that language barrier.
‘I get very frustrated with him because he could be unplayable, but he probably won’t ever do anything because he needs someone who’s experienced in the game to sharpen him up.’
As usual Eurosport shared some short clips on social media:
Hopefully, Ronnie can find a good tip and play better today. He will need to against Ding.