Ronnie beat his close friend and Eurosport collegue, Jimmy White, by 4-0 yesterday afternoon. Here are the scores:
It wasn’t a great match by any means. Jimmy had chances in every frame. Ronnie improved in the last two frames, but will need to play better if he is to progress today.
Rocket Downs The Whirlwind
World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan eased to a 4-0 whitewash win over 10-time ranking event winner Jimmy White at the BetVictor Welsh Open.
The Rocket now leads White 32-9 in their head-to-head record and has been victorious in their last ten meetings.
O’Sullivan, a four-time winner of the Welsh Open, is bidding to equal John Higgins’ record of five titles in the event this week.
White struggled during this afternoon’s encounter, with O’Sullivan edging a scrappy first two frames on the colours. The 37-time ranking event winner then surged to the final two frames with breaks of 70 and 65 to win 4-0.
Afterwards O’Sullivan stated the importance of remaining in the zone, despite facing his close friend White.
O’Sullivan said: “You have to programme yourself to stay in your own lane, focus on what you have to do and try not to be influenced by your opponent. That is what you have to do for your entire career. You just have to block it out no matter what happens.
“In some ways those performances are more pleasing than open and fluent games. Sometimes when you have to dig in there is a bit more pleasure, as you have to work a bit harder.”
Ronnie loves to play Jimmy in exhibitions, but hates to play him in ranking events. Despite his best efforts, it is likely that he wasn’t 100% focussed on the job at hand.
The report by Eurosport is a more detailed, and true-er, account of what happened out there:
WELSH OPEN 2021 – RONNIE O’SULLIVAN PROVES TOO STRONG FOR JIMMY WHITE IN MATCH FILLED WITH MISTAKES
Ronnie O’Sullivan booked his place in the third round with a 4-0 win over Jimmy White. It wasn’t vintage snooker, but he did enough to advance. The Welsh Open is being held at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, as snooker takes a temporary break from its home-from-home during the coronavirus pandemic, the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes.
Ronnie O’Sullivan advanced to the third round of the Welsh Open, but his 4-0 win over his great friend Jimmy White will not live long in the memory banks.
The world champion was in sublime form in his first-round win over Robbie Williams, but there was little of that fluency on display early on as both players struggled for form.
O’Sullivan’s highest break in the opening two frames was 40, but he knocked in a 70 in the third and White had no answer.
O’Sullivan’s performance could have been impacted by playing someone he is so close to, but he will need to up his level if he is to win his first tournament of the season.
White will come off the table with a sense of regret, as he had chances in every frame but his highest break of the match was 20 and he had a pot-success rate of 75%.
The opening frame was extremely scrappy, as both players had chances and a break of 42 from O’Sullivan ultimately proved the difference despite White being in control for long spells of the frame and had his opponent in trouble with a couple of evil snookers.
There were winces, grimaces and sighs of frustration from both players, while there was a light-hearted moment in the second when White produced a jaw-dropping fluke.
White had chances but was unable to take them and the second frame went the same way as the first.
There were brighter signs from O’Sullivan in the third and fourth frames, with breaks of 70 and 65 sealing the win – but once again it was a story of White missing chances.
After the match, Ronnie was in the studio, explaining that, provided you look after yourself, you are in no way finished in your mid-forties:
Today, Ronnie will play Martin gould in the last 32 and he will definitely need to be on his game if he is to go further. Should he progress, David Gilbert or Zhou Yuelong await.
If he survives today, his reward may be an encounter tomorrow with John Higgins, Mark Allen or Ali Carter. Ouch!