The 2021 Welsh Open – Day 5 – Quarter-finals

The quarter-finals Friday at this year’s Welsh Open was a strange one: three matches went to a deciding frame, the fourth was canceled. As a result Ronnie was in Eurosport studio all evening.

Here is the report by WST:

Brown Stuns Selby

Northern Ireland’s Jordan Brown got the better of a black ball fight in the decider to edge three-time World Champion Mark Selby 5-4 at the BetVictor Welsh Open.

The epic three hour and 48 minute match came all the way down to the final ball in the final frame. Eventually Brown left it at the mercy of Selby to the right middle pocket, but the Leicester cueman missed his chance.

Brown then thumped in a regulation pot to the top left pocket and punched the air with joy. The dramatic victory sealed Brown a first ranking event semi-final place of his career.

He’ll face Stephen Maguire in the last four. Whoever wins between Brown and Maguire will be guaranteed a spot in the top 16 of the one-year list to qualify for next week’s Cazoo Players Championship.

World number 81 Brown qualified for a maiden Crucible appearance at last year’s World Championship, in doing so he saved his professional status and avoided a trip to Q School.

Defeat for Selby leaves him £6,500 behind Judd Trump in the BetVictor Series with only the BetVictor Gibraltar Open to go. The player who accumulates the most prize money over the six event series will pick up a lucrative £150,000 bonus.

Brown made breaks of 105, 55 and 63 on his way to establishing a 3-1 advantage at the mid-session. When they returned Selby required two snookers and got them to steal the fifth frame, before firing in a break of 97 to draw level at 3-3. They then traded frames as the match went to the most dramatic of deciders, where Brown sealed the tie.

“I’m over the moon. Years of hard work have finally come off just for this one moment,” said 33-year-old Brown. “I know it’s not over yet. I’ve got a semi-final to look forward to tomorrow. For now, to finally prove myself against one of the top players, I feel like I’ve achieved massive things today.

“He is hard as nails. He makes things so hard for you. He is just granite. I was aware of his reputation, but all I had to concentrate on was myself and I feel like I handled it pretty well there.

“I’ve always believed in myself. Coming into this season, off the back of the Crucible, it was important for me to carry on and make sure that was no fluke. I’ve been very consistent and it is finally all coming together.”

Tour Champion Maguire booked his place in the last four with a 5-4 defeat of defending Welsh Open champion Shaun Murphy.

Maguire fired in breaks of 105, 84, 55, 90 and 133 on his way to victory. Defeat for Murphy ends his hopes of qualifying for the Players Championship.

Welsh three-time World Champion Mark Williams came through a thrilling clash with Tom Ford 5-4 to reach the semi-finals.

Williams is a two-time winner of the event and the only Welsh player ever to claim the title. He last lifted the trophy back in 1999.

Victory this evening sees Williams qualify for the Players Championship, ending Ford’s hopes of clinching a spot. However, Williams’ immediate focus is a semi-final with Ronnie O’Sullivan tomorrow evening.

The day’s other quarter-final was cancelled after Ali Carter withdrew due to illness. As a result, O’Sullivan received a bye through to the semi-finals.

Massive congratulations to Jordan Brown for holding it together at the end of that match. To be honest, I didn’t believe he would be able to fend off Mark Selby who is a specialist of such situations.

The Williams vs Ford match was a strange affair. Tom, speaking to Phil Haigh, had opened up about his mental health struggles at the moment.

To be honest with you I’m just fed up,’ Ford told Metro.co.uk after beating Lisowski in the fourth round. ‘The first three matches I’ve played I just didn’t want to be here.

‘I don’t know what it is at the minute. I’ve just got to the point where everything that’s going on, I’m just fed up with everything.

‘All I feel I’m doing at the minute is snooker, going home, snooker, going home. I’m not one of them players that wants to go into the club and practice. I just think I’m down, I’ve got to that point.

‘I’m not really enjoying matches apart from that last match I played against Jack. I managed to get myself up for the match from the start and I enjoyed that game. Even now, I’ve won that match and I know I’ve got to play again tomorrow and I’m just fed up with it all.’

‘Snooker’s just a part of it because I’ve always been one of them people that’s out and about, I’m never at home that long,’ said Tom. ‘If you said to me I’ve got to play six or seven hours a day for the next season I’d tell you that I’d give up now.

‘I need things away from snooker and they’re things I can’t have at the minute. Everyone’s in the same boat and I’m lucky that I’ve got things going on, more things than other people, but it’s still hard mentally and it’s now affecting me.

‘I’ve just got to that point where I am fed up with everything. It could take a day a week, I don’t know, but I know I’ll eventually pick myself up and go again.

‘It’s been the last few weeks. Is everything going to end and go back to normal? I know I’m lucky to have family around me but some people struggle and some don’t and I’ve just got to that point where I’m struggling.’

Tom has always been someone who likes the social side of life, going to the pub, having a drink – and sometimes many drinks – with his mates. He can’t have that now and he doesn’t cope well with it.

At the start of the match he looked very low. It looked to me as if he could burst into tears any minute and I wondered if he would be able to finish the match. But, all credit to him, he fought with all he had. His long potting was incredible.

Williams stuck to his guns regarding the break-off. Some people are asking for a change in the rules to make this type of break-off  “illegal”. It doesn’t make for great viewing, but usually, after about three shots, things are back to normal on the table anyway. It’s a complete non-issue in my view.

Should he win today, Willo wants to honour Doug Montjoy in the Final … his ideas make the authorities see red. 😉

Screenshot 2021-02-20 at 07.55.53

I totally agree with Hector here. It’s not like Willo wants to break the rules because he’s a rebel. He wants to honour one of the great Welshmen in the sport.

 

Ronnie, who has been out of love with snooker countless time in his career, empathised with Tom’s feelings .

You get times like that when you are not enjoying your snooker,” O’Sullivan told Eurosport. “Mine happened to be when I was winning virtually every tournament I played in and never got to go home. I kind of missed being at home.”

I know it sounds crazy, but success was sometimes a bad thing for me.”

NOW I WRITE DOWN AFTER EACH TOURNAMENT SMILEY FACES OR NOT SO SMILEY FACES JUST FOR MEMORY BECAUSE SOMETIMES THERE’S A PATTERN TO CERTAIN THINGS.

Maybe if Tom feels like that, he should look at his schedule and look at what makes him happy and try and incorporate a bit more of that in his life and start enjoying his snooker again.”

The problem is that what makes Tom happy is almost impossible to get right now, snooker or no snooker.

25 thoughts on “The 2021 Welsh Open – Day 5 – Quarter-finals

  1. gotta say I feel for Tom, can’t really believe how willing governments are to push millions into depression to “protect” the lives of people who would most likely die anyway, crazy

    • It’s not just the old and ill who die Juan. And many who don’t die but develop long covid – a significant % of the “mild” cases – are left with health issues for a long time, in many cases for life. Including children. And even the old and ill … they are someones’ father/mother/brother/sister/friend. Why should they be left to die when it’s evitable? I felf for Tom yesterday. He looked utterly miserable. On the other hand … people who are sent into depression just because pubs are closed have a problem IMO, a very serious one, that should be adressed, covid or not covid. You will tell me, it’s not pubs, it’s social interaction. Well, we have so many ways to stay in contact nowadays, even if separated. That may not be an option for very old people, but surely anyone in Tom’s age group should be able to use those communication channels?

      • lol as if anything done through Zoom was enjoyable. also, Covid will never end, you heard that the SA variant tricks vaccines easily, and it will mutate even further, so I hope that you will also be in favour of restrictions two or three years from now

      • Covid will never end, but efficient vaccines, treatments and remedies will be found as we understand how the virus propagates and impacts the body. The people who did not implement or respect restrictions have a huge responsibility in what is happening right now, including the mutations. Look, I’m almost never publishing things about myself but here goes: I’m 66, quite fit but with previous of pneumonia and malaria, I’m STUCK on Santorini island since the first lockdown. I have not seen my youngest daughter nor my son since January 2020, not seen my eldest daughter and grandson since July 2020, not seen my husband – who was allowed to go back to Belgium to take care of his 93 yo mother and is now stuck there – since August 2020. I’m living in a 35 square meter condo, without heating. It was between 3 and 5 Celsius here last week, with winds as strong as 80/100 km/h. It snowed. And yes, I’m 100% in favour of restrictions for as long as it takes. I’m not depressed, I have not been drunk ones and I like a glass of wine or two with my food. I have cooked for myself every day. Other than for essential shopping, I only see a couple of people once or twice a week. I’m in contact with my family every day. I go for long walks, alone, I take pictures, I draw – something I hadn’t done since my teenagers year – I read, I watch some sport on my laptop, I take care of the stray animals in the village … there are so many things one can do, even now. It’s a matter of using your brain, getting perspective and be patient. This will pass, everything does.

      • aha and how much longer are you willing to take it? probably 10 years as it doesn’t matter to you since you have already had a life, but I’m much younger and I ain’t have 10 years for this crap, life is meant to be lived you know, life in itself is worthless, that’s what people don’t get

      • I certainly have a life, Juan, I used to travel a lot and will do so again as soon as I can. Live is certainly worthless when your health has been ruined forever. Think about it. Because you are young does not mean you are safe.

      • I would be ashamed if “this will go away at some point” was all I had to say, as and old person, to a young guy deprived of life’s joys

      • well, that is an unbelievable amount of condescendence you project towards me and young people in general. but don’t worry, the moment we, get vaccinated, we will no longer care about any of the stupid rules you support. no masks, nothing, I promise you we will throw the biggest parties ever come May and you can shelter in whichever island you prefer. ad yes, I also had Covid, and yes, I have had health issues with it. but I still prefer living in a way that makes me happy.

      • The moment you are vaccinated, you do as you please, the moment I’m vaccinated, I’m traveling again. The condescendence comes from you not me, assuming that once you get older live is over. What you are showing has a name: crass egoism.

      • I only support those rules in order for people to be alive and well long enough to be able to get the vaccine and then we can all go back to normal. Do you really think it’s fun for me to be alone here? Do you really think it’s what I want? Of course not.

      • except that is not the message from governments. they say we need to do all this crap until every loser gets his little jab. well that will never happen so good luck sheltering forever. honestly, your generation is probably the worst, having lived an entire life and so afraid to die at some point that you take younger people’s lives away for as long as you wish and you don’t even think about how it affects us. the egoism comes from boomers all the way

      • At 66 my life isn’t over yet, and I wonder who are those people you brand “losers”? BTW I’m not afraid to die and your life is not be taken away either, unless your life is just about getting drunk in pubs, in which case I sincerely pity you. It will be taken away though it it ends up in a hospital under a respirator…

    • I don’t want to be callous about people’s death, because nobody should die earlier than they otherwise would and especially not the way they do (that is lonely first of all) because of this virus or lack of precautions. However I felt in the summer that all the places took plenty of precautions and followed all the rules and it is unfair to single them out as scapegoats and destroy them and people’s livelihood. Moreover, EVEN IF we accept that these are the best ways to contest the virus, it is natural to feel depressed not just about our constrained lives, but also about the damage it all does to the world around us.

      • yeah Csilla, also, it is not at all obvious that countries with tougher lockdowns have been doing better xd quite to the contrary. it’s all about luck, and we’re trying to win a battle that we will lose anyway, but we also destroy people’s lives while we’re at it. be interesting to see how much longer anybody will think that lockdowns solve anything.

      • Yes it’s obvious that they have been doing better. UK is possibly the worst impacted “developped” country. Greece, has done much better. STRICT lockdown early allowed the country to reopen to a large extend during the summer. The expected return of the virus in autumn forced us into lockdown again, but not as strict. Shops are open, schools are open. But “pubs” are closed and will remain so. Why? Drunk people can’t be trusted to act responsibly. Greece has 11 millions inhabitants, 5 millions in Athens alone. It has over 200 inhabited islands, most of them without a hospital … they had 6259 death in TOTAL so far.

      • This is true Csilla, but economy can be revived – it thrived after every war – and it will be revived. People who die are gone forever. People whose lungs/heat/kidneys or brain are damaged will suffer for the rest of their lives. Already we can see a positive impact on the environment because of less traffic, on earth and in the sky. Hopefully lessons are learned from that and some of our ways change as a result.

      • haha no, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, for instance, have been having extreme lockdowns all the time but the thing never ever went away. they always need to go even stricter. why? they have no clue. see it’s completely random

      • also, did it never occur to you that all those islands help the case by a LOT? it’s not about the lockdown, it’s about geography, people are naturally separated that way

      • No they don’t. Those islands are targets for the tourists. Santorini has 7500 resident inhabitants, 350000 tourists on an average in August on a normal year. Judd Trump and Harry Kane traveled to Mykomnos in the summer. Partying, not respecting the safety rules. It’s people like that who ruin it for all of us. Moreover, off season, a lot of the poeople staying on the islands are older persons. Many of the young who work in the touristic business in the summer, move for work to Athens or Thessaloniki in the winter,

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