2021 Crucible – eventful Semi-finals’ day 14

The semi-finals will conclude today and as it stands Kyren Wilson leads Shaun Murphy by 10-6 and Stuart Bingham leads Mark Selby by 13-11.

Ronnie was in the studio all day yesterday and the day before. Kyren Wilson had won the first session on Thursday by 6-2 and he was still the better player yesterday, but Shaun Murphy battled hard and he managed to share the session. He left the arena with a fist pump. They will play two more sessions today.

Ronnie was full of praise for both of them. Kyren in his opinion has become a much better complete player, whilst he likes Shaun passion.

This is what he had to say about Kyren after the first session

Ronnie O’Sullivan compares Kyren Wilson to John Higgins after stunning Crucible display

Betfred World Snooker Championship - Day Thirteen
Kyren Wilson was immense on Thursday night in Sheffield (Picture: Getty Images)

Kyren Wilson turned in a performance that a prime John Higgins would have been very proud of at the Crucible on Thursday night, believes Ronnie O’Sullivan.

The Warrior took control of his World Snooker Championship semi-final against Shaun Murphy on Thursday, taking a 6-2 lead after the first session of their huge clash.

Within that session Wilson reeled off a block of four frames that will be tough to beat for quality for anyone as he knocked in breaks of 110, 72, 127 and 121 consecutively.

Murphy did well to hold himself together and stop that run of success with a good break of 71 of his own, but Wilson was right back at it in the last frame of the session, making 70 and eventually claiming the frame to end 6-2 ahead overnight.

The reigning champion, who was beaten in the second round by Anthony McGill, was stunned by Wilson’s performance and compared him to four-time champ Higgins thanks to his incredibly precise performance.

‘I’ve never seen Kyren play eight frames of snooker like that. He’s obviously been working really hard on his break-building over the years,’ O’Sullivan told Eurosport.

It comes in bits and pieces but today he was as good as anybody. Even a John Higgins on form would have been very happy with that type of positional play.

So impressed with Wilson’s performance against the Magician that the Rocket believes he must now be the favourite to lift the world title, if he can keep it up.

He played flawless tonight, he just looked like he was bossing the game,’ said the 45-year-old.

I always say that a good young one will always beat a good old one and Kyren is certainly younger than Shaun but you’ve got to produce the goods.

Ronnie clair-obscurO’Sullivan could scarcely have been more impressed by Wilson’s performance in the first session (Picture: Getty Images)

You keep looking at these young players, but until they produce the goods like that it’s all potential.

If he keeps playing like that he goes favourite. Age plays a part, he’s got a lot less scars than the other players in the tournament.’

What made Wilson’s performance all the more impressive was that Murphy was playing well himself and O’Sullivan believed that even a narrower lead for Wilson would be considered a good result in those circumstances.

I think 5-3 or 6-2 would have been a fair score because Shaun Murphy was cueing well,’ said the Rocket.

If you can get 5-3 over Shaun Murphy when he’s cueing well, you’d take that. 6-2, you think, “Cor that’s an exceptional result.”‘

Yesterday it was Shaun’s turn to get the praise and some advice

World Snooker Championship – Ronnie O’Sullivan tells Crucible rival: ‘Stop being a good loser’

Reigning world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan has said that Shaun Murphy is one of the few players he would watch play snooker and that he really rates him and his game. The Rocket also urged Murphy to stop being a good loser and to embrace the emotions that saw him celebrate his huge win over world number one Judd Trump at the Crucible.

Ronnie O’Sullivan has told one of his rivals to stop being a good loser and to keep showing his emotions if he is to win the 2021 World Snooker Championship.

The Rocket was full of praise for Shaun Murphy, who is taking on Kyren Wilson in the semi-finals in Sheffield, and said he is “one of the very few players that I would actually watch”.

Crucible 2021 Ronnie Studio

But following that acclaim for the Magician, O’Sullivan also made the point that the 38-year-old must “stop being a good loser”, and that he would love to see more emotion from him, like when he celebrated beating Judd Trump.

“I really rate Shaun Murphy as a player, I think he is a good all-round power player,” O’Sullivan told Eurosport.

“I love watching him. He is one of the very few players that I would actually watch.

“It was really good to see him when he beat Judd [Trump], he gave it that [clenched fist], and you could see it really meant a lot to him.

I think he has got to stop being a good loser. You know, that’s the problem. When you become in your mind, ‘I want to be a gracious loser’, it’s not really a good thing as a sportsman.

“Losing has to hurt, because that motivates you to not want to lose, if that makes sense.

“So it was really nice to see that from Shaun. I think he will need that if he is to go on and win this title.”

That said, Kyren didn’t show huge emotions yesterday when he lost a frame in extraordinary fashion.

Here is a report by Eurosport.

World Snooker Championship 2021 – Watch as Kyren Wilson gives away 53 points from one snooker

“Go on say it, say it, say it…” goaded Murphy as Wilson stared on with a face like thunder. It was a moment where Wilson was probably wishing spectators weren’t allowed in the Crucible as they laughed at his expense during the World Championship semi-final. Dominic Dale sympathised with the 29-year-old, saying on Eurosport commentary: “I would not be smiling either, I would be furious.”

Kyren Wilson surrendered 57 penalty points in a single frame during his World Championship semi-final with Shaun Murphy – including 53 from one snooker.

An extraordinary spell started when Murphy rolled up behind the blue near the yellow pocket, leaving Wilson in an unenviable position with the remaining reds lurking at the other end of the table.

Wilson’s nightmare began when he misjudged a three-cushion escape, striking the black perched ominously close to the target red. Seven more points for Murphy, adding to four he had received for an earlier penalty.

At the fourth attempt, Wilson finally missed the black. Unfortunately, he also missed the reds and so four more points were added to Murphy’s tally – the score 15-60 despite so many balls left on the table.

The crowd were starting to find it amusing, giggling each time the referee trundled back to the starting point with cue ball in hand.

Wilson next opted for a two-cushion escape to no avail. He went back to three cushions for attempt six, but he hit the black again. Six attempts, six penalties – including five seven-pointers for hitting the black.

“This is just horrendous for Wilson,” continued David Hendon. “That’s 39 points he’s given away now.” Plus the four at the start of the frame and it was an even graver situation. And the drama wasn’t over.

‘Go on say it, say it…’

“He’s never going to hit the black again… he is,” said a stunned Dale as Wilson failed with his seventh attempt.

It came down to the eighth attempt. Even with five reds and the colours still left on the table, Wilson had to hit a red or would be in snookers required territory. You can probably guess what happened next.

“That is unbelievable,” said Hendon, as his attempt brushed the black again.

There was one small consolation for Wilson. As he had moved into the snookers required stage, it could no longer be called as a miss. Not that Murphy could resist a little goading.

“Go on say it, say it, say it…” encouraged Murphy of the smiling referee, who refused and ordered a free ball.

By this stage, everyone inside the Crucible was loving it. Well, everyone except one man, with Wilson having a face like thunder. Hendon remarked:

The audience are finding it amusing. There’s one man in the Crucible who’s not laughing.

Dale added: “I assure you, I would not be smiling either. I would be furious.”

The episode had seen Wilson leak an astonishing 53 points without success, with his total of 57 penalty points one of the highest in Crucible history.

Murphy quickly got Wilson back in another spot of bother and finished the frame by rolling up behind the blue again. This time, Wilson stayed in his seat and conceded. Wise move.

‘He’s one of the few players I’d watch’ – O’Sullivan praises Murphy

The 53 points penaly came from 8 attempts. It’s a new record at the Crucible. The previous record was 44 points from 11 failed attempts.

Kyren was not amused. He was absolutely furious, understandably so. Actually after a couple of attemps I became convinced that the shot he was attempting was not on.

The other match featured two very lengthy frames during the evening session. One lasted over 63 minutes, the other one over 50 minutes. This is what you would expected when Mark Selby goes behind…  Bingham is ahead though as he kept his cool

Stuart Bingham in control as Mark Selby warned for slow play

Mark Selby was warned for slow play as Stuart Bingham won four frames in succession to wrest control of their World Snooker Championship semi-final at the Crucible.

Referee Ben Williams intervened to tell Selby to “think about taking a stroke” after the three-time champion took over three minutes deliberating during an extraordinary 19th frame.

Bingham had fired a 131 clearance to reduce the deficit to 9-8 in the first frame of the evening, then looked set for a maximum before missing a red to the middle on 96 as he levelled the scores.

The next frame developed into an epic safety battle, with Selby’s extensive deliberations prompting Williams to tell him: “This has been going on for over three minutes now, you do need to think about taking a stroke”.

It is not the first time Selby has been criticised for slow play. At the Northern Ireland Open in 2019, he took six minutes to play one shot, longer than it took Ronnie O’Sullivan to make his record-breaking maximum break in 1997.

Although Selby fluffed his subsequent safety shot, Bingham could not take advantage, and the frame drifted over the hour-mark before a fluked pink and another loose safety on the black by Selby enabled Bingham to make it three in a row.

Betfred World Snooker Championships 2021 – Day 14 – The Crucible
Stuart Bingham came close to a Crucible maximum (Zac Goodwin/PA)

Bingham, who appeared to be relishing the raucous Crucible atmosphere in sharp contrast to his stony-faced opponent, proceeded to fire a break of 78 to extend his lead to 11-9 with four frames of the Friday evening session still to play.

The remaining four frames were shared and the session finished 13-11 in favour of Bingham.

Ben Williams may not be everyone’s cup of tea but he isn’t afraid of stepping in when needed. He wasn’t agressive and he probably did Mark Selby a favour. Mark tends to overthink when in trouble and the situation on the table was unlikely to change no matter how long he would further contemplate it.



2 thoughts on “2021 Crucible – eventful Semi-finals’ day 14

  1. Remarkably, the BBC invited two new pundits to the studio and commentary box: Jack Lisowski and Judd Trump, especially considering their previous relationship with the media generally. They were pretty good, and showed knowledge of the modern game that most of the BBC regulars do not. Jack Lisowski is often criticised for his shot choices, but he showed in commentary that he does actually know the game. This demonstrates quite graphically how difficult it is to think clearly when actually out there in the arena under huge pressure.

    The final few frames of the Selby-Bingham match were extremely tough to watch. Yes, there were some great skills by both players which I can appreciate, but the pace was very slow. This is not a criticism, but all those snooker-lovers who celebrate the 1980’s as the ‘Golden Age’ should reflect how the game was almost always played then – last night was very much 1980’s style snooker.

    Bingham is doing much better than I expected. He seems to be enjoying himself in the way he did when he won the Masters, which is a good sign. But he’s still got 5 sessions to play if he is going to win this. Selby seems to have reverted back to his pre-tournament ways, and I can imagine that Chris Henry will have some fairly stern advice. Nevertheless, Selby has a good record of outlasting his opponents in matches such as this.

    • Regarding Jack, of course he knows the game, I never doubted that. What I sometimes question is whether what he went through as a teenager has left him with enough stamina go go through the pain and effort required when things get tough at the table, or indeed with the capacity of seeing his sport as single most important thing in his life, which is the way you need to think to get at the very top.

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