Ronnie needed only 37 minutes to beat Michael Georgiou by 4-0. Here are the scores:
Ronnie O’Sullivan blitzed to a quickfire victory against Michael Georgiou to reach the last 32, where he will play Liang Wenbo.
Breaks of 68, 88, 72 and 86 saw the Rocket surge to the whitewash in just 37 minutes. Georgiou was restricted to just three points throughout the encounter and his high break was 1.
“That was pretty quick. I got into the balls pretty early, made some good breaks and got into a nice little rhythm,” said 46-year-old O’Sullivan. “I feel like I’m thinking pretty clearly which is important. Listen, my game is never far away from clicking. If I get my head right and my game comes it will be interesting.”
There was much more than this to the match, and to the post-match interview.
‘HE IS NOT GOING TO TAKE IT!’ – RONNIE O’SULLIVAN REFUSES TO TAKE FOUL POINTS AFTER INSISTING OPPONENT HIT BALL
Ronnie O’Sullivan again showed his remarkable levels of sportsmanship during his Scottish Open match against Michael Georgiou. The Rocket refused to take the four points for a foul after he insisted his opponent hit the green.
Ronnie O’Sullivan showed remarkable sportsmanship in his Scottish Open match against Michael Georgiou.
Runs of 68, 88, 72 and 86 were enough for O’Sullivan to beat Georgiou 4-0 in 37 minutes and he plays Liang Wenbo next.
However, the match’s most remarkable moment came in frame two when Georgiou attempted to roll up to the green. Referee Jan Verhaas called a foul, but O’Sullivan immediately said that Georgiou had made contact.
“I think it did, you know,” O’Sullivan said when Verhaas asked whether he had hit it.
Verhaas then asked to watch it back but could still not tell whether the white hit the green.
“I was watching on the TV I couldn’t tell – I don’t know where Jan was standing,” said Neal Foulds on commentary.
“Georgiou wasn’t sure but Ronnie thinks he did hit it which is sporting of him,” added Dave Hendon.
However, Verhaas would say after reviewing it, he couldn’t tell and four points were awarded to the six-time world champion. However, he refused to take them, with Hendon saying:
THE FOUL HAS BEEN PUT ON BUT RONNIE’S NOT GOING TO TAKE IT!
It mattered little as he went on to make an 88 to open up a two-frame advantage and then eventually win 4-0.
Ronnie O’Sullivan believes Britain will be left behind by China if there is not an increase in investment in grassroots snooker in the UK. The UK Championship was won by Chinese 24-year-old Zhao Xintong, while the defending Masters champion, Yan Bingtao, 21, also hails from China.
Sport England was branded ‘snobs’ by Shaun Murphy four years ago over the lack of funding it provides to snooker, especially relatively to other sports.
Not much has changed in the time since Murphy’s comment, and O’Sullivan fears China could pull away as a result.
O’Sullivan, 46, said: “I can’t think of a single player from the UK in that 18-24 age range with the talent of a Zhao Xintong or Yan Bingtao who has won big already.
“I will choose my words carefully on this one, but they have invested a lot in the grass roots in China, and that grass roots hasn’t been invested in over here.
“That is why you have so many good young Chinese players on tour, and from the publicly funded academies over there you have seen ones set up in the UK with the players they produced.
“And it’s not the just the two we are mainly talking about, Zhao and Yan. There are many, many more coming through and some teenagers already on tour.
“They look at snooker and think it’s a pub sport that has lost its class, and think it’s better spent elsewhere.
“Given all that it almost may need some philanthropist who loves the game and knows what they’re doing to come in and fund it off their own back.
“A voluntary commitment from someone that is passionate about the sport. It needs to come from someone with love for the game, prepared to do it for nothing.
“But I don’t see that happening, the Chinese are taking over.”
Ronnie’s focus is on the situation in Britain, but it’s very similar in most mainland Europe countries. Snooker is not seen as a proper sport and its exponents are not really supported.
Ronnie also insisted on the reasons why he wouldn’t advise any youngster to take on snooker. Most players really struggle financially. Ronnie said that, at the very minimum, their expenses should be covered, that doing their job should not cost them. He’s absolutely right and got a lot of support today on social media.
Here is the post-match, shared by Eurosport