Ronnie won a hard fought, high quality match to book his place in the last 32 of the 2022 European Masters. He beat Zhang Anda by 5-4 and here are the scores:
O’Sullivan was pushed all the way by China’s Zhang but survived to set up a match with Wu Yize on Wednesday afternoon. After sharing the first four frames, Zhang had a chance to go 3-2 ahead but missed a straight-forward final black. O’Sullivan slotted in the black to take the lead then made a 128 to go 4-2 ahead.
Zhang hit back with 114 and 91 for 4-4, and he had a match-winning chance in the decider but ran out of position when he trailed by a single point with two reds left. A tactical exchange ended when Zhang played a loose safety which left his opponent a mid-range red to a top corner, and O’Sullivan cleared the table to reach the last 32.
Ronnie didn’t look happy all match. He appeared to be upset by the lighting after the MSI. That dark mood was confirmed in his post-match interview. Here is what he had to say as reported by Hector Nunns:
Ronnie O’Sullivan Uneasy In The Spotlight As ‘Snooker Depression’ Strikes
Ronnie O’Sullivan for once looked uncomfortable in the spotlight on Tuesday and after scraping into the last 32 of the European Masters claimed he has “snooker depression”.
The Rocket emerged a 5-4 winner from a battle royal against China’s world No104 Zhang Anda at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes. But six-time world champion O’Sullivan, 46, looked dazed and confused at times – troubled by the glare while sitting in his chair midway through the match.
Snooker’s No1 box office star spent several minutes holding both his hand and then a towel up to protect his eyes from lighting at the baulk end of the table. And with the problem at its worst, world No2 O’Sullivan should have lost the fifth frame to fall 3-2 behind, but Zhang gifted him a way back in by missing the final black.
O’Sullivan, who was next due to face another Chinese player in Wu Yize, still rattled in breaks of 86, 51, 69, 55 and 128.
Afterwards he said: “I find it hard to talk about my games, I have snooker depression for two or three hours after my matches. Talking about it puts me in a bad place.
“I call it snooker depression because it is depression due to snooker. I don’t just wake up and say ‘I’m depressed’. You aren’t when you are doing something you enjoy.
“You might afterwards, but you can get it doing this job if it bothers you and you are not enjoying it. And that happens to me. Snooker plays on the mind.
“If you love your job, any job then you wont suffer with it – unless you are totally detached from your feelings. Let’s call it sports depression, across the board.
“It’s up to you to find ways to deal with it, and I am going to smash the gym, feel better, eat nice food, get into my spa and sauna and watch it disappear. Don’t talk to me about snooker now.
“I don’t know why there was the glare off the light, someone must have turned them up brighter than usual. I could hardly look at it, but they did sort it out so I could look at the table.
“Zhang could probably have done with the money from this match and had a run, so I felt a bit sorry for him. Let’s hope they get the China events back for these guys, the tour is reliant on them.”
O’Sullivan’s definition of what he calls ‘snooker depression’ appears to be of a different type to that spoken about publicly and recently by rival Mark Selby – and other snooker players over the years.
The Rocket admits he feels low if he is not enjoying playing the game, and failing to hit his frequent high standards has been a part of that issue.
Selby, though, has admitted to a serious deterioration in his mental health triggering bouts of what many would better understand as depression in a wider sense – in his case, by his own admission, brought about and sparked by events in his own past and childhood.
Ronnie’s depressive moods are not exclusively related to snooker. I have seen him very low, even crying, in circumstances that had nothing to do with snooker. His depression though is indeed different from what Selby goes through. Ronnie suffers from bipolar disorder, he goes through sudden and violent mood swings. We had an example of that early in the season when, as reported by David Hendon at the time, he arrived to play in the Pro Series in good mood, got depressed and negative suddenly mid-day, still won his group, but then, in the evening, withdrew from the event and from the British Open as well. Of course, his recent break-up probably isn’t helping.
Mark Selby suffers from a more “classical” form of depression, characterised by lasting sadness, tiredness and a total lack of mental and physical energy. It was plain to see yesterday as he lost by 5-3 to Jordan Brown. He obviouly tried but looked very flat.
Here are two videos, shared by Eurosport on their YouTube Channel
Ronnie’s marvellous 128 break
The conclusion of the deciding frame:
Today, Ronnie will play Wu Yize. The very talented teenager beat Fergal O’Brien yesterday.
6 thoughts on “The 2022 European Masters – Ronnie wins his last 64 match beating Zhang Anda in a decider”
Remarkable that someone like Tom Ford can beat John Higgins 5-0 (with Higgins only scoring a total of 50 points), but Ronnie doesn’t seem to stand a chance against Higgins.
With John out of the draw, Ronnie’s path to the semi-finals is pretty open…
Without watching the match, it’s hard to know what happened there. The thing that transpired though is that Higgins had a very difficult journey to the venue because of the storm. Also. Tom Ford on form is a very heavy scorer, but he rarely performs on the main table.
I was at the MK Arena yesterday so here is my brief report:
– There was some absolute vintage Wenbo action. He looked like 10am was far too early and had prob had a few drinks the night before and should have been 3-0 down but Duane missed a routine yellow late on in frame 3 and Wenbo cleared up. After that he piled on pretty much 3 centuries in a row, then let Jones back in from 4-2 down before winning a decider. Reminded me why once upon a time he was my favourite player, playes with such skill and personality. Hope he’s back to his best.
Was also a funny moment in the deciding frame where he was down on a crucial, match winning red and someone in the front row inexplicably coughed. He stood bolt upright staring daggers, only to realise it was someone from his fanclub (might even have been his dad I dunno). I was sat right behind them trying no tto laugh too hard
– Higgo was finished first in the session, nay bother pal
– Carrington v Sijun looked a bit of a struggle. I also watched the final frame of Xu Si v Junxu and it went nearly 90 mins. Both players have skill but seem to lack mental powers
-During the Si-Junxu final frame, some lad with a baseball cap and puffer jacket sat behind me and I asked him the time. He looked surprised to be asked and said ‘twenty to two’ in a weird accent and only then I realised it was Luca Brecel. I think he was a bit put out to be spoken to like an average joe lol sorry Luca
-Jianking v Patrick looked tough going as well
So for the afternoon session:
– Ricky Walden carried on his heavy scoring, battered Stevens. Stevens as usual looked like his mind wasn’t really in the game. Missed randon silly balls.Walden so fluid and in control
-Browne v Selby was a real tussle, Mentally Brown seems like he can cope with Selby’s game. Selby also looked/seemed very determined, just made a couple of crucial errors late on that Browne punished well
– Ronnie got dragged into a brawl with Anda and was lucky to come through
– Hossein Vafaei was awful. Like really, really shocking. Could have played all night and he woul have lost 20-nil. Missed so many easy balls. McGill as ruthless as always, looked to be on very good form.
Noppon v Murphy was a grind till late on when Noppon seemed to will himself into some form and eventually played well in a convincing win, Maybe he’s turned a corner
– Kurt Maflin can score a 40 break as well/quickly as anyone. Seems to lose interest after that. Did just enough to beat Higginson but can do much better. Not sure if we ever will though.
No idea whan went on with Mann/Tepchai but it was the quickest match of the day, over 5-0 in a blink of an eye
I chose to sit by the Vafaei/McGill match in the evening instead of the Robbo/Trump tables, huge error as watching Robbo knock in 4 tons ina row would have been preferrable to Vafaei’s non-performance.
Thank you Chris. And sorry for the “late” appearance in the comment section. I have no clue why this happened but you report landed in the spam section and I don’t vheck it every day.
All players (even amateurs!) will be on an adrenaline high after a match. It’s very common for players from evening matches to be unable to sleep – your mind is racing for a few hours. That may be why Ronnie usually asks for an afternoon match.
Before Ronnie ultimately won, fans on social media were rather aggrieved that someone ranked 104 was playing so well. Zhang Anda had to interrupt his professional career when covid came, with a pregnant wife at a time when hospitals in Guangdong were overrun. But of course the commentators were unaware of all that, retorting “Zhang seems to go missing for some periods of time”. It’s not just Ronnie that has things on his mind…
Hopefully Wu Yize will be able to show what he can do. He is just the sort of player Ronnie would approve of – like a young Thepchaya. Wu might have had a 147 in his match with O’Brien, where he got two centuries. Unfortunately he’s also capable of error-strewn play, as in his loss to Ng On Yee.
You are right Lewis, most fans have no idea what players might go through at personal level. They also have a short memory and little interest in Asian players. They forget – or never knew – that Zhang qualified for the Crucible in 2009, in his debut seson. He was 17. They forget that he beat Ricky Walden who was on the brink to get in the top 16 in the last round of the qualifiers. They forget that he played Stephen Hendry in the last 32 at the Crucible and only lost by 10-9, having trailed by 4-0 and 7-5. He struggled after that for various reasons but he is quality.
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