Ronnie scored heavily in beating Tom Ford by 5-1 to reach the semi-finals of the 2022 European Masters. He will face Liang Wenbo tonight over best of 11 frames to try to book his spot in the final.
Here are the scores:
O’Sullivan To Face Liang In Semis
O’Sullivan is into his 87th ranking event semi-final and on Saturday evening in Milton Keynes he will meet close friend Liang Wenbo, who edged out Anthony McGill 5-4 by coming from 58 points behind to win the deciding frame.
O’Sullivan has lost just nine frames in his five matches so far this week, albeit without meeting an opponent ranked inside the world’s top 25. He has made seven centuries and 14 more breaks over 50 during the event and the 46-year-old will be hard to stop as he seeks to double his tally of titles this season, having won the Cazoo World Grand Prix in December.
Breaks of 136 and 90 put O’Sullivan 2-0 up within 20 minutes. In frame three, Ford led 58-27 when he missed a tricky final red to a baulk corner, and his opponent punished him with a 32 clearance. The fourth was even more painful for Ford as he made 72, only for O’Sullivan to respond with 74.
After the interval, Ford got the better of a scrappy fifth frame, but the contest was soon over as O’Sullivan finished in style with a 109 which included a fabulous shot from black to yellow.
Here is the shot mentioned above:
Ronnie made a terrific start of the match, but after a terrible miscue in the third frame, he looked concerned by the state of his tip and it appeared to lower both his confidence and his performance to an extend.
The 72 by Ford in the fourth was a maximum attempt: nine reds with blacks. Had Tom managed the feat he would have shred the high break prize with Thepchaiya Un-nooh who had made a maximum at the qualifiersnearly 4 months ago.
I’m sure that our resident troll will make the most of the fact that Ronnie hasn’t faced a player in the top 25 yet, but another fact is that you can only beat who is in front of you. Ronnie was due to face Ali Carter in the last 16; Ali is a player he doesn’t particularly like to play and who has caused him problems in the past. But Ashley Hugill beat Carter, before being beaten by Ronnie. Ronnie was due to face John Higgins in the quarter-finals, but Tom Ford whitewashed Higgins, before being beaten by Ronnie. And Ronnie was initially due to face Judd Trump in the semi-finals, but Trump went out to Kurt Maflin. He could have been facing Anthony McGill instead. Anthony is the man who beat him at the Crucible last year, and the only other top 16 player remaining in the draw at QF stage, but Liang got the better of Anthony yesterday …
What this tournament has amply demonstrated is how good a lot of players down the rankings are nowadays and that the idea that the top boys only have to turn up to beat them easily is preposterous.