The 2022 Welsh Open – Day 3 and Ronnie’s last 64 win

Day 3 at Celtic Manor, Newport, saw the last 64 round conclusion and the start of last 32 round. A few big names exited the tournament, notably Mark Selby, John Higgins and Mark Allen. Zhao Xintong has been a bit “all or nothing” since winning the 2021 UK Championship and he too was beaten yesterday.

Here is the report by WST:

Warrior Patient In Face Of Sizzling Standard

World number five Kyren Wilson says he remains patient in his quest for a first ranking title since 2020, after a fine display saw him brush aside Li Hang 4-0 at the BetVictor Welsh Open.

Wilson has made two semi-finals so far this season, at the Champion of Champions and the UK Championship. He is keen to return to the winner’s circle, having last lifted ranking silverware at the 2020 Championship League. However, Wilson has admitted the high standard on the circuit makes collecting silverware a stern challenge for all players.

The Kettering cueman requires strong performances over the coming weeks to earn a place at the Tour Championship. Only the top eight on this season’s one-year-list will be at Llandudno, with Wilson currently in 14th spot.

Today’s win took a clinical Wilson just 51 minutes to complete. He composed breaks of 62, 136 and 102 on his way to victory and will face Matthew Selt up next.

I keep saying it, but the standard has gone through the roof this year,” said 30-year-old Wilson. “You are seeing a young Chinese generation coming through. I lost to Fan Zhengyi at the European Masters and he went on to win the tournament. I just have to keep plugging away and the door will come down eventually.

I think it is great. I was travelling home from my first round game the other day and spoke to my coach Barry Stark. He has been doing a bit of coaching at the academies and he said to me that these lads are putting eight hours a day in. If you aren’t putting at least five in they will overtake you, they want your guts. It has made me go away and want to work, to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Photo credit – James Bellringer

World number 40 Liam Highfield sealed a shock 4-3 defeat of World Champion Mark Selby to earn his place in the last 32.

Highfield claimed the first two frames this afternoon, before Selby pinned him back with three on the bounce to edge a frame from the win at 3-2. However, Highfield held his nerve with breaks of 74 and 92 to emerge a deciding frame victor.

Ronnie O’Sullivan rallied from 2-1 down to beat Germany’s Lukas Kleckers 4-2. Breaks of 67, 59, 67 and 50 helped the Rocket to turn the tie on its head. Next up he faces an blockbuster last 32 showdown with Ding Junhui.

Ali Carter put on a fine display to defeat five-time Welsh Open champion John Higgins 4-2. The Captain top scored with a break of 141 and will play Scott Donaldson in the last 16.

Joe Perry recovered a 2-1 deficit to beat Mark Allen 4-3. The Gentleman composed a run of 122 on his way to the win and now faces either Matthew Selt or Kyren Wilson in the last 16.

Both Higgins and Allen remain top of the live BetVictor European Series standings for now. The player that accumulates the most prize money over the qualifying events scoops a £150,000 bonus. The final tournament in the series comes later this month, with the BetVictor Gibraltar Open.

Welshman Jak Jones beat UK Champion Zhao Xintong 4-3, while former Masters winner Yan Bingtao beat Zhao Jianbo 4-0.

I’m a bit surprised that there is no mention of Matthew Stevens win yesterday as Matthew is one of the most popular Welsh players and the crowd was clearly supporting him yesterday

As for Ronnie … it was a strange match. Here are the scores:


Lukas is a slow player but definitely not a negative player. He plays the right shots and attacks. The two big breaks he made to lead 2-1 were very well constructed. What explains his AST is the fact that once he is down on the shot, he takes an unusually long time before actually delivering the shot.

Ronnie was clearly not coping too well with Lukas’ pace and spent considerable time in his chair fidgeting with his watch. The Eurosport commentators reflected that this was, in a way, quite similar to what he (in)famously did in his 2008 UK semi-final against Mark Selby. On that occasion he was counting and re-counting dots on a spoon and later revealed that this “activity” helped him to keep his concentration whilst his (slow) opponent was at the table. Whatever… it worked, in both cases. And truth to be said, if the camera was on him doing that, repeatedly and for longish periods of time, it was because nothing significant was happening on the table during these periods. Ronnie, who was in the ES studio in the evening, branded the whole thing as “therapeutic”.

This is the end of the match, as shared by Eurosport on their YouTube channel:

Eurosport gave a detailed account of Ronnie’s match here:


After being beaten in the final of the European Masters on Sunday evening, Ronnie O’Sullivan is up and running once again at the Welsh Open. After seeing off James Cahill on Tuesday, the six-time world champion was tested before getting the better of Germany’s Lukas Kleckers at the Celtic Manor Resort on Newport.</h3>
Ronnie O’Sullivan married excellent break-building and hard snooker to see off Lukas Kleckers 4-2 and reach the last-32 of the Welsh Open.

Kleckers caused the Rocket problems in Newport, as he held a lead at one stage and threatened to move within one frame of victory, but O’Sullivan took a chance that presented itself in the fifth and it set him on the way to victory and a meeting with Ding Junhui.

After taking a mere 43 minutes to dispose of James Cahill in the previous round, it was rather different against Kleckers.

The opening frame was a scrappy affair, which eventually went O’Sullivan’s way after 28 minutes. After some wayward pots, he sealed the opener with an excellent long red into the bottom right.

The second frame produced the first passage of fluent play, but it came from the methodical game of Kleckers rather than the quicksilver arm of O’Sullivan.

He was fortunate to get in, as a lucky flick left O’Sullivan snookered behind the brown. He escaped, but left Kleckers a chance and the German killed off the frame in a single visit with a confident run of 73.

Kleckers is not fazed by taking on big names, having secured wins over the likes of Neil Robertson and Mark Selby, and he pounced on an O’Sullivan error to move ahead.

As in the second, it wasn’t pretty to watch as Kleckers took plenty of time over his shots, leaving O’Sullivan fiddling with his watch in his chair, but the method worked as a break of 75 was enough to take a 2-1 lead.

While the third was won in steady rather than spectacular fashion, the fourth went by in a blur as O’Sullivan got in and a 67 helped put him back on level terms.

Kleckers had a big chance to move ahead again, but lost position from red to blue and missed the cutback.

It wasn’t an easy table that O’Sullivan inherited, but he picked off the loose reds and brilliantly developed the final red on his way to a frame-winning contribution of 67.

Kleckers had a frustrated look on his face after seeing O’Sullivan take the fifth, and his mood was not improved as the six-time world champion knocked in a break of 50 in the sixth.

It came as a surprise when O’Sullivan missed a pink when on the verge of victory, but he got in again to close out the contest.

Ronnie will play Ding this afternoon and, going by what was reported by Phil Haigh, he is well aware that he will need to play better but is looking forward to the match

Yeah, looking forward to it. I like to play Ding, he’s a proper player, plays the game in the right way. Fantastic player,’ O’Sullivan told BBC Wales after beating Lukas Kleckers 4-2 in the last 64 on Wednesday.

I’ll have to play well because I know he’s been cueing well and making some big breaks, but it’s great to see him back.’

O’Sullivan reckons the success of his younger compatriots has spurred Ding on to rediscover his best form.

I think the young Chinese players have inspired him to get his game back, which is great for him and Chinese snooker,’ said the Rocket.

So, yeah looking forward to it. Pleased to still be in the game.

Eurosport also shared this discussion between Ronnie and John Higgins yesterday. They are explaining why it’s hard to play the young players:

One thought on “The 2022 Welsh Open – Day 3 and Ronnie’s last 64 win

  1. LOL, I ended up reloading the phone on which I could watch most of the match, because I thought it froze when Kleckers was at the table.

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