Ronnie was beaten by David Grace in the last 64 round of the 2022 Northern Ireland Open. He lost 4-3 having been 2-0 up.
Here are the scores:
Ronnie didn’t play well even in the first two frames. He was OK in the balls but his long potting was poor and his safeties not as accurate as they should have been. David, after looking nervous in the first two frames, found his game and made very few mistakes when in the balls, his long potting was good too and that made a huge difference. In frame five, David benefitted from an outrageous fluke and took full advantage. Ronnie only scored 11 points in those three frames. In frame six, David’s nerves appeared to return and Ronnie was able to force a decider. David though dominated the last frame.
In the second half of the match, Ronnie played very aggressively, a bit like he did against Mark Selby in the 2020 Crucible semi-final but it didn’t work for him this time. And, to be fair, he didn’t have the best of luck either.
here is the end of the match, shared by Eurosport on their snooker YouTube channel:
Alan McManus and Jimmy White, in the studio, said that Ronnie was “in control” when he went v2-0 up. It never felt that way to me. He wasn’t getting the long ones and was fidgeting a lot with his tip and that’s never a good sign.
As a Ronnie fan I’m disappointed of course, but I’m also happy for David who is one of the kindest, nicest guys on tour, and a sensitive and talented artist. I hope that he has a deep run in Belfast now.
Ronnie said after his first match that he hadn’t practiced at all since returning from Hong Kong. It showed, and it also tells us that even the best players need to put the work in and, if they don’t, they get found out.
I can’t help but wonder if Ronnie really has the required motivation for the smaller events right now. His game is there, we saw that in Hong Kong and he battled from 4-1 down to beat Neil Robertson by 6-5 in the semi-finals. Today however, I couldn’t sense at all the kind of intensity he was oozing in that match and throughout that tournament.
This may be an issue if he wishes to play in the “Cazoo Series”. These are tournaments he usually loves playing but he needs to be in the top 32 in the one year list. At the time of writing he’s provisionally 73d on that list. I expect Ronnie to find some motivation and form ahead the UK Championship … I hope he does.
BBC just published this which confirms that Ronnie state of mind isn’t great…
Ronnie O’Sullivan: Seven-time world champion lacks ‘passion and desire’ for snooker
29 minutes ago
By Richard PetrieBBC Sport NI at the Waterfront Hall
Ronnie O’Sullivan says snooker has “become like an emotionless-type job” after his second-round defeat by David Grace at the Northern Ireland Open.
The seven-time world champion suffered a shock 4-3 loss to the world number 62 after building a 2-0 lead.
“I don’t really have the passion and desire for it [snooker]. I give it what I feel like it deserves,” O’Sullivan told the BBC in Belfast on Wednesday.
“If I had to choose to do this I wouldn’t. I don’t care any more.”
He added: “The job ain’t worth the stress and the hassle. Sometimes a loss is a blessing in disguise, it just allows me to do other stuff.”
O’Sullivan lost to lower-ranked Swiss player Alex Ursenbacher in the first round of the British Open in September, before going on to beat Marco Fu in the final of the Hong Kong Masters.
The 46-year-old lost to Judd Trump 9-7 in three consecutive Northern Ireland Open finals between 2018 and 2020.
Trump also exited this year’s tournament at the second-round stage, going down 4-1 to Cork’s Aaron Hill on Tuesday.
O’Sullivan raced into a 2-0 lead against his fellow Englishman but Grace fought his way back into the match with breaks of 57, 94 and 64, and although O’Sullivan took a scrappy sixth frame to level, his opponent held his nerve to win the decider.
“I’ve got a rule, I don’t really talk about any of my matches, I leave it out there, it is what it is,” said reigning world champion O’Sullivan.
“I let others analyse and criticise while I move on and have a bit of lunch.
“If I can play one good tournament a year that will do for me, cut the mediocre ones. That’s enough really.
“I quit mentally about eight years ago and I just take what I can from the sport. It’s a good platform for me, allows me to do other stuff and gives me a lot of freedom.
“As far as winning goes or cementing my name in the game there isn’t enough good stuff in the game to get excited about.
“One day I’ll wake up and get excited and play a good tournament, but if I don’t I don’t really care any more.
“I’ll pot a few balls, get paid, it’s just become like an emotionless-type job. I just make it work for me.“
O’Sullivan is also working as a television pundit in Belfast, and despite his indifference about his own performance he describes the Waterfront as “a great venue”, the crowd as “unbelievable” and the event “brilliant”.
“I wouldn’t even play in the tournament if I wasn’t working for Eurosport. I wouldn’t play, wouldn’t do it at all,” he said.
“The game doesn’t interest me, the events don’t interest me, the calendar doesn’t interest me, just making a business out of it kind of interests me.
“I’ve earned that right, really. I can do what I like when I like, and if I never win another match I think I’ve earned the right to do it my way.“
RONNIE O’SULLIVAN SAYS SNOOKER ‘NOT MAIN PRIORITY’ AS HE REVEALS HE IS WRITING NEW BOOK AFTER SHOCK LOSS
Seven-time world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan says he is writing a new book after his shock defeat to David Grace in the second round of the Northern Ireland Open. O’Sullivan was set to take a relatively simple win when 2-0 up, but lost the match on a decider. He praised his opponent, but also added snooker is “not the main priority” for him at the moment.
By Nigel Chu
Ronnie O’Sullivan has revealed he is writing a new book and that snooker is “not the main priority” for him right now following his shock defeat to David Grace at the Northern Ireland Open.
O’Sullivan was 2-0 up on Grace in their second-round match, but was beaten in a decider in Belfast after some erratic shots.
The Rocket has been doing some punditry in the Eurosport studio this week and will provide more analysis for the rest of the tournament in Belfast.
“I don’t really analyse my matches any more,” O’Sullivan told Eurosport. “I got beat so I can do a bit of punditry work now.
“I can concentrate on writing a few chapters in my book, I can try and get a bit of practice.
“I suppose the practice tables are a bit emptier now so I’ll just enjoy the next few days of this tournament and have a bit of relaxation time.”
Asked if another autobiography was coming, O’Sullivan answered: “I can’t say what it is because they want to announce what it is. I’m just busy at the moment, so snooker isn’t the main priority.
“It’s just finding time to fit everything in so if one thing doesn’t go well you’ve got something else to fall back on.
“I just enjoy my life. In some ways a loss is good for me because it allows me to do my punditry. If I were to choose between punditry and playing at this stage in my career, it would be that [punditry].
“It allows me to do stuff I really like to do. I can do some stuff with my book tonight which is time consuming, it’s enjoyable. But it’s just different things at this stage in my life you just want a bit of variety in your life.
“Too much snooker makes you not too happy I suppose.”
O’Sullivan says his opponent, who will play Tian Pengfei in the third round, was a worthy winner.
“He deserved his win, [he] played fantastically well,” said O’Sullivan.
“The snooker gods made the right result today.”
The difference of tone between those two reports on what Ronnie said is striking. It’s obvious that the two journalists have very different agendas here. I doubt that Ronnie went to talk in two separate post-matches interviews. Also it’s rarely mentioned if a quote was something said spontaneously or in answer to a question. Quotes reported out of context can create a very misleading impression.