Ronnie wins on Day 4 at the 2022 Champion of Champions

Ronnie booked his place in the semi-finals at the 2022 Champion of Champions yesterday, by beating Robert Milkins in his first match and Zhao Xintong in the Group final. It’s the 7th time Ronnie reaches this stage in nine participations.

Here is the report shared by WST:

Rocket Completes Semis Line-Up

Ronnie O’Sullivan reached the semi-finals of the 2022 Cazoo Champion of Champions with wins over Robert Milkins and Zhao Xintong at the University of Bolton Stadium, Bolton live on ITV4 in the UK and broadcasters worldwide.

The seven-time World Champion was given a tough test by Milkins during the afternoon session, but came through by a 4-2 scoreline. Zhao was also pushed hard, by Women’s World Champion Mink Nutcharut, before he too earned a 4-2 success.

It promised to be a blockbuster evening clash for the last spot in the semi-finals and it delivered at a frantic pace. O’Sullivan took the opening two frames before an expert clearance of 135 put him three to the good. A contribution of 59 before the interval put O’Sullivan only two away from the semi-finals at 4-0.

On return, Zhao made a 92 clearance to claw one back. But O’Sullivan was in magnificent form and breaks of 94 and 108 completed a 6-1 win in front of a full house in Bolton.

O’Sullivan told ITV: “Zhao is an amazing player and brilliant talent. I am sure he will have an amazing future. Hopefully, he does because I have a soft spot for him. Technically, it’s all there.

O’Sullivan will continue his quest for a fourth Cazoo Champion of Champions title against Fan Zhengyi on Saturday night in a repeat of the 2022 European Masters final in Milton Keynes earlier this year, which Fan won 10-9.

Ronnie O’Sullivan 4-2 Robert Milkins

Ronnie looked totally focussed and played really well in this match. His only weakness was his long potting, as the statistics show. Robert Milkins himself was playing well. His potting was excellent. Where Ronnie outclassed him was the safety department.

These are the highlights of the Afternoon session, as shared by Matchroom on their YouTube Channel

The other match of the afternoon saw Zhao Xintong beat Mink Nucharut by 4-2.

Mink impressed in this match, despite losing. She potted some really good balls, she fought with all she had. She’s clearly progressing and it was plain for all to see. She attracted a lot of praise on social media, in total contrast with the scorn that. too often, is what women in snooker get on those platforms. She is doing wonders for the women’s game and hopefully will encourage more girls to embrace snooker.

Ronnie O’Sullivan 6-1 Zhao Xintong

I expected a tougher challenge from Zhao but he was far from his best. Again the stats show that. Ronnie on the other hand played very well again and, in this match, his long potting was good.

These are the highlights of this match, shared by Matchroom on their YouTube channel

Ahead of his matches in this tournament, Ronnie had been interviewed by Hector Nunns:

O’Sullivan: How Many Can Say They Were The Greatest At What They Chose To Do?

Ronnie O’Sullivan is finally content with his life’s work – and hopes he is acknowledged as a true master of his craft. 

The Rocket has dealt with plenty of “curve-balls” over a 31-year snooker career including the imprisonment of his father, and coming through battles with drink, drugs and anxiety. 

But despite that world No1 O’Sullivan, 46, has racked up a joint-record seven world titles among another record tally of 21 major tournament successes.

And alongside the silverware he has built up a worldwide following of millions for his flair, attacking approach to the sport, and ability to make the game look absurdly simple. 

O’Sullivan begins his campaign for a fourth Champion of Champions title on Thursday against Rob Milkins at the University of Bolton Stadium. 

And he said: “I look back at my career and I always think when we all disappear off this planet, I hope there is a room on the very top floor for the greatest or the best at what they chose to do in their lives. 

And I’d like to think if there were 20 of the leading experts in their field in there, that they wouldn’t turn me away. 

I judge my career on that basis. How many people can say they were the greatest at what they chose to do in life? 

For me I am very comfortable with what I have achieved. In some ways I feel I have underachieved in hindsight – but I won’t be too hard on myself, and take what I have got. 

Life throws you a lot of curve-balls along the way and I have had to navigate my way around them, which I think I have done very well…so I am pleased. 

I would always call myself more of a purist sportsperson than a lot of them around today. Some of them get headlines but lack pedigree or haven’t been tested against the very best.

And I’d like to think I was one of the few sportspeople like Phil Taylor and Stephen Hendry that you can say did it on a level playing field over a period of time

That might have been 10, 20, 30 years over a lot of players that have come and gone. And I feel comfortable with what I have achieved.” 

O’Sullivan is also convinced that he and the other members of the famous ‘Class of 1992’ – John Higgins and Mark Williams – have brought the very best out of each other. 

He added: “I also have no doubt that I, John and Mark have all pushed each other to greater heights since we turned pro and the result is more success and a better level for all of us. 

We have had this secret little competition going where we were all wanting to challenge each other, and right now it is a bit like who will be the last man standing

It feels like that. There is a different type of respect from each of us for the others that maybe there was in earlier years.  

And we appreciate that if we hadn’t come along together, then none of us might have had the careers that we have had. We have all benefited.” 

It’s nice to see Ronnie finally content with his achievements in the sport, even if that may “cost” him when it comes to find full motivation, especially in smaller events.

2 thoughts on “Ronnie wins on Day 4 at the 2022 Champion of Champions

  1. I agree that it’s nice for Ronnie to be content with his achievements, even though it is undoubtedly true that he has “underachieved” relative to what he could have accomplished if he had wanted to (and if the “curveballs” hadn’t come his way).

    As a Ronnie fan who wants him to hold all of the records, you have to accept the fact that he isn’t as motivated to hold (and add to) the records as we might want him to be. He could easily be adding to his tally of ranking titles these days, for example, but it’s clear that he doesn’t think the benefits of doing so would be worth the costs. I do appreciate the fact that he seemed to have decided 4-5 years ago that it was worth trying to reach/pass the triple crown related records, which he has been able to do (albeit while having to go to “the dark places” from time to time).

    He’s always pretty vague about his goals and motivations, but it seems likely that he’s prioritizing the “bigger” events (whether ranking or invitational) and isn’t trying too hard at the smaller ones…

  2. It was sweet to see Ronnie play well and now I certainly hope he’ll win the semifinal.

    I always root for Mink, I really hope she improves enough to be a contender to win some matches, she is already way better than in that women’s final that earned her the card. And frankly, the difference between her and the other women is also noticeable.

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