The 2022 UK Championship – Ronnie beats Zhou Yuelong in the last 16 round

Ronnie made short work of his last 16 match as he beat Zhou Yuelong by 6-0 in less than a hour and a half. Here are the scores:

I was hoping for a good match but, unfortunately, Zhou looked completely overawed by the occasion and didn’t give Ronnie any sort of challenge. Ronnie himself, after the match, said that he’s better than that. But he also said that the ability to thrive on big occasions is something you have or you don’t and it can’t be learned, at least not easily.

This win is important because it propelled Ronnie well inside the top 32 in the one year list, probably securing his spot in the World Grand Prix.

Here is the report by WST:

‘Bad’ O’Sullivan Beats Zhou In 83 Minutes

Ronnie O’Sullivan suggested that his current winning streak is down to “my bad being better than everyone else’s bad” after whitewashing Zhou Yuelong 6-0 in just 83 minutes to reach the quarter-finals of the Cazoo UK Championship.

World number one O’Sullivan already has two titles under his belt this season having won the Hong Kong Masters and Cazoo Champion of Champions and will be tough to beat in York this week as he aims to become the first player to win any ranking event on eight occasions.

He is through to the quarter-finals of this event for the 19th time and will now face either Ding Junhui or Jamie Clarke on Friday at 1pm. O’Sullivan first won the UK title in 1993 at the age of 17 and went on to lift the trophy in 1997, 2001, 2007, 2014, 2017 and 2018.

Zhou beat Yan Bingtao 6-5 in the perhaps the best match of the opening round, but could not reproduce that form today and has now lost all four of his career meetings with O’Sullivan; the frame aggregate in those four matches is 20-2.

China’s Zhou potted just two reds in the first four frames as his opponent went 4-0 up with a top break of 137. In frame five, Zhou had a chance to pulled one back but missed a red to a centre pocket on 63, and O’Sullivan cleared with 82. And the Rocket brought another cheer from the Barbican crowd as he sealed the match with a run of 103.

O’Sullivan told BBC Sport: “I know he didn’t perform but at the moment that’s what everyone is doing against me, and I think my bad is better than everyone else’s bad. I have to take that for now and I’m never far away from playing well.

You see some kids and they are different. We all knew about Stephen Hendry when he was 15. Steve Davis was different, Tiger Woods. You just look in their eyes and they have a different intensity. They love the challenge and the competition, they thrive on it.

It takes enjoyment out of it sometimes because anything other than a win is no good. Last year I was happy with the quarter-finals, this time I’m thinking that if I don’t win it it’s a disaster. Your perception changes. But I feel very comfortable out there, even if I get hammered. I have proved myself enough for it not to matter as much – when I was a kid it would hurt me. If I play well then I want to stay out there forever, but snooker is not easy. It’s part of the deal, you have to accept you are not always brilliant, but it’s about how good your bad stuff is.”

Here are some videos shared by Eurosport on their YouTube Channel:

The 137, at the time of writing, the tournament HB
Finishing with a century

And some images taken and shared yesterday on social media:

The images not featuring Ronnie were taken in the cue zone, where Judd Trump and Jack Lisowski entertained the fans. All credit to them for giving some of their time to promote the game whilst in the middle of the second most important tournament of the season. I doubt that Ronnie would do that or that Stephen Hendry or Steve Davis in their pomp would have done that.

WST also shared this video

Ronnie likes to keep himself to himself during tournaments. He has often struggled with filling the time between matches. Apparently his friend Damian Hirst suggested some ideas to help … and Ronnie took the advice.

7 thoughts on “The 2022 UK Championship – Ronnie beats Zhou Yuelong in the last 16 round

  1. I think Ronnie is naturally a warm and compassionate person who would rather help people than beat them (at snooker). This natural inclination obviously doesn’t work so well for a sports person whose job is to beat people. I think he has to sometimes stifle his warm nature by adopting the “untouchable” image in cases where he decides that he would actually like to try to win the tournament rather than to just take it easy and perhaps even take some pleasure in seeing other players win.

    Adopting the pricklier persona might be part of what he means when he talks about “going to the dark places” that he thinks is necessary for winning big events (especially the WSC). I think there’s probably a part of him that likes the feeling of being invincible and the alpha dog, but he can only do that for short periods of time before his warmer nature reasserts itself and he goes back to (e.g.) wanting to help the young Chinese players get better, not trying so hard to win, etc.

  2. Anyone else noticing a correlation between Ronnie being a bit blunt in interviews and his success?

    When he was being all nicey nicey about his opponents, he was losing finals. Now he’s starting to call them out a bit more, he’s winning again. Seems to be an indicator of his “on table” mental state. I remember the ridiculous “cue action”, “RAAAANKing points”, “Australian Accent” ones from 2/3/4 years ago (always in tournaments he went on to win).

    It seems to somehow fire him up to be a bit prickly in interviews. And although the media like to sensationalise it a bit (lots of UK news sites who usually don’t cover snooker are suddenly reporting his “I’m not here to give advice” comment today, for example) nothing he is saying is untrue…

    • Anything that makes him win as far as I’m concerned, will make me happy. 🙂 But you might have a point there.

  3. Although Zhou had a great start against Allen in that final where Ronnie said he didn’t see him a future champion, before totally collapsing in the evening.

    Ronnie says all kinds of things, but it’s strange of him to be so critical as he tends to see a future world champion in too many people. As to his pastimes, he should finish this novel series, lol.

  4. Yes indeed, Ronnie is always consious to keep his ‘untouchable’ image. It partly explains some of the brash things he says in interviews. That’s part of the reason why players like Zhou Yuelong do get overawed, and Ronnie knows this. He indicated pretty clearly in Belfast that he doesn’t rate Zhou, and this probably added to the pressure. Zhou needed to get a good start, like he did against Yan Bingtao. When that didn’t happen he found it too difficult to get started.

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