It was another disappointing run for Ronnie in the last ranking event of this year. He was beaten by Martin Gould this afternoon, by 4-1. Here are the scores:
Martin had never beaten Ronnie in a ranking event before but he did beat him today, and very convincingly too.
Ronnie should have won the first frame but missed frame ball and Martin stole it. That very much set the scene for the rest of the match.
Martin played really well and Ronnie was poor. Ronnie never looked at ease or confident. It probably isn’t a big surprise. He has not been at his best since the World Championship last season, the tennis elbow hasn’t helped and to his own admission he has found it difficult to find the motivation to practise properly for most events. Yesterday, learning that he would play Martin today, Ronnie’s reaction was “I’m in trouble”: he knows how good Martin is when he plays well and he knew where is own game currently is.
Martin was very positive, made very few mistakes and scored well. He totally deserved the win.
Glittering Gould Floors Rocket
Martin Gould scored his first ever win over Ronnie O’Sullivan, knocking out the home favourite by a 4-1 scoreline to reach the last 16 of the BetVictor English Open.
O’Sullivan has won two invitation events this season – the Champion of Champions and Hong Kong Masters – but his wait for a first ranking title of the campaign goes on. World number 43 Gould rose to the occasion in Brentwood to beat O’Sullivan for the first time in seven meetings, and will face Ashley Hugill in round four tonight.
Londoner Gould trailed 67-7 in the opening frame but hit back to snatch it by clearing from last red to black, and a run of 60 in the second doubled his lead. O’Sullivan pulled one back with a 78, but couldn’t build momentum, and Gould made further breaks of 57 and 61 in taking the last two frames.
“It’s very early in the tournament but to beat Ronnie is a great scalp,” said Gould. “I have to build on that, not go out signing and dancing, I have to stay in tournament mode and be ready for the game tonight. Snooker is a weird game, you can be flying off your nut for six months, and then you turn up for one event and you forget which end of the cue to use. Beating Ronnie means nothing if I go out and play like a balloon tonight.”
Ronnie was interviewed after the defeat and said he “gutted” to be out of the tournament. This at least is a positive because if he does care he will probably practice over the holiday break, especially as the Masters is coming as well.
As things stand he is safe for the 2023 World Grand Prix but will need results there and/or at the 2023 Welsh Open to secure his place in the 2023 Players Championship.
Ronnie O’Sullivan Heads For A Break In Dubai After Shock English Open Defeat
World No1 Ronnie O’Sullivan suffered a shock second-round English Open defeat on home Essex soil in his last match of the year on Thursday.
The Rocket crashed and burned against Londoner Martin Gould at the Brentwood Centre as the world No43 claimed a stunning 4-1 victory.
It was the first time Gould, 41, had ever beaten the reigning and record seven-time world champion in a major ranking tournament.
And after seeing out the week as a TV pundit O’Sullivan, 47, is ready to pack away his cue and head off on a 10-day sunshine break to the Middle East.
It was also a last meeting with his documentary film crew – grabbing some final shots of a low after the highs with the much-anticipated movie set for release next year.
O’Sullivan said: “I will celebrate Christmas sitting in Dubai, getting some sun, chilling out, going to the gym and doing a bit of running.
“I don’t normally go away but it’s a warm-weather break for me this year. I have been invited out there and I’ll be there for 10 days.
“And I’ll be back in time for the Masters in January. It’s a family that have invited me but I can’t mention no names I’ll get in trouble, I think I had to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement!
“The documentary crew were here again today for the last time at a tournament, that is all coming to an end – a last couple of bits.
“It is all getting wrapped up and I have spent a lot of time with them over the past year. It has been fun.
“There was the big high of the seventh world title, and today I have lost in the last 32 of the English Open.
“When it comes out I am sure there will be a theme, story or narrative and that will explain my relationship with the game.
“The times that everyone else thinks are highs for me are not always my highs – and the times like today they might think are lows are not always my lows.
“One of the things I think will come out of it is that it is not all about winning and losing, but being happy with yourself and in your life.
“I am in a very good place at the moment, and when I am not – I know how to get back there. And I would be happy with eight good weeks in the next 10 years if it meant big titles.
“Martin did all right today – he played well. Streaky bacon, that should be his new name – streaky Gould. He can be hot or mildly hot…like Nando’s, I suppose.
“But I feel okay about today, great really – I enjoyed the game, I’m out of the snooker and so it’s back into the pundit’s box here. Essex isn’t getting rid of me that easily just yet!”
There are a few interesting bits in there. Maybe the most surprising for me has been to realise that the Netflix documentary was still work in progress and that it has apparently taken a lot of Ronnie’s time since the last World Championship. That may well have contributed to his lack of form.
The whole “secret” about Dubai probably just means that Ronnie doesn’t want to disclose his whereabouts in order to get some peace and quiet.
And, please, please Hector … give it a rest with the “shock-thing”. Ronnie is World Champion and world number one, but he hasn’t played well since he got the tennis elbow injury and “Gouldy” is a ranking event winner. There is no shock.