Ronnie beat Oliver Lines by 4-0 to book his place in the first round proper (L64) at the 2023 Welsh Open in Llandudno this afternoon.
Here are the scores
That looks like an easy win but the truth is that Ronnie wasn’t match-sharp at all especially in the first 2 1/2 frames. His safety wasn’t great and his long potting wasn’t good either. When in the balls though he didn’t miss. It looked for all the world that Oli Lines was going to make it 2-1 and then this happened …
Here are some quotes by Ronnie on BBC Wales and on ES as reported by Phil Haigh
He is now set to take on Ross Muir in the last 64 and the 47-year-old is hoping to win the tournament for the fifth time in his career. Reflecting on his performance against Lines, O’Sullivan admitted he was not at his best.
“Sometimes you can lose focus but part of the skill of having a good temperament and mindset is being able to re-focus and get back into it,” he said.
“You can’t be concentrated all the time, but you have to choose your moments when to be good and when to relax a bit, switch it on and off like a dimmer switch. Sometimes you have it turned up full blast, sometimes halfway and sometimes very low.
“So it’s about learning to adjust and playing about with the dial. Sometimes just winning your own mental battles in your head allows you to play better at some point during a match.
“I never panic. I am lucky, I have played loads of matches and won, tournaments even – so playing badly and winning is a good trait.”
And some more directly reported by Eurosport
“I just enjoy playing,” he told Eurosport. “I enjoy whatever situation the game throws at me, deal with it as best as I can. It’s just another game of snooker at the end of the day.
“I just try to focus on my own game. I’m not sure what was going through his head. All you can do is just focus on what you have got to do and hopefully make it difficult for your opponent.
“I’ve just been playing the game for so long that you learn to re-focus, get going again. It’s like getting on a bike. Just keep going, keep pedalling and see where it takes you.”
O’Sullivan needs to reach the final of this week’s tournament in Llandudno, in order to book a place in next week’s Players Championship.
On his chances, he admitted: “I enjoy whatever situation the game throws at me, deal with it as best as I can. It’s just another game of snooker at the end of the day.
“I would like to be on it but it is highly unlikely I will make that tournament next week. I’ve booked in a couple of exhibitions for next week [in case] because I don’t want to not play.
“If I don’t make it at least I’ve got something else to do and can look forward to going to Thailand for the Six-Red World Championship.”
The report by WST barely reports anything on Ronnie’s match, but there is a report on the Eurosport site:
WELSH OPEN: RONNIE O’SULLIVAN ADVANCES TO SECOND ROUND AFTER SCRAPPY WIN AGAINST OLIVER LINES IN LLANDUDNO
Ronnie O’Sullivan beat Oliver Lines 4-0 in the opening round of the Welsh Open at Venue Cymru in Llandudno on Monday afternoon. The Rocket, who wasn’t at his deadliest, rallied to victory without reply to reach the second round.
Ronnie O’Sullivan proceeds to the next round of the Welsh Open after beating Oliver Lines 4-0 in the first round in Llandudno.
Despite the resounding scoreline, O’Sullivan wasn’t at his sharpest on the day, but took advantage of Lines’ continuously poor positional play to reach the second round.
He took a while to find his rhythm, but once he did he fired a break of 91 in the fourth frame to eliminate his compatriot.
Jimmy White – on Eurosport punditry duty – said: “[He’s] definitely not match sharp, but he still produced.”
O’Sullivan had the chance to take charge early on when Lines missed the black after putting away the first red of the match, but a disappointing ricochet off the black from O’Sullivan led him to play a loose safety ball to spread the pack.
From there Lines notched up a 34-12 lead, but as White had analysed in the Eurosport studio pre-match, he became too tactical as he ran out of position early in the break.
His break lasted to 33 and led to a snooker behind the yellow, which O’Sullivan struggled to wriggle out of without leaving a red on. But despite Lines’ effort to follow up with a blue to the middle left, he made a hash of the open pack of reds.
O’Sullivan took control of the first frame, making intelligent use of the yellow, blue and pink to finish off the final two reds and nick the opener with a 51 clearance up to the black.
Again Lines struggled to make a demanding impact at the beginning of the second frame. His positional play wasn’t up to scratch and opted for a safety shot after he wasted an opportunity to push the scoreboard following a miss on the black.
He won the safety face-off to take a 26-1 lead and develop another break, tucking away an excellent black to the bottom left but is unlucky when no pottable reds emerge.
With the frame still up for grabs, O’Sullivan notched up a break of 30 up to the pink to secure the second frame and take a 2-0 lead.
Lines produced more excellent snooker at the beginning of the third frame but when he tried putting himself in a frame-winning position with a side spin into the pack, somehow found the gap between all of the balls and was left stranded by the green pocket.
It turned into a scrappy frame when O’Sullivan came up short after following up a simple red with a blue to the middle right, and Lines saw the cue ball fly into the pocket for a foul.
Both players struggle to find any sort of rhythm, but it was O’Sullivan made room to chalk up a superb 68 clearance and move within a frame of victory.
In the fourth frame, O’Sullivan finally found his groove as he racked up a break of 91 to land the fatal blow and ease into the second round.
Plus some images shared by Ronnie himself on twitter:
4 thoughts on “2023 Welsh Open – Ronnie wins his held-over qualifying match (L128)”
It is a big contrast between Ronnie’s saying that it’s hardly unlikely that he will qualify for the Players and Neil saying he is there to win the tournament. Today’s ,match showed the danger of best of 7 for Ronnie: on the first two he was lucky that Lines missed and he could pick up the pieces. The third really looked like going to 2-1, Ronnie made some surprising ,mistakes, but he was competing and the videoclip posted here contains some beauties.
Well yesterday Ronnie won, despite the frustrating thing that happened, and Neil lost by 4-0 … sometimes you better say nothing.
LOL, true, of course later I realized that the point Neil tried to make was that he was there for this particular tournament, not for thee Players (what the. question asked about), but sometimes it is indeed better to say nothing.
I’d like to hear what Ronnie has been up to lately, away from snooker. He seems to be keeping a much lower profile this season than we’ve grown accustomed to. Hopefully he’s happy with his home life and other interests off the table…
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