2023 Welsh Open – Ronnie wins his Last 32 match despite more tip trouble

Ronnie booked his place in the last 16 yesterday evening, despite suffering more tip troubles. He beat Rod Lawler by 4-0. Here are the scores:

And the report by WST:

Rocket Wins Despite Tip Trials

Ronnie O’Sullivan’s cue tip fell off for the third time in two days, but a rapid repair allowed him to continue his run as he beat Rod Lawler 4-0 to reach the last 16 of the BetVictor Welsh Open.

The World Champion’s tip broke loose twice during his match against Ross Muir on Tuesday, and once again tonight it was rolling across the table after he played a shot during the third frame. Tournament director Paul Collier replaced the tip and the match resumed, O’Sullivan wrapping up the result having scored breaks of 100, 62 and 58 over the four frames.

I’ll get the cue sent to John Parris, it needs a new ferrule,” O’Sullivan told Eurosport. “Hopefully it will be ready for Thailand and the other important tournaments coming up. Every shot I play I think the tip will fall off, I’m expecting to see it rolling around the table. It will come off again. I am not cueing badly. I think I am doing really well, I am working on my mindset, irrespective of how I play. I am just staying within my mind.”

The world number one is through to the last 16 of a ranking event for the third time this season but must reach the final in Llandudno to qualify for next week’s Players Championship.

O’Sullivan’s next opponent will be Ben Mertens, the promising Belgian 18-year-old playing his first season on the pro tour.

I fell sorry for both players yesterday. Of course what is happening is very difficult for Ronnie, but I think if affected Rod as well. Rod really struggled yesterday. The two know each other for 30 years or more, Rod turned pro in 1990. The go along well, they know each other’s family. It was a very awkward situation for both. Ronnie looked frustrated and, as he admitted, the tip was on his mind all the time and he got the job done eventually and all credits to him for that.

Here are some quotes by Ronnie as reported by Phil Haigh:

The world number one went on to win the match 4-0 nonetheless, but he admitted afterwards that he offered to concede the game to avoid any more interruptions for him to fix the faulty tip.

I did say to Rod, you can have the match when I was 2-0 up,’ O’Sullivan told Eurosport. ‘I said to (tournament director) Paul (Collier), there is no point me keep having to come up here and putting the tips on. I am happy to give the match to Rod.

I don’t think Rod wanted to play either to be honest. I felt for Rod. He is a good lad.

I will send the cue away and get it done. It needs a new ferrule. Hopefully it will be ready for Thailand (Six Reds World Championship) and the other important tournaments for me.

My cue, every shot I am playing I think the tip will fall off. I am surprised it didn’t fall off in a couple of blacks that I played in that last frame.

I was expecting to see the tip roll across the table. It will come off again. I will try to stick it on again. There is nothing else you can do.’

It’s very honest from Ronnie to offer to concede the match under the circumstances. The situation was no fun for his opponent or the fans. And it was just as great from Rod to refuse it, knowing that Ronnie actually was playing the better snooker. The two of them were a credit to the sport yesterday evening.

Tonight Ronnie will play Ben Mertens. Ben is in his first season, this will be his first “Last 16” outing and he has just scored his highest break as a pro yesterday, a 130. Ronnie and Ben have played once before. Ronnie prevailed by 4-3, but Ben had come back at him from 3-0 down. Given the tip situation I have to make Ben favourite.

9 thoughts on “2023 Welsh Open – Ronnie wins his Last 32 match despite more tip trouble

  1. jesus christ the negativity on this blog is off the charts. “gotta make Ben the favourite”. sure, the 16 year old kid ranked 153647th in the world is a big time favourite against the world no1. don’t give betting tips

    • The said kid came back on Ronnie from 3-0 down to 3-3 last time they played. Ronnie didn’t have a ferule/tip issue back then. At the moment he’s not able to play any powershot. Ben is 18 BTW, not 16. So far this week he’s beaten Jackson Page and David Gilbert. For the record Gilbert is ranked 17th in the world and was not playing with a damaged equipment. I’m not being negative. I’m being realistic and I would be over the moon to see Ronnie win.

      • Because of that English Open comeback I do expect Ronnie to be on his guard this time. And he expects his tip to come off once again. He said he prepares to deal with it mentally. I hope practically he will too.

      • You were right but you conveniently forget to mention that Ronnie got Les Dodd on site to fix his cue. This is something I didn’t know and I only expected Ben to win because Ronnie was struggling with his cue so badly that he had offered his opponent in the previous round, Rod Lawler, to concede the match. Rod refused but it was that bad.

      • It was of course nice of Ronnie to offer the concession and shows how bad the tip was, though I suppose he also felt bad about the situation that another break, everyone has to wait again, it is very uncomfortable and didn’t necessarily mean he thought he couldn’t win. Rod was very nice about it, but I don’t think any self-respecting player would take the match rather than wait

  2. It is so frustrating, yes it must have been hard on Rod, and he was very nice about it, but Ronnie must be so frustrated, especially because he is playing well otherwise. Saying that Thailand and the 6-reds is the important one (OK, he added Sheffield afterwards) is really disheartening, because he visibly wants to do well. OK, a pity he didn’t do better in the season, so that this tournament wouldn’t matter so much for the Players’, but it is depressing were he to lose because of the bloody tip. 😿😿

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