Shanghai Masters 2019 – Ronnie is your champion!

Shanghai2019ROSFinal-Result

Ronnie beat Shaun Murphy by 11-9 to win the Shanghai Masters 2019.

He has now won this title three years in a row, and four times in total.

ShanghaiMasters2019Ceremony-5

Congratulations Ronnie!

Those are the frames scores

ShanghaiMasters2019FinalScores

Ronnie came back from 3-0 down to finish the first session at 5-5. Just as it had been the case all week, his long potting was the weak part in his game, whilst Shaun was potting nearly everything at distance. Ronnie could have been ahead at the intersession but missed the frame ball in frame 9, allowing Shaun to clear and steal it. He did it again in frame 10, but this time, Shaun couldn’t get ideal position on the last yellow, missed it, and Ronnie needed no second invite.

This is Worldsnooker report on the first session:

Shanghai2019ROSFinal-8.jpgRonnie O’Sullivan and Shaun Murphy have shared the first ten frames of the Shanghai Masters final to emerge from the opening session locked together at 5-5.

They will return this evening to play the best of 21 encounter to its conclusion. There is a top prize of £200,000 up for grabs, with the runner-up taking home £100,000.

O’Sullivan is competing in the final of this event for the third consecutive year, having won the title in 2017 and 2018. Murphy is aiming for a maiden Shanghai Masters title in his first appearance in the final.

2005 World Champion Murphy got off to just the start he needed when he took the first three frames. He then looked to be in position to add a further frame to his lead, before breaking down on a run of 43. That gave O’Sullivan the chance to establish a foothold in the match. He did just that by making a break of 61 to get his first frame on the board at 3-1.

The Rocket won an additional three frames on the bounce to turn the match on its head and lead 4-3.

From that point both players started to miss more balls as the tension grew. Murphy levelled with a break of 61, before dramatically retaking the lead at 5-4 on the final black.

The Magician then had the first opportunity in the session’s concluding frame. However, he missed and allowed O’Sullivan to take it and head into this evening level at 5-5.

Shanghai Masters 2019 – The Final – session 1

And some great images taken by Tai Chegzhe during the first session. Thanks Tai!

There was nothing between the players at the start of the second session and they found themselves locked at 7-7 at the MSI. At the resumption, Ronnie started to take the upper hand,  he won three frames in a row to go 10-7 up, only to see Shaun peggingg him back to 10-9, with two big breaks. Really it was punch and counter-punch all along. Crucially though, Ronnie managed to take advantage of his opponent last error with a break of 86 and secured the title … on the same score as last year.

It wasnt perfect snooker from either, they both made mistakes, but they both played positively and attacked. Both played a lot of fantastic shots and constructed great break. As Dave Hendon put it, both were playing to win as opposed to playing not to lose. It was eventful and entertaining.

The report by Worldsnooker on the second session:

Shanghai2019ROSFinal-9.jpg

Ronnie O’Sullivan was victorious in a thrilling final with Shaun Murphy 11-9 to win the Shanghai Masters for a third year in a row.

O’Sullivan, who in total has four Shanghai Masters titles to his name, has now won 15 consecutive matches in the city.

His victory last season came after defeating Barry Hawkins by an 11-9 scoreline in the final. While his win two years ago was sealed with a 10-3 defeat of Judd Trump.

This was 43-year-old O’Sullivan’s first appearance on the circuit this season and it has proved to be a lucrative one, with the Rocket picking up a winner’s cheque for £200,000.

Murphy leaves with the consolation of the £100,000 runner-up prize, but this season represents a dramatic return to form for the world number 14.

His place in this week’s event had come under threat after a difficult 2018/19 campaign, which saw him lose nine first round matches.  However, Murphy solidified his ranking with a trip to the final of the recent International Championship, where he lost out to Judd Trump.

This afternoon’s play had seen the pair share the opening ten frames and emerge locked together at 5-5.

Murphy got off to the perfect start this evening. He took the opening frame courtesy of a break of 66 and moved 6-5 up.

The Magician had looked set to move two frames ahead when he was on a break of 61 in the next. However, a miscued blue allowed O’Sullivan back in. He punished Murphy with a run of 66 which saw him steal the frame on the black.

The pair then traded centuries as they went into the mid-session all square. Murphy composed a break of 111, with O’Sullivan responding by firing in a sublime contribution of 130 to make it 7-7.

When they returned O’Sullivan made a charge for victory. He claimed three consecutive frames, including a break of 124, to move one from victory at 10-7.

Murphy wasn’t finished and battled to stay in contention. Breaks of 82 and 90 saw him close within a single frame at 10-9. He then had an opportunity to force a decider but broke down on 29. O’Sullivan stepped up with a break of 86 to seal the title.

Shanghai2019ROSFinal-10O’Sullivan said: “I always just try to hang in there. It is a bit like Seve Ballesteros or Tiger Woods with how they play golf. They are never out of it because every now and then they can produce a little bit of magic. That is the hallmark of my game really.

“I was very very pleased to win. Shaun has been cueing well. He looks like he has turned a corner and I think he will do some damage this season because he is in good touch. For me to be able to beat someone of Shaun’s calibre was great. Overall it was a very good match and I am pleased to be able to get my hands on another trophy.

“I just play in events when I feel like it, so I don’t class myself with the guys that are out there. They have a lot to prove and a lot to achieve. I don’t have anything to prove to anyone. I think it is just nice for snooker fans to see me play and they want me to keep going for as long as I can. They don’t expect me to prove myself anymore so I have a different model which is more about enjoying it. For the other guys like Shaun, Judd Trump and Neil Robertson they still have to try and chase the records that I have got if they want to go down as one of the greats. It is alright doing it in a season or two or three years. You have to do it over a decade or two decades. I’ve done that.”

Murphy said: “I thought I performed quite well. I was pleased with my performance. There were just a couple of mistakes here and there, but it was high quality. In sport there is always a winner and a loser. Unfortunately today I was on the wrong side.

“It was a very high standard. I think against most other players I would have won today and took home the trophy, but Ronnie is Ronnie.”

Shanghai Masters 2019 – The Final – session 2

Big thanks to Tai Chengzhe for those images of the Trophy ceremony

Shanghai Masters 2019 – Trophy Ceremony

Ronnie’s reaction after the match

And to finish with the fun part …. some images of thr Trophy Ceremony (source weibo)

Yes, Laila was there and very proud of her man too …

This victory from Ronnie means that Reanne Evans is now certain to play in the Champion of Champions 2019.

Shanghai Masters 2019 – Day 6 – SF 2 – Ronnie joins Shaun Murphy in the Final

Ronnie beat Neil Robertson by 10-6 today in Shanghai, to reach the final for the third year in a row. He will play Shaun Murphy tomorrow in a best of 21 match.

ShanghaiMasters2019ROSSFScores

As you can see above, it was a match of very high quality. Neil Robertson was the better player during the first session. Ronnie was still struggling with his long potting, therefore he had mainly to rely on Neil’s mistakes to get in. Neil’s long potting was deadly and he was playing well overall. Ronnie was excellent in the balls, his safety was extremely solid and he punished Neil’s rare mistakes. Neil had three centuries during the session, despite damaging his tip. Towards the end of the session Ronnie’s concentration seemed to drop a bit. the intersession came at the right time for him.

Here is Worldsnooker report on the first session:

Shanghai2019ROSF-6Neil Robertson established a 5-4 advantage over Ronnie O’Sullivan after the first session of their Shanghai Masters semi-final despite losing a chunk of his tip.

With O’Sullivan leading 3-2, Robertson miscued when attempting a yellow in the sixth frame and damaged his tip to the extent of losing a chunk from it. That caused a temporary suspension to play as Robertson assessed the damage. He decided to play on with the same tip and claimed three of the remaining four frames in the session.

The match will be played to a conclusion this evening, with the winner progressing to Sunday’s final where they will face Shaun Murphy. The top prize on offer this week is £200,000.

O’Sullivan took the opening frame on the final ball after a sublime clearance of 47, which ended with a cross doubled pink and a difficult cut back black.

Triple crown winner Robertson responded immediately with a break of 107 to get his first frame on the board. The Rocket then regained the lead, before Robertson composed his second century of the match with a break of 101 to make it 2-2 at the mid-session.

Five-time World Champion O’Sullivan claimed the first frame after the interval, before Robertson once again drew level despite encountering tip trouble in frame six. A contribution of 52 helped O’Sullivan to move 4-3 up. However, Robertson drew level and moved to the front for the first time with a superb contribution of 129 to end the session 5-4 ahead.

During the second session Ronnie was the best player; he managed to win the sessionby 6-1. The first two frames were close. After that, Ronnie dominated the match. Neil briefly rallied in frame 15, but that’s all he could do. Ronnie finished the match with a great 134.

This is Worldsnooker report on the second session

Shanghai2019ROSF-5Ronnie O’Sullivan extended his three-year unbeaten run in the Shanghai Masters after securing a 10-6 win in his semi-final with Neil Robertson.

The Rocket picked up the titles in 2017 and 2018. Last year he came out on top in a thrilling final with Barry Hawkins 11-9 to win the first running of the event since a format switch made it the most lucrative invitational tournament in the sport. He has now won 14 consecutive matches in the event.

This year it will be Shaun Murphy standing in his way as he bids to pick up the £200,000 top prize. They will do battle over the best of 21 frames and two sessions tomorrow for the title, with Murphy contesting his first ever Shanghai Masters final.

Defeat will come as a tough pill to swallow for Australia’s Robertson, who was dealt a bitter blow in the opening session when he damaged his tip miscuing a yellow. Despite that setback he did emerge from the afternoon’s play with a 5-4 advantage.

When they came out this evening five-time World Champion O’Sullivan took a tight opening frame after a further miscue from Robertson when on a break of 42 allowed the Englishman to restore parity.

Crucially Robertson then missed a difficult final black along the top cushion when attempting to clear up and steal the next frame. That ended his run on 51 and allowed O’Sullivan the simplest of pots to move 6-5 up.

A break of 87 then made it 7-5, before O’Sullivan claimed the final frame before the mid-session to go 8-5 ahead. A century run of 102 put him within a frame of victory when they returned.

Robertson stoically fought on and got his first frame of the evening to make it 9-6. However, O’Sullivan wrapped up his win in the following frame with a sumptuous break of 134.

Shanghai2019ROSF-4

O’Sullivan said: “I’m pleased to get through to the final. This is a special tournament and my favourite one on the circuit. It is always nice to do well in this event.

“I’m proud of any record I can get in snooker, so not losing here in three years is great. I just like to play and I like to compete. There have been a couple of times this week where I feel that haven’t performed. That can zap a bit of energy out of you. I think snooker is about whether you can win when you aren’t playing your best. I have won a lot of tournaments doing that so I know I can. When you are playing well it is an easy game and it doesn’t take anything out of you.

“Shaun has been player of the season so far. He got to the final in Daqing and there was no shame in losing to Judd Trump. What is impressive is that he has come here and beat some very good players to get into the final again. He is in good form and it will be a tough game tomorrow.”

Robertson said: “Playing with the damaged tip was really tough. It was like trying to do an 800 metre race in the Olympics with a pulled hamstring. Then your only hopes are the rest of the field falling over and allowing you to win.

“Towards the end of the first session I made a good century break. However, I didn’t need to play any screw shots that put pressure on the tip. I didn’t realise how bad it was and it was just one shot away from getting permanently damaged. In hindsight I should have put a new tip on between the sessions.”

Shanghai Masters 2019 – Ronnie v Neil Robertson SF

Thanks to Tai Chengzhe for a few great images!

 

Shanghai Masters 2019 – Day 5 – SF 1

Shaun Murphy beat Mark Allen by 10-3 in the first semi final of the Shanghai Masters 2019. This is not the kind of result I expected; I thought that the match would be close. I certainly didn’t expect Mark Allen to get trounced, the day after he had outplayed Judd Trump.

Actually the match was close up to frame eight. Mark Allen was then 4-3 behind and in the process of clearing the colours to make it 4-4. He missed the green, he didn’t win another frame. It wasn’t a straightforward green, but it wasn’t an impossible shot either. Losing that frame appeared to knock all the stuffing out of him. It may be only my perception – and I may be completely wrong – but it seemed to me that from there on, Mark had lost the belief that he could win and was more or less going through the motions. The fact that had only won five of his 16 previous encounters with Shaun might have something to do with it.

Anyway, here are the reports bby Worldsnooker

Afternoon session (morning in Europe)

Shaun Murphy will take a 6-3 advantage into the concluding evening session of his Shanghai Masters semi-final with Mark Allen.

The pair also met in the last four at the recent International Championship in Daqing, where Murphy was a 9-6 victor. He finished runner-up to Judd Trump.

They will play the best of 19 match to a conclusion tonight, with the winner progressing to contest Sunday’s final against Neil Robertson or Ronnie O’Sullivan where a top prize of £200,000 will be up for grabs.

The first two frames this afternoon were shared, before breaks of 88 and 82 saw Murphy establish a 3-1 lead at the mid-session interval.

When they returned they traded breaks of 74 to progress the scoreline to 4-2. A contribution of 55 saw Allen steal the seventh on the colours. However, 2018 Masters champion Allen then crucially spurned an opportunity to level by missing a green. Triple Crown winner Murphy punished that error by clearing with 25 to move 5-3 ahead.

The Magician consolidated his lead with a run of 58 in the last frame of the session.

Evening session (afternoon in Europe)

Shaun Murphy is through the Shanghai Masters final for the first time after beating Mark Allen 10-3 in the last four.

This was the second consecutive event where close friends Murphy and Allen have met in the semi-finals. They clashed a month ago in the semis of the International Championship. On that occasion Murphy also came out on top by a 9-6 scoreline.

The Magician will now face either defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan or Neil Robertson in Sunday’s final. The victor will hold the most lucrative invitational title in snooker, with a total prize fund of £751,000 and a winner’s share of £200,000.

The head-to-head record between Murphy and Northern Irishman Allen is now very much weighted in the 2005 World Champion Murphy’s favour. The Englishman has won 12 of their 17 professional meetings.

World number 14 Murphy’s return to form this season is in stark contrast to how he fared last campaign. His qualification for this event was under threat, until his run to the International Championship final in Daqing. A poor 2018/19 season, where he lost nine times in the first round, did damage to his position in the world rankings. However, he clung on to his top 16 spot and his place in Shanghai.

37-year-old Murphy came into this evening having already accumulated a three-frame cushion in the afternoon session, emerging with a 6-3 advantage.

Murphy put on a flawless display tonight to deny Allen any further frames. He fired in breaks of 64, 80, 61 and 104 to claim four consecutive frames and wrap up the win in just under three hours of play.

Murphy said: “It just shows you how mad sport is. Especially sports that you play on your own. I haven’t really done that much different to last season. It is probably just those six inches between my ears. I thought it was a good game today.  I was a little bit lucky at times. Any little bit of luck that could have gone either way went to me. Maybe the scoreline doesn’t reflect how the match was, but I am thrilled to be in the final.

“Mark and I have played each other millions of times now, so we leave our friendship in the practise room and go out to try and kill each other! The public would have it no other way. As soon as we shake hands we are best of friends again. There is always a bit of text banter before the game. Just enough so you can have a bit of a laugh, but out there it is very serious and we are trying to win.

“It is a personal best for me this week in Shanghai and it is one of my favourite stops on tour. There was a time a couple of weeks ago when I hurt my leg where I thought I might have to miss this year. It is a bonus to be out here and now I am in the final I’m just one match away from the title.”

There will be a lot at stakes for Shaun Murphy come Sunday: a possible first Shanghai Masters title and a possible spot in the Champion of Champions 2019.

Shanghai Masters 2019 – Day 4 – QFs

All four quarter finals were played yesterday in Shanghai, and three out of four produced one-sided matches whilst the last was as dramatic as it comes.

Here is the report by Worldsnooker

Ronnie O’Sullivan came from 5-1 down to beat Kyren Wilson 6-5 in a thrilling quarter-final at the Shanghai Masters.

Having won the event in 2017 and 2018, O’Sullivan has now notched up 13 consecutive match victories in the tournament.

O’Sullivan has now won his last four matches against Wilson, including last year’s Shanghai Masters semi-final which he won 10-6 and the Champion of Champions final where he emerged a 10-9 victor.

It had looked as if the five-time World Champion was down and out when breaks of 131, 67 and 57 helped Wilson to establish his seemingly unassailable 5-1 lead.

O’Sullivan summoned a comeback charge as breaks of 107, 51 and 124 helped him to get back into contention at 5-4.

In frame ten, O’Sullivan was in first with a break of 69, leaving his opponent needing snookers. However, a foul from O’Sullivan afforded Wilson a free ball and a chance to clear and win. It was an opportunity he spurned. Both players missed further chances and O’Sullivan was visibly showing his frustration, but he eventually got over the line to make it 5-5.

The decisive move was a break of 60 from O’Sullivan which helped him to take the final frame and secure a remarkable win.

“I’m really happy to finally get over the line. I am still a bit disappointed with how I started. I was making so many mistakes,” said 43-year-old O’Sullivan. “I never stopped believing and I never stopped trying to get into that place where I could play some brilliant snooker, but it just didn’t seem like that was there tonight.

“He is a tough player. He is young and hungry. He is the modern day player and pots a lot of good balls. I just wanted to give him a game. The last two frames I was on 60 or 70 and made silly mistakes and gave him the chance to win. It was a weird, weird game but I am pleased to get through.”

Up next O’Sullivan faces Australia’s Triple Crown winner Neil Robertson. The Thunder from Down Under has been in impressive form this week and that was on full display in a 6-2 defeat of Barry Hawkins this afternoon. Robertson composed breaks of 115, 73, 68 and 60 on his way to victory.

Mark Allen put on a ruthless display to thrash World Champion Judd Trump 6-1 to book his place in the last four.

The result sees 2018 Masters champion Allen reach the semi-finals for the second time this season in only his second appearance of the campaign. The Northern Irishman faced Shaun Murphy in the semis at the International Championship in Daqing last month and lost 9-6.

Defeat for world number one Trump ends an unbeaten streak of 13 consecutive matches on the World Snooker Tour. The run extends back to last season’s China Open in April, when he lost 6-5 to Robbie Williams in the last 64.

Allen took the first two frames with breaks of 63 and 62, then claimed a tightly contested third to open up a 3-0 advantage. Trump responded with a break of 109, but after the interval it was Allen who regained the momentum. Breaks of 55, 73 and 69 helped him seal the win and book his place in the last four.

He will now once again face close friend Murphy in the semi-finals. The Magician booked his place with an impressive 6-1 defeat of Jack Lisowski, highlighted by runs of 55, 60, 56 and 107.

You can read everything about Ronnie’s comeback here

That was utterly crazy, and stressful for his fans. One photographer however had a field day snapping faces at his press conference afterwards.

source: weibo

Mark Allen gave Judd Trump a hiding. Judd scored the only century of the match but was otherwise thoroughly outplayed. He was beaten 6-1 and, frankly, didn’t show anything even close to Ronnie’s fighting spirit.

Shaun Murphy similarly outscored Jack Lisowski. He won 6-1 in a match that wasn’t exactly outstanding from either player. Shaun was the one who, usually after countless mistakes and misjudgements on both parts, managed to make a telling break. It was a bit weird.

Neil Robertson again played really well before the MSI, to lead 4-0, only to let his level drop after the MSI, prompting a mini-comeback from Barry Hawkins. Barry should have won the last one really and, at 4-3, who knows what might have happened. But he didn’t, so it’s a pointless question.

Shaun Murphy is the only player left in the field not yet qualified for the Champion of Champions 2019. No doubt, Reanne Evans will be routing for his opponent(s). At the time of writing however he’s 6-3 up on Mark Allen in the first semi-final…

Shanghai Masters 2019 – Ronnie survives a crazy QF match

Ronnie beat Kyren Wilson by 6-5 from 5-1 down to book his place in the semi-finals. Hewill play Neil Robertson on Saturday

ShanghaiMasters2019-ROSQFScores

Ronnie was absolutely awful during the first part of the match. Nothing was right: his long potting was non-existent, he didn’t have the pace of the table therefore his safety was poor, and his concentration was wandering resulting in basic mistakes. Kyren Wilson, on the contrary, was playing very well. As usual, his positional play wasn’t the best but it didn’t matter much because he was potting everything from distance. He had a 131 in frame two.

After the MSI, there were signs of improvement. Ronnie should have won the fifth frame, but yet another basic mistake allowed Kyren to steal it. When, in the next frame, Ronnie failed to pot a ball, it looked like it would be all over very quickly. Ronnie was 5-1 down, Kyren needed just one more frame for victory.

But then, at the start of frame seven, Ronnie slotted a long red in and made a 107 from it. In the next, Kyren Wilson was first in and made 49, before fouling on the blue. From there Ronnie managed to win with a 51 break. A 124 from Ronnie in the next, and he was only one behind. Kyren was still ahead but appeared shaken. His long potting lost its accuracy, mistakes crept in. Ronnie dominated the last two, despite still not playing at his very best. The Chinese crowd was supporting him enthusiastically and was delighted to see him win. Kyren Wilson looked absolutely gutted – quite understandly.

Listen here to Ronnie’s reaction after the match:

Some great pictures by Tai Chengzhe – Thanks Tai! 

Here is the match

Shanghai Masters 2019 QF ROS v KyrenWilson

And the report by Worldsnooker (excerpt)

Ronnie O’Sullivan came from 5-1 down to beat Kyren Wilson 6-5 in a thrilling quarter-final at the Shanghai Masters.

….

The result means that O’Sullivan has narrowly managed to extend his remarkable winning streak in Shanghai. Having won the event in 2017 and 2018 he hasn’t lost in the city for three years and has notched up 13 consecutive match victories.

O’Sullivan has now won his last four matches with Wilson, including last year’s Shanghai Masters semi-final which he won 10-6 and the Champion of Champions final where he emerged a 10-9 victor.

It had looked as if the five-time World Champion was down and out when breaks of 131, 67 and 57 helped Wilson to establish his seemingly unassailable 5-1 lead.

43-year-old O’Sullivan wasn’t prepared to go down without a fight and summoned a comeback charge. Breaks of 107, 51 and 124 helped him to get back into contention at 5-4.

There was then a remarkable 10th frame. O’Sullivan was in first with a break of 69. That left Wilson needing snookers. However, a foul from O’Sullivan afforded Wilson a free ball and presented a chance to clear and win. It was an opportunity he spurned. Both players missed further chances and O’Sullivan’s was visibly showing his frustration, but he eventually got over the line to force a decider.

The decisive move was a break of 60 from O’Sullivan which allowed him to take the final frame and secure a remarkable win.

“I’m really happy to finally get over the line. I am still a bit disappointed with how I started. I was making so many mistakes, “said O’Sullivan. “I never stopped believing and I never stopped trying to get into that place where I could play some brilliant snooker, but it just didn’t seem like that was there tonight.

“He is a tough player. He is young and hungry. He is the modern day player and pots a lot of good balls. I just wanted to give him a game. The last two frames I was on 60 or 70 and made silly mistakes and gave him the chance to win. It was a weird, weird game but I am pleased to get through”

….

 

Shanghai Masters 2019 – Day 3

Those are the results

Shanghai2019Day3Results.jpg

Here is the report by Worldsnooker

World Champion Judd Trump saw off a David Gilbert fightback to secure his place in the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Masters after a 6-4 win.

Trump is competing in his second event of the 2019/20 campaign. Last month he lifted silverware with victory at the International Championship in Daqing, where he thrashed Shaun Murphy 10-3 in the final.

The win in Daqing also saw him dislodge Ronnie O’Sullivan at the summit of the world rankings. Trump has now won 13 matches on the bounce, in a run which extends back to the last 64 of the China Open in April. On that occasion he lost out 6-5 against Robbie Williams.

Trump is also aiming to lift claim the Shanghai Masters title, and the £200,000 top prize that now goes with it, for the first time this week. He’s already come extremely close on two occasions, having lost 10-9 in the final twice. The first came against John Higgins in 2012 and the second in 2015 against Kyren Wilson.

This afternoon Trump had surged into a 4-1 advantage, before Gilbert clawed his way back into the tie. Breaks of 111 and 62 helped the Tamworth cueist to move within a frame at 4-3.

However, Gilbert then crucially failed to convert a chance to restore parity. He had required snookers in the eighth frame, but was presented an opportunity to clear with a free ball. He broke down and Trump moved one from victory.

Gilbert pulled a frame back, but Trump wasn’t to be denied. He ruthlessly capitalised on a touch of good fortune, making a superb break of 103 from a fluked red to seal the win. Trump will face Mark Allen next.

Trump said: “These periods of form don’t come around all of the time. There will be only a handful of times in your career that you win over ten matches in a row. You just have to enjoy it and practise even harder. At some point you will get beat, but you just have to keep the confidence going for as long as possible.

“It is always good to win any event. You want to try and tick off every tournament. This is one where I’ve reached the final a couple of times and just come short. Shanghai is a place where I’ve always had a big fanbase and it would be nice to win in front of them.”

Allen earned his quarter-final place with a hard fought 6-5 win over China’s Liang Wenbo.

The Pistol had trailed 3-1 and 5-4 and needed to dig deep to emerge with the result. He summoned an important break of 72 to force a decider. Both players had chances to win in the subsequent frame, but it was Allen who eventually came through.

Neil Robertson produced a tremendous display to down home favourite Ding Junhui 6-3. The Thunder from Down Under fired in breaks of 72, 82, 101, 69, 79 and 71 on his way to this evening’s victory.

He will face Barry Hawkins in the last eight. The Hawk got there with his second consecutive 6-5 victory after beating Yan Bingtao in round one. Hawkins pipped four-time World Champion John Higgins on the final ball tonight to emerge with the deciding frame victor

Judd Trump won his first match in this year Shanghai Masters but it wasn’t all plain sailing. Actually David Gilbert didn’t play at all as well as he can and still threatened to cause an upset. Judd was 3-1 up at the MSI, with 73 and 83, but didn’t have a break over 50 in any of the next five frames. Mistakes were creeping in both players’ game.

Judd’s next opponent, Mark Allen, didn’t play very well himself. Liang Wenbo was the better player for most of the match and, IMO, it’s only psychological hinders that prevented him to win.

I didn’t see the first mini-session of the Neil Robertson v Ding Junhui match. Going by the frames scores, and the commentary, Neil played outstanding during those four frames. Not so well though after the MSI; he seemed to have lost his rhythm a bit. Sometimes it’s hard to keep the same intensity when way in front. Ding, quite simply was poor. His body language suggested a lack of fire and motivation.

Neil will play Barry Hawkins who emerged the winner of a high quality match against John Higgins. Between them they had ten 50+ breaks including 107 and 138 by Higgins, 142 – the new tournament high break – by Barry. The last three frames were tense and close. Barry won the decider on the last black … just as he had done in round one against Yan Bingtao.

Here it is

Those results mean that there is no Chinese player left in the tournament, but we do have a quality line-up for the quarter finals

Shanghai Masters 2019 QF line-up

What’s your predictions? Hard he?

 

 

Shanghai Masters 2019 – Day 2

The second day in Shanghai saw the first round conclusion in the morning, and half of the last 16 played in the afternoon and evening.

Shanghai2019Day2Results

Stuart Bingham miserable start of the season continues as he was beaten by Liang Wenbo in the first round, despite scoring more heavily than his opponent. Watching Liang Wenbo dominating the close scrappy frames was unexpected. But that’s what he did. I have the feeling that his game has matured. It’s obvious that he prepared himself well for this event.

David Gilbert whitewashed Cao Jin, a wildcard. Going by the frames scores, the first frames were close(ish), but as the match unfolded Gilbert became increasingly dominant.

In the afternoon, Shaun Murphy confirmed his return to form by beating Mark Williams, by 6-5. Both players scored heavily, they had ten 50+ breaks between them – five each – including two centuries by Shaun. Shaun currently holds the tournament high break – 136 – an honour he had to share with Ronnie who equalled it in the evening. Shaun clearly has made a few technical changes, his bridge is shorter than it used to be. He’s also better in tactical play. He credited Fergal O’Brien for the latter: now that Shaun lives in Ireland, they practice together and he finds himself in tricky situations every day…

Jack Lisowski beat Mark Selby quite comfortably. It seems to me that Jack was taking a bit more time on the shots as compared to previous seasons. Jack  was very happy with the win, but also said that he had luck on his side. I doubt that luck alone explains a three frames difference in the scores. What is happening to Mark Selby since the summer of 2017 is hard to explain really.

You can read my account of Ronnie’s win over Zhang Yi here

Finally Kyren Wilson eventually beat Xiao Guodong in a slow going match. Frame 6 was a kind of turning point in the match. Xiao looked the better player and Kyren’s body language was uneasy and “defensive”. Then Xiao lost frame 6, when he should have won it really, and Kyren, all of a sudden, became a lot more positive and assured.

Here is the report by Worldsnooker:

Ronnie O’Sullivan got his season up and running with a 6-0 whitewash of amateur Zhang Yi at the Shanghai Masters.

The Rocket hasn’t lost in Shanghai for over three years after winning the title in 2017 and 2018. O’Sullivan pocketed £200,000 for his victory last year, when the event transitioned to the 24-player format which saw it become the most lucrative invitation event in snooker.

There were few signs of ring rust this evening as the five-time World Champion powered to victory with a top score of 136.

O’Sullivan recently lost his world number one spot to current Crucible king Judd Trump. However, he feels his longevity sets him apart from his rivals down the years.

O’Sullivan said: “I’ve been at the top of the game for 26 years. For the last nine or ten years I have been the leading player every season along with other players. Selby in the past, last year it was Trump. Other years it has been Higgins and Williams.

“My longevity has been pretty good. I wouldn’t say I am the best in all departments, but I am efficient in most. There are a lot of tournaments up for grabs this year, but also a lot of great players. It should be an exciting season.”

He will face Kyren Wilson in the last eight after the Kettering potter saw off the challenge of Xiao Guodong 6-4.

Wilson and O’Sullivan met in last year’s semi-finals, when O’Sullivan came out on top 9-6. They also faced off in the Champion of Champions final, where O’Sullivan again edged a thrilling match by a 10-9 scoreline.

Shaun Murphy continued his rich vein of form with a thrilling 6-5 win over 22-time ranking event winner Mark Williams.

The Magician had looked like he may not qualify for this event off the back of a poor 2018/19 campaign. However, he looked to be back to his best at his most recent outing at the International Championship, where he reached the final before losing out against Judd Trump.

Murphy had taken control of this encounter when century runs of 136 and 123 put him 3-1 up at the mid-session. However, three-time Crucible king Williams surged back into contention after the break.

The Welshman took four of the next five frames to lead 5-4 and had looked to be in for the win, before breaking down on 56. Murphy stepped up and fired in a sensational clearance of 70 to force a decider, which he won to clinch a quarter-final clash with Jack Lisowski who beat Mark Selby 6-3.

Murphy said: “I certainly had a lot of opportunities to learn from my mistakes last season. I must credit Fergal O’Brien. I have been practising with him since moving to Dublin and he has me in those sort of situations all of the time. The tactical frames towards the end were ones I perhaps couldn’t have won before moving to Ireland.”

Liang Wenbo overcame Stuart Bingham 6-4 in the opening session of the day. While on the other table David Gilbert beat Cao Jin in a 6-0 whitewash.