Snooker News

Ominous O’Sullivan Looking Good

Ronnie O’Sullivan was in ominous looking form as he rocketed into the semi-finals of the Champion of Champions on Wednesday.

Photo courtesy of Monique Limbos.
Photo courtesy of Monique Limbos.

The defending champion, victorious in the inaugural staging of the tournament in Coventry 12 months ago, was given a tough test by the player he beat in last year’s final Stuart Bingham.

‘Ballrun’, the Shanghai Masters champion, led 2-1 with breaks of 107 and 62 but was powerless to stop an in-form O’Sullivan as the five-time world champion reeled off three quick frames with ruthless runs of 83, 115 and 103.

His relentless dominance on the table was only to get worse for the 38 year-old’s quarter-final challenger, if one wants to call him that, Marco Fu.

O’Sullivan fired in breaks of 75, 71, 62, 61 and 60 en route to a 6-0 hammering of the Hong Kong native, who had earlier in the day seen off 2005 world champion Shaun Murphy.

O’Sullivan has admitted that he likes the Champion of Champions, an event which suits him not only because it features the world’s best players who he can test he level against, but also as it offers a sizable winner’s cheque upon its conclusion.

Furthermore, the five-time Crucible champion has predominantly preferred performing on home soil so this event, followed by the upcoming majors the UK Championship and the Masters, should suit his needs down to the ground.

O’Sullivan’s victory sets up a mouth-watering encounter against China’s Ding Junhui in the last four on Saturday.

Ding doesn’t have the best of head-to-heads against O’Sullivan – not many do – and has been on the receiving end of a few demoralising defeats down through the years.

The 27 year-old did push O’Sullivan all the way to a decider in last year’s Champion of Champions at the last eight stage but subsequently received a lesson in the final of the Welsh Open, a clash that ended 9-3 and with his illustrious opponent compiling a maximum.

The fourth and final bracket will not be played on Thursday, rather on Friday, because of ITV4’s coverage of the Europa League football today.

However, a quick word on that as it includes the returning Ali Carter to our television screens.

Carter may have only qualified for this event via his world ranking position but nobody can question whether or not the ‘Captain’ has been a champion off the table in the last couple of years following his two battles with cancer.

The Englishman, whose first competition was actually in Hong Kong’s General Cup a few weeks ago, which he amazingly won, takes on Neil Robertson and is sure to get a great reception from the crowd.

Meanwhile, the final first round tie is an intriguing one as well, with Ricky Walden and Mark Allen facing each other in a repeat of the International Championship final only days ago – which the former prevailed in 10-7.

The full draw can be viewed by clicking here. 

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  1. a great tournament indeed. look forward to watching today’s matches. I wish the time difference with England were not so big. I like the way Allan McMannus (sorry if I made spelling mistakes) comments the matches. What I like most, not being an expert in snooker, is the way he comments on the players’ choice of shot, on the position, what he did wrong and WHY, what was done in a good way and why. David, is it possible to somehow find out who comments the matches in snooker matches? I mean in future tournaments. Well, just the very same day or a day before the match starts. Thanks. By the way, what is your personal impression of the event?

    • Good to hear from you, Sergei.

      The commentators are usually announced at the start of the broadcast or when the match begins on television. I enjoy this tournament, I think it has a strong place on the calendar. It’s good to have a variety of events and the top players deserve an extra reward for their efforts in winning a tournament (Champion of Champions) or their rise up the rankings (Masters).

  2. I am glad, David, that you keep on posting your marvellous articles. It is a real pleasure to follow snooker by reading you. It is a pity that I have less time now, and that is why it is not always possible to leave feedback or to ask questions.
    David, worldsnooker announced that from the next season some players would have their matches held over at overseas events. I know the meaning of this phrasal verb, but I have some doubts in its correct understandings regarding the snooker. Coldly kindly explain it in simple words and give a simple example how it will be applied? Many thanks.

    • So for the ranking events outside of the UK that are played under the flat 128 format, the defending champion, the world champion and the two highest ranked players from that host country will play their first round match at the venue.

      As it is now, every player has the qualifying round in Barnsley first. But through pressure from promoters (after Ding and Selby failed to qualify for the International Championship), the matches involving the four above players are being “held over” to the main venue.

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