European Masters 2022 LIVE – Ronnie O’Sullivan in action in the afternoon, Judd Trump headlining the evening session

Billiards

European Masters |

03:11:24

O’Sullivan 4-2 Zhang (0-51)

The split works just about right, with Zhang landing on a red. There’s another one loose, but he might be a good move after that – though the frame will be close to his by then.

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O’Sullivan 4-2 Zhang (0-32)

With the black off and the pink on the brown spot, Zhang works the blue; but as i type this it works out a route for the first one. As such, the split, which is imminent, will determine whether the executive is winnable at this visit.

O’Sullivan 4-2 Zhang (0-10)

Zhang drops a red to the middle left but ends now, so he’s back to avoid the pink. A move later, however, he’s back with his hand on the table, knowing that a miss and he’s probably out.

Around the tables

Ian Burns 2-2 Tom Ford

Ali Carter 3-1 Sean Mddocks

Louis Heathcote 2-2 Martin Gould

Mark Selby 1-2 Jordan Brown

Ricky Walden 4-0 Matthew Stevens

O’Sullivan 4-2 Zhang

A perfect run of 129 and Ronnie is right there.

O’Sullivan 3-2 Zhang (63-0)

This is where we came in, with Ronnie compiling effortlessly. Zhang will feel very bad, as he now has two men with three to play, whereas five minutes ago he should have been one with four to play.

O’Sullivan 3-2 Zhang (25-0)

Ronnie cuts home a long thin red and he looks very professional now, knocking out balls with bias.

Around the tables

Ian Burns 2-2 Tom Ford

Ali Carter 3-1 Sean Mddocks

Louis Heathcote 2-2 Martin Gould

Mark Selby 1-2 Jordan Brown

Ricky Walden 4-0 Matthew Stevens

O’Sullivan 3-2 Zhang

This absolute game! Ronnie puts the black in the yellow pocket, and what a hit it is!

O’Sullivan 2-2 Zhang (55-59)

Nooooooo! Zhang does all the hard work, then misses a black shot on the spot! Can Ronnie punish?

O’Sullivan 2-2 Zhang (55-44)

Shoot! Zhang hits a red into the green pocket and gets an angle to see the next green – it was stuck to the bottom cushion. If he can soften yellow in left midfield, he’s in business…and he’s there! What a flight it will be!

O’Sullivan 2-2 Zhang (55-35)

Ronnie needs to double the final red down the middle right to effectively win the frame, but blame it in the high phalanx and Zhang is given a reprieve. There is also one for Ronnie, as it works safely; this frame is all about that last red now.

O’Sullivan 2-2 Zhang (36-35)

It’s a precarious opening stanza for this break as Ronnie is either hampered or out of position on three straight shots, but chooses a recovery pot each time and is now in control. He hits the front in frame, but will need the troublesome remaining red of the three to sort him out on this visit.

O’Sullivan 2-2 Zhang (9-35)

Safety ensues, and with both players sending reds onto the table and leaving white on the bottom cushion, that table has suddenly become very dangerous. A great shot from Ronnie leaves Zhang welded to said bottom pad, and his deadweight escape to baulk leaves a long red down left. Ronnie swallows it, cuts in the dark and he just became a favorite for the frame.

O’Sullivan 2-2 Zhang (0-35)

Zhang fires in another long red to the right side of the table on the replay, and this time it’s on the brown. There are enough to make a serious dent in this frame before the peloton needs a big hit, and Zhang calmly begins to roll them. Rather than stay on loose reds, he risks a peloton visit and fails to land on a red, nixing his break at 35.

O’Sullivan 2-2 Zhang

Players are halfway through and refreshed, and off we go. Zhang slips into a long red after Ronnie’s break, but lands the white in the middle of nowhere and can’t add to it. Ronnie seems unhappy here with the brightness of the overhead lights, alternately covering his eyes and looking up and grimacing as he sits in his seat. All fans of the observational comedy “the big light is too bright” will surely sympathize. However, he has yet to formally complain about it, and after the tap and nudge security deadlock on the pack, both players agree to a re-rack.

Around the tables

Ian Burns 2-1 Tom Ford

Ali Carter 1-1 Sean Mddocks

Louis Heathcote 1-1 Martin Gould

Mark Selby 0-1 Jordan Brown

Ricky Walden 2-0 Matthew Stevens

O’Sullivan 2-2 Zhang

A streak of 69 is more than enough for 2-2 and the players are heading into the mid-session with game level. As we all predicted, they would when Ronnie snapped the first frame in six minutes.

O’Sullivan 1-2 Zhang (61-16)

Yes, Ronnie solves the frame in no time, and that missed red might bother Zhang, not just right now, but when he’s old and gray.

O’Sullivan 1-2 Zhang (29-16)

Ach, he misses a red sent diagonally to the green pocket close to white, and it will cost him dearly.

O’Sullivan 1-2 Zhang (21-9)

Good! Ronnie walks in, then misses a red to the left corner and it stays over the pocket. Black is in the road, so Zhang plays off the side and top pad to embrace it and position himself on black. He looks good !

Around the tables

Ian Burns 1-1 Tom Ford

Ali Carter 1-0 Sean Mddocks

Louis Heathcote 1-0 Martin Gould

Mark Selby 0-1 Jordan Brown

Ricky Walden 2-0 Matthew Stevens

O’Sullivan 1-2 Zhang

Well done Zhang! A streak of 64 is enough to keep Ronnie seated, and could that missed red in the previous frame be considered a turning point?

O’Sullivan 1-1 Zhang (0-34)

It’s excellent from Zhang, who opens the package and seems in control. There’s no reason to think he won’t win the frame on this visit now.

O’Sullivan 1-1 Zhang (0-9)

Ronnie leaves a reduced starter and Zhang sees it – that clearance a few minutes ago will have done wonders for his confidence. He still takes his time – 10 seconds longer than Ronnie on each stroke – but if he goes down, he goes down, and as I hit that he cuts a tricky yellow.

Around the tables

Su Xi 4-5 Pang Junxu

Ian Burns 0-1 Tom Ford

Ali Carter 1-0 Sean Mddocks

Louis Heathcote 0-0 Martin Gould

Mark Selby 0-1 Jordan Brown

Ricky Walden 1-0 Matthew Stevens

O’Sullivan 1-1 Zhang

It falls, and do we have a ball game?

O’Sullivan 1-0 Zhang (52-60)

Not yet he’s not there, passing to the green, then taking a decent position on the brown, which he sinks. He’s almost on the board. The pink, however, is behind and must cut the dead weight in the yellow pocket….

O’Sullivan 1-0 Zhang (52-22)

A muted red revives Ronnie, but he’s missing a brown in the middle that he didn’t really want to try but circumstances persuaded him to try. It gives Zhang a chance, and he will know that if he can’t take it, he’s wasting his time here.

O’Sullivan 1-0 Zhang (51-16)

Ronnie rummages through the pack and has a safety rouge in baulk, but he doesn’t need it immediately, eventually putting it away. But then the msse a middle distance to the left corner – the angle was wicked, not straight but not really cut either – so returns to his seat with a useful lead but with the frame still in balance. Ish.

O’Sullivan 1-0 Zhang (9-16)

Oh my dear, oh my dear. Zhang misses a regulation cut to the right corner and Ronnie is back at the table to administer the punishment due.

O’Sullivan 1-0 Zhang (0-9)

Ronnie misses a long red corner on the right and leaves it on the left; Zhang sends it and will know that he can’t count on too many of those chances, so there’s pressure on him to take it.

O’Sullivan 1-0 Zhang (16-0)

Six minutes, 86 points, and Zhang will be scared of a long and short afternoon.

O’Sullivan 0-0 Zhang (63-0)

“As usual, we’re looking to play on at least two reds,” Angles says in co-comm – as we come to seven red-blacks. Do we think Ronnie pocketed more balls than any other player, or do we think there might be those who trained harder up front? Higgins, I guess. Either way, a pink goes middle left – he didn’t really need it, which makes it all the more poetic – and what a debut this is from TMNTPETPUAC.

O’Sullivan 0-0 Zhang (16-0)

Well yes. Ronnie pauses and the next shot he finds himself in, quickly breaks through the pack and launches into the balls in typically expert fashion. It looks really stylish, and I expect a quick resolution this afternoon.

Here we are!

Already today

Jamie Clarke 1-5 John Higgins

Liang Wenbo 5-4 Duane Jones

Su Xi 4-4 Pang Junxu

Wu Yize 5-3 Fergal O’Brien

Zhang Jian King 3-5Fraser Patrick

Yuan Sijun 5-4 Stuart Carrington

Every afternoon !

And welcome to another afternoon of glorious snook. We’ll be focusing on Ronnie O’Sullivan vs. Zhang Anda, but we’ll have updates around the tables as usual.

O’Sullivan advances to Round of 32 after Bond win

Ronnie O’Sullivan progressed to the second round of the European Masters after claiming a 5-1 victory over Nigel Bond in Milton Keynes.

It was the first meeting between the men in over 23 years, having faced each other at the Scottish Masters in October 1998.

O’Sullivan had won the pair’s previous six meetings, and he did it again tonight with a comprehensive victory.

When later asked how he continues to maintain a positive mindset, he replied, “I’m pretty much in the right place all the time.

“If I have a bad time it affects me, so I focus on feeling good all the time, doing the things I want to do all the time. It may sound selfish, but I love what I do.”

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