4.4.09

THE LAST FOUR

Peter Ebdon's run to the semi-finals of the Bank of Beijing China Open has gone against the formbook.

In fact, he's had such a bad season that it's come as a big surprise.

Ebdon played very well indeed to beat Stephen Hendry 5-1 in the quarter-finals and will start a heavy favourite against Stuart Pettman today as the Preston man is appearing in his first ever ranking event semi-final.

John Higgins's 5-4 defeat of Ronnie O'Sullivan yesterday was the match of the tournament, not in terms of quality but because of the high level of drama and entertainment it served up.

It was proof that even great players feel pressure. There was no other reason for Higgins and O'Sullivan to miss as many balls as they did towards the end but it added to the spectacle.

Higgins now plays Ryan Day, who I tipped to win the Welsh Open only for him to lose in the first round (thanks a lot, Ryan!).

He's obviously got himself together for Beijing and is capable of winning the title, but must avoid the sort of flat performance he put up in last October's Grand Prix final against Higgins.

If Higgins doesn't win the title we will have a seventh different winner from as many ranking tournaments this season.

35 comments:

Monique said...

Peter Ebdon's return to form is a surprise indeed. It was to be expected that he would put the effort to keep his place in the top 16 and to do well in the WC. But the improvement is so big and sudden it's a real surprise. Could it be that he is now over his private problems and with his mind in peace able to focus again? In wich case this is another evidence how deeply their private life influences snooker player's achievements at the table, just like it would effect everone of us professional life also. I'm always surprise how many fans just disregard this when they criticise the guys.
Also how easily they forget that they are human and indeed vulnerable to pressure and expectations - especially when these expectations are unfairly high. Both John Higgins and Ronnie felt it yesterday and Ronnie probably slightly more than John as he has an almost iconic status in China and is WC and N°1 ... Add to it they were both tired and you get an error ridden drama. They both look gutted by their performance although I'm sure the audience loved it. And a last word ... how anyone can say that Ronnie "can't be bothered" when playing in China after this and his run in Shanghai is beyond me. He certainly does care a lot (he even cried briefly during the Shanghai final ... in frustration ). His behavious last year was totally out of order, no question to that: you wrote he played like a maniac... well that's exactly it and I'm sure you know what I mean.

And finally ... it's unlikely but I'd love Stuart Pettman to win it and have his big day after 17 years of hard work in the shadow...

Dave H said...

Yes it's certainly true private issues affect a player's performance.

For instance, I learned that Ali Carter was unable to practise before the tournanment because of a health issue.

Unfortunately I found this out after I tipped him to win the title!

Anonymous said...

was there a match investigation with Ebdon?

If so, what was it?

If not, then why not?

Anonymous said...

Dave, what does Ebdon need to do in terms of results to stay in the top 16?

kimball said...

What matchinvestigaton?

I hold Xiao Guodong - o´Sullivan,s match as superior to the q-final,
in all depatments, drama, defens
and quality

CRO Snoox said...

I'm really glad to see Ebdon back on track, but i feel sorry for Ronnie cause it would be a real boost for him to win this title before he defends his title in Sheffield! i hope that Higgins wins it now!

Anonymous said...

If Higgins wins you can only look back to how he came from 4-0 down to win 5-4 against Hamilton. It really is true that matches like that give you a boost because everything after is a bonus (like all the commentators say!)

Matt said...

Anon 9:31,

I'm not Dave but I can tell you that taking into account World Championship points Ebdon is now up to 13th place having made the final and now looks pretty good to stay in the 16. If he wins his opening match at the Crucible or even the China final, he'll have done it.

If he loses those matches though then it would take wins in Sheffield from the likes of Allen, Ding, Hawkins, Walden, King, Cope etc to stand a chance of overtaking him. The likes of Walden and Cope in particular would have to make the semis or something too.

Anonymous said...

Ronnie clearly didn't actually want to go any further in the tournament. He's saving himself for the World Championship.

That last black he missed, showed a total lack of commitment/desire.

Anonymous said...

Walden and Cope should be alright with a QF place.

Matt said...

Probably would be with Walden actually, though I suspect that Cope would need more. Depends how Ding/Hawkins/King get on I guess.

Monique said...

"Ronnie clearly didn't actually want to go any further in the tournament. He's saving himself for the World Championship.

That last black he missed, showed a total lack of commitment/desire."

Certainly ... that's why he battled back from 1-3 to 3-3 then from 3-4 to 4-4. BTW judging by how much he missed Higgins wanted back home too...

He's just proving it now.

Andrew said...

If Ebdon loses the final and his first match in the World Championship, he'd be overtaken by:
Allen/Ding reaching R2;
Hawkins/King reaching the QF;
Walden/Cope/Bingham/Swail reaching the semis;
Davis/Holt reaching the final.

Anonymous said...

Dave is the final best of 19 as per world snooker site, or best of 17, as Mike Smith suggested?
thanks

Anonymous said...

Yes, I noticed the Eurosport commentators mentioned it would only be a best of 17 frame final. Can you confirm this for us please Dave?

Dave H said...

No, it's best of 19 - it's always best of 19 in Beijing

Anonymous said...

Thanks Dave.

Did you happen to hear them explain that it was a best of 17? They actually said it had been changed by the organisers after it being a best of 19 previously.

Anonymous said...

i heard that too 4.02

Monique, you were saying about Higgins wanting home? :p ;)

does anyone have an "in running" view of the provisional top 16 as it stands now with points awarded to all players including the finalists (but holding back the extra for the winner)? if so, please post. Thanks

Andrew said...

Including points for the World Championship (starred players cannot earn any more points):

51175 Ronnie O'Sullivan 1
44450 Stephen Maguire 2
40575 Shaun Murphy 3
40125 Allister Carter 4
37225 John Higgins 5
37075 Ryan Day 6
34950 Marco Fu 7
34375 Mark Selby 8
32875 Joe Perry 9
30225 Neil Robertson 10
29525 Stephen Hendry 11
29319 Mark Williams 12
28400 Peter Ebdon 13
27875 Mark Allen 14
27244 Ding Junhui 15
27175 Barry Hawkins 16

26607 *Dave Harold 17
26050 Ricky Walden 18
25900 Mark King 19
25632 Jamie Cope 20
25419 Stuart Bingham 21
24894 Joe Swail 22
24544 Steve Davis 23
23225 Michael Holt 24
23188 Stephen Lee 25
23132 *Matthew Stevens 26
22825 Liang Wenbo 27
21901 *Judd Trump 28
21357 Nigel Bond 29
20795 *Fergal O’Brien 30
20751 Gerard Greene 31
20688 *Anthony Hamilton 32
20620 *Dominic Dale 33
20094 Graeme Dott 34

Anonymous said...

thank you

anyone know who of those in that list are guaranteed top 16 status?

Andrew said...

I think the top 9 are 100% safe (barring points deductions etc.).

Anonymous said...

i thought it was the top 13 in your list...but then i suppose yours is ultra safe and is considering all options to "guarantee"

Anonymous said...

Well is it 17 or 19 frames in the final?
The commentator seemed very sure it was 17 and he should know in these instances.

Anonymous said...

It's 19 frames

Anonymous said...

World snooker says 19 but I also heard the commentators who were adamant that it had gone back to best of 17. Can anyone confirm this for sure?

Anonymous said...

Well I would have to believe the commentators on this one.
After all, who else could know unless the players?
Must be 17, the morning comms man was certain.

Anonymous said...

Well all the leading bookmaker's are taking bets on 19 frames

Anonymous said...

wt* was the commentator(s) mentioning 17 for yesterday?

anyone got a recording of the conversation? you tube?

i only really like mike smith and dave hendon out of the 4. Joe and Mike get it wrong more often than the other 2. far more often. id love a chance at doing the job and would do a trial period of a month for free to showcase my own ability. :D

Anonymous said...

It was Mike Smith that said it - i have to say I was surprised when he mentioned that it was going back to first to 9. Joe Johnson said it was so they could get the last bus back to England

Anonymous said...

i remember the joke by Joe about the 11 o clock last bus but couldnt remember who it was with him, but thinking about it it was Joe and Mike S and Dave and Mike H on other session match....

very strange

if anyone notices the frame on youtube please post a link

Anonymous said...

When joe said it was the 11 o clock bus back to england i thought to myself....one is from wales and the other is from scotland.

some folk think UK means england and england means uk. tut tut joey

Anonymous said...

Imagine Mike Smith getting something wrong.

Anonymous said...

Piss poor that there is no coverage on Eurosport until eight tonight. After showing live snooker all week they can't be bothered to show the final live.
Compelte disgrace

Anonymous said...

well it may increase their purse with folk getting the europlayer thingy

Anonymous said...

besides its available for free online if you know where to look