It could only have been pressure that cost Ronnie O'Sullivan a place in the Grand Prix quarter-finals today.

There was the pressure of not being confident with parts of his game, particularly long potting.

And pressure because of who he was playing and the knowledge of what John Higgins is capable of doing.

Higgins must have thought he was out when O'Sullivan twice had good chances to win the eighth. It was to the Scot's credit that he won the decider in one visit because proceedings had become nervy by this point.

O'Sullivan held a 27-17 lead in previous career meetings prior to the match but a number of those wins had come in the Premier League and smaller events.

In ranking tournaments it is now 11-7 to Higgins.

They have now played ten deciders and won five apiece. They were unlucky to draw each other at such an early stage - the last time they played in the last 16 of a ranking event was at the 1996 Thailand Open.

Today's contest was just what the tournament needed.

But the downside is that we've lost one of the star attractions in the second round.


Eric said...

Well done to John Higgins! He did well to hang in there and take his chance in the decider.

Somehow weird to see the world champion wearing no sponsor logos at all on his waistcoat. Not even his own World Series logo was there...

Anonymous said...

When it matters, Higgins takes the win.

Take that you ronnie fanboys.

Black_cat from TSF said...

@Anon 6:20
"When it matters?" I suppose the 10-3 2005 Masters final didn't matter, then. Or the most recent 6-1 trouncing of Higgins by Ronnie, in Shanghai. Selective memory's such a gift, isn't it?
Take that, Higgins fanboy!

Because this is a category I despise: fanboys of both genders.
Ronnie missed quite possibly the frame ball and Higgins never looked back. Hats off to him for that!
These two great players respect each other a lot. But this is an extremely alien concept to the "minds" of fanboys such as...the one above.
Higgins won deservedly.
Take that from a fan of Ronnie's, too!

Anonymous said...

Surely Higgins is a star attraction in his own right. Well done to him. Almost no spectators again for the other match.

Muratcan said...

Well, I don't think Ronnie's loss is a blow for Ronnie fans, if they would want a machine that does make no mistakes, they would have been on Hendry's side, eh? This is what makes Ronnie special. You never know which Ronnie will turn up and it brings the excitement that made me a Ronnie fan ;)

So, pretty entertaining stuff from both, but still to come hopefully..

Anonymous said...

I know, we've lost one of the star attractions. Better luck next time Jamie Cope!

Anonymous said...

it was a brilliant atmosphere being in the crowd today.

go Higgy

Anonymous said...

@ bc

i think that person was referring to head to head in ranking events by "when it matters"

stuartfanning said...

Here's an interesting article relating to this match and the lack of crowds at the tournament.


Black_cat from TSF said...

@ bc

i think that person was referring to head to head in ranking events by "when it matters"

Yes, you're right, you can't argue with facts: Higgins beat Ronnie in rankers more times than the other way round.
What I disliked was the kindergarten attitude of the anonnymous poster - You've broken my toy car and now I'm going to throw your doll in the garbage, neener-neener" - and this made me respond.
Higgins performs better in ranking matches against Ronnie and O'Sullivan seems to be superior in non-rankers or non-MT ones, with the notable exception of the 2001 World final. It's just the way it is.
I am grateful for both of them; definitely a lot more for one of them, but it's a matter of choice.
And since two professionals can respect each other's achievements and characters, it would be nice if this were passed on to their more radical fans.
Wishful thinking.

Anonymous said...

Apologies 1.13am, I was thinking that Shanghai last month was ranking.
Thank you for correcting me.

Anonymous said...

so the masters, premier league etc doesn't matter. haha.... strange as they rate the masters and premier league above lots of the ranking tournaments...

Anonymous said...

sorry to be off topic but a friend of mine was watching the intros of the players last night and wondered why Neil Robertson had such an insulting nickname as 'the thunder from down under'. He thought it was open to ridicule and schoolboy humour and should be dropped- I had not thought of it that way until he mentioned it but he is right!

Anonymous said...


they, whoever you mean by that may rate them higher, but the premier league is invitational and the masters restricted by previous rankings, so that is why head to head in ranking events is more important IMHO.

you are of course open to have a different opinion, but mine isnt wrong.....and either would yours if it differs.


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