Ronnie O’Sullivan v Mark Selby is a snooker rivalry to stand with the best of them because it features contrasting styles and personalities.

O’Sullivan is fast, Selby more methodical. O’Sullivan wears his heart on his sleeve, Selby usually keeps his emotions inside.

But they are both great talents and their Welsh Open semi-final tonight is one to relish. It was here at Newport four years ago that Selby won the last four frames to beat O’Sullivan 9-8 and win the title.

O’Sullivan was very impressive in beating Judd Trump 5-3. He has now moved exactly 100 centuries behind Stephen Hendry on the all time list.

Anyone who still doesn’t understand why Selby is world no.1 should rewatch the last two frames of his match against Stephen Maguire.

It was a lesson in attitude, guts and brinkmanship. Selby should have gone out in the first round but he is still here, just as O’Sullivan survived to the last ball in Germany after his great last 32 escape with Andrew Higginson.

First up is Shaun Murphy v Ding Junhui. Ding’s 5-4 quarter-final victory over Stephen Lee last night ended in horrible fashion when a mobile phone went off just as Lee was down on the green with a chance to win.

There’s no evidence that this was deliberate but it was appalling for Lee who was understandably livid.

Spectators are told to turn their phones off by the MC before the match but I remember saying on commentary at the World Championship two years ago that the audience should be reminded by the referee after the interval as well because, quite obviously, they will switch their phones back on during this 15 minute break.

Murphy won the last two frames to beat Mark Allen 5-4. Allen gamely played on for three snookers in the decider and got two of them.

The skill on show here, coupled with the sporting atmosphere in which it was played, made this one of the best frames of the tournament.


Anonymous said...

great to see Ronnie being so focused, havent seen him like that for a long time.
And he has beaten WILLIAMS and TRUMP!! wouldnt have betted on that before

Ray said...

Here we go again!
Ronnie potted a black yesterday that should never have gone in. WT said "Goodness me ... how on earth did that go in? There must be someone under the table pulling it in"
Today,Ding missed a brown into the yellow pocket and Terry Griffiths commented "Kick or no kick that wouldn't have gone in on one of my club tables" Dominic Dale replied that the general consensus among the players was that the pockets had been really generous for a while now.
The pockets are templated so that 147s can be ratified and to eradicate anomalies, but this is totally self defeating when the pockets are cut easy to create anomalies.
It doesn't do snooker's image any favours to see these balls going in. We keep being told that standards are rising and I agree to a certain extent, but you cannot rule out the contribution such large pockets also have.
Incidentally, on the vexed question of mobile phones perhaps we should bring in the same strict rules they apply at the Golf Masters in Augusta. Spectators are warned beforehand that phones will be confiscated and owners escorted off the course.

jamie brannon said...

O'Sullivan was threatening to hit his unplayable top gear yesterday, he played brilliant snooker yesterday. The 139 break was majestic.

Trump played well to make it as good a match as I've witnessed at the Welsh Open.

Anonymous said...

The Mobile Phone Incident - is bound to happen again unless somebody can persuade the Mobile Phone Industry to support "no ring areas", and even then it would be years before all phones complied. Phone Blockers remain illegal. So surely a new rule is needed giving the Ref discretion to play a shot again. And what's to stop a spectator deliberately getting their phone to make a noise at a key point in the future. Nothing.

Anonymous said...

jamie brannon said...
O'Sullivan was threatening to hit his unplayable top gear yesterday, he played brilliant snooker yesterday. The 139 break was majestic.


he is threatening to hit neutral today :)

his 139 missed pots were majestic (as i bet selby)

Anonymous said...

at the start of a match and the start up after an interval.

ref gets all spectators to stand up.

he then says:

check your mobile phone is swithced off and sit down when you know its off.

from that point onward, if your mobile rings, YOURE EJECTED.

no one offs allowed. no leeway.

rings, yer out!

Anonymous said...

you shouldnt have opened your big mouth before the selby match ron.

egg on face! you played the worst ive seen you in years.