China Open 2012 (Day 5) - Beijing thriller

21:50:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

Maguire's revenge
The quarter-finals of this year's China Open can be easily described as dramatic and thrilling. None of the four matches were, what an American would say piece of cake, and none of the matches was won easily despite some pretty clear scorelines.

Stephen Maguire and Ronnie O'Sullivan were the only ones who managed to go all the way through the last frame and keep the tension high, the Scotsman being the one who won the tactical battle on a re-spotted black to set a snooker meeting with Stephen Lee who knock down the defending champion Judd Trump by 5-3.

In the afternoon session, Ding Junhui didn't give too much of a chance to Ali Carter sending the Captain in a solo flight back to the UK with a 5-2 scoreline, while Peter Ebdon messed with Neil Robertson’s head for four hours to finally beat him by 5-3.

O'Sullivan's good form wasn't enough to win him the match
Stephen Maguire was leading Ronnie O'Sullivan by 5-3 after the first session of the German Masters final, only to lose after a few hours by 9-7. That was happening at the beginning of February, but Maguire didn't forget that defeat. That's for certain considering how he fought against Ronnie today.

He flew all the way to 2-0 with breaks of 57 and 76, but O'Sullivan was also in a good form, so he replayed with a series of 88 and 60 to draw level as the interval as kicking off.

After the 15-minute break the Scotsman was taking the lead once more, this time with a bit of help from a 79 break, but when he missed an easy blue during the 6th frame, O'Sullivan transformed that chance in a beautiful 102 clearance.
Big Lee is in the semis

Refusing to surrender Maguire hit in runs of 38 and 40 to go 4-3 up, but as before O’Sullivan was coming back at him to force the decider.

It was during the last frame when Maguire missed a black off its spot on a 29, O'Sullivan coming for a 54 stopped by missing a red. A life line for the Scottish player that went on to clear the table with a 33 and force a re-spotted black. What a better way to finish a match played in such  a close and unique way, than with a re-spotted black?

It didn't last too long before Maguire took his chances with a cross double, the black ball refusing to go into the left middle pocket, but heading from there "across the street" into the right one. Maguire was winning by 5-4.

Trump fails to defend his Chinese crown
At the next table the defending champion, Judd Trump and the recent winner of the PTC Grand Finals crown, Stephen Lee were fighting for a place in the semi-finals as well.

It felt like one of those days for Trump, one of those winning days, when he used breaks of 65 and 92 to capture the first two frames, but Lee didn't let that get to him and answered with two great century breaks of 113 and 107.

At returning into the arena Lee became in charge of the match's faith for the first time and extended his lead at 4-2 after stopping his break on 60, Trump coming for a 30 but missing the last pink, then Lee sending it to a hungry-for-balls pocket.

Still, Trump continued to fight for his beloved crown that last year was bringing him into the eyes of the public and actually managed to pull back a frame with a top break of just 37.

However, Big Bear Lee decided the match lasted too much and closed the deal with a perfect 96 for a 5-3 result.

Local star Ding Junhui gets a place in the next round
The third quarter-final match of the day saw the local star Ding Junhui sending the Captain Ali Carter home with a 5-2 result after ending the first session leading him by 3-1.

Although Carter did manage to hit the only century break of the match during frame two, win the 5th frame with a 43 and had a pretty good and consistent fight throughout the tournament, Ding proved to be too strong for him.

With runs of 71 and 63 the 2012 Welsh Open champion was booking himself  place in tomorrow's semi-finals, letting Carter to fly back to the UK and get on practicing for the coming World Championship.

Slow, but efficient - Peter Ebdon
Also sent home for practicing was Neil Robertson, the Australian getting beat by "The Ebdonator" Peter with a 5-3 result.

One of the most surprising match endings of this tournament was to see Peter Ebdon getting to Robbo's way of playing the game but also managing to find enough form as to beat him.

The lads were all square at the interval, although it could haven been a 3-1 lead for Robertson if he had killed the second frame and not missed the red on 53, thus not giving Ebbo the chance to win it on the black.

Curly Robbo is heading back home
Still, after the break the Aussie put his nose back in front with a 51 break, but Ebdon didn’t lose any time and restored the equality with a 46 one.

From this point on, Robertson was quite unable to get back on track, Ebbo taking the lead for the first time at 4-3 and ending the Australian’s misery during the next frame for a place in the next round.

Day 5 list of results:

Judd Trump  3-5 Stephen Lee
Stephen Maguire  5-4 Ronnie O'Sullivan

Ding Junhui 5-2 Ali Carter
Neil Robertson 3-5 Peter Ebdon

Tomorrow the semi-finals are kicking off the first two players to get six frames under their belt, having guaranteed a place in the final.

SF1 Stephen Maguire v. Stephen Lee

SF2 Ding Junhui v. Peter Ebdon

*all hours are UK time

TV coverage:
07:30 - 10:30 British EuroSport (LIVE)
13:00 - 15:30 British EuroSport (LIVE)
21:30 - 23:00 British EuroSport