2015 World Championship (Day 5) - O'Sullivan sets snooker rendez-vous with Stevens

03:07:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

Our fifth day here at the mighty, yet intimate Crucible Theatre from Sheffield saw the likes of Ronnie O'Sullivan, Matthew Stevens and Joe Perry getting a well-deserved spot in the Last 16 round.

The Rocket Ronnie O'Sullivan put his foot down (this time fully dressed, with matching socks and personal shoes) and cruised towards victory, after leading Craig Steadman 7-2 at the end of the first round.

Just one more frame, that's all that Craig could do in front of not-so-vintage Ronnie, but enough-to-get-over-the-line Rocket who used just a top break of 54 to end businesses at 10-3.

After the match O'Sullivan explained what happened the other day regarding his shoes-incident and as expected, it was all due to the fact that his shoes were new and you know what happens when you buy a new pair - you might get uncomfortable.

Sure, that's no excuse to untie your laces and play in your socks, but I'll let the WPBSA worry about that.

“I bought some new shoes before the tournament and it was a bad, bad move,” said O’Sullivan. 

“When I was buying them I thought ‘these don’t look right’ but I’m not into fashion so I bought them anyway.

“When I put Mike’s shoes on and they had this big instep in them, but actually they were so comfortable, they were like heaven. Thanks to Mike because I was desperate, I was even asking people in the crowd if they could lend me some size eights.”

Funnily enough his opponent declared: "Hand on my heart I didn’t even notice when he took his shoes off. It sounds stupid because he was sat right next to me, but I didn’t know until the referee told him to put them back on. I said to him you can use one of mine if you want, we can use one each.”

But getting back to more serious matters, Matthew Stevens obtained a magnificent victory of 10-2 in front of his friend and country-man Mark Williams.

The lads finished their first session on Wednesday night, with Stevens taking the lead 7-2 thanks to solid breaks of 111, 57, 96, 51 and 47 as well as a lot of misses from his playing partner side.

So, when the lads returned into the arena to finish their match, it was really no surprise to see Stevens knock on breaks of 115, 45 and 76 to win three consecutive frames and thus set a Last 16 meeting with an old rival, Ronnie O'Sullivan.

Joe Perry is to meet the winner of Shaun Murphy v. Robin Hull match, as the Gentleman recorded a 10-4 victory over China's Zhang Anda.

The first session was a one-sided classic snooker affair with Joe hitting the ball smoothly and recording breaks of 56, 94, 38 and 35 while his opponent was out of sorts and just managed to answer with a break of 80 points to trail 8-1.

But when they returned for the evening session things got off a bit different and we started to wonder if something might have happened to Perry's form.

Zhang made breaks of 59 and 132 to win three frames in a row and put quite enough pressure on his opponent, who started missing.

Still, he did find enough strength to go 9-3 up at the interval and win a tense 14th frame with just a top break of 39 after that. Not an easy second-half road towards the Last 16 round by any means!

All odds seem to point to Shaun Murphy as his new opponent, as the Englishman finished the first session against Finland's Robin Hull 7-2 up.

Murphy hit breaks of 97, 101, 48, 62 and 46, while his rival of the green baize only made a top break of 52.

Must add here that Shaun had a 147 attempt (I think this is the 6th of the tournament), but lost position on 48 and had to take the pink.

Young Judd Trump took on Crucible-debutant Stuart Carrington, after their first session the Bristolian leading by 7 frames to 2.

Thursday match schedule is a bit lighter than usual, but things get even more serious as four players begin their Last 16 marathon:

Judd Trump v. Stuart Carrington (7-2)
Mark Selby v. Anthony McGill (Last 16)

Shaun Murphy v. Robin Hull (7-2)
Ding Junhui v. John Higgins (Last 16)

*all hours are UK time