2017 World Snooker Championship (Day 2) - Rocket lands in Last 16 round
The second day of this year's Betfred World Snooker Championship meant that two more players made their way into the Last 16 round: Ronnie O'Sullivan and Kyren Wilson.
The five-time world champion, Ronnie O'Sullivan held an overnight slight advantage of 5-4 over his opponent, with a last session that proved to be quite tense even though Gary Wilson is a Crucible debutante.
Although "The Rocket" took the first frame of the session, Gary fought back with a 100 break which got as a reply a perfect set of breaks (124, 74 and 83) that eased Ron's way at 9-5. With one more frame needed for the win, no-one would have dared to try and come back into the match, but Wilson did, winning the next two frames with a top break of 103.
Still, Ronnie managed to close with a 90 break to book his place in the next round, in the end punching the air in a pretty emotional way.
Emotions ran wild even after the match finished, as Ronnie had a pretty intense press conference where he stated his case of being "bullied" by World Snooker in the last months, this causing those short-answers that he gave to the press, but also a lot of focus problems in the matches he was involved.
Now, O'Sullivan's words are all over the internet and you can watch his press conference in full here, but what I really want to point out is this:
Ronnie said: "Listen, I play snooker, I love to play snooker. I am all about having fun, I've had the best year of my life and that's because I've been doing my exhibitions, I've been doing my American show, I've done a book, I've worked with EuroSport ... I've never been happier.
Snooker is tough, but I do it because I love it and I feel it gives me something that nothing else give me. But I need to be on perfect condition and my brain needs to be 100 per cent focused because I play with my heart, I can't play any other way.
So, I need to be in good position and in a good frame of mind and I owe it to my fans and I owe it to snooker to just go there and do a job. And that's the most important thing."
Also, joining Ronnie in the Last 16 round is the 2015 Shanghai Masters champion, Kyren Wilson who beat David Grace 10-6.
The match restarted with Kyren in the leading chair at 5-4 up, an advantage that he extended at 7-5 after some really scrappy two frames. Grace tried his luck with a ton (104), but Wilson responded quickly with a 93 and made his way into the following two frames to book his place in the next round.
A very interesting encounter was the one between Shaun Murphy and the 17-year-old Chinese player, Yan Bingtao, "The Magician" being put in quite a difficult position, but still managing to close the first session at 6-3 up.
Bingtao made the most of the second frame by striking his first century break at the Crucible (a beautiful 109), but Murphy was sure to reach the mid-session interval at 3-1 up thanks to runs of 54 and 112.
The bar was raised with another century break from Murphy (a118 this time) to extend his lead, but Bingtao was sure to make some waves with a top break of 67 to win two consecutive frames.
However, "The Magician" worked his magic and managed to use just a top break of 80 to cash the remaining frames and get the upper hand in Monday's conclusion of the match.
Still, the biggest shock of the day was Luca Brecel demolition of Marco Fu's hopes, as the Belgian player holds a 7-2 overnight advantage over him.
Brecel used breaks of 55, 109 and 94 to practically fly at 5-0 up, Fu barely managing to win his first frame of the match before being blown away with runs of 62 and 76.
The Hong Kong player won one more frame before the end of the session, but must climb a real mountain if he wants to even stand the slightest chance of a comeback.
In other matches, Mark Allen is currently leading Jimmy Robertson 5-4, as does Stuart Bingham over Peter Ebdon.
Monday's match schedule:
Ding Junhui v Zhou Yuelong
Stuart Bingham 5-4 Peter Ebdon
Shaun Murphy 6-3 Yan Bingtao
John Higgins v Martin Gould
Marco Fu 2-7 Luca Brecel
Mark Allen 5-4 Jimmy Robertson
*all hours are UK time
Photos credit: World Snooker