Day 1 Masters Snooker Extra


Day 1

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We're heading back to London's ally paly and the Master's Snooker.

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Hello, the masters is the second longest running snooker event in the

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calendar and always provides plenty of drammia. Now, this year, arguably

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we have the highest quality field ever because every single one of the

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players involved is the owner of at least one major world ranking title.

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Never happened in the past. But none of them has mastered this event more

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often than Ronnie O'Sullivan, a six-times champion and the defending

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champion here at Alexandra Palace here in North London. Today he's

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taking on Liang Wenbo who's in a breakthrough season with the first

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big tite in the English Open in Manchester last October. Matches

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between them, albeit Ronnie wins five-to-one, have generally be close

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of late. This one promised much. We're going to join the commentary

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from Dennis Taylor and a man who graced three finals, it's John

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Parrott. APPLAUSE

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Don't think he's covered the outside red here, this is a chance for

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Ronnie. Not easy, of course, first shot.

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It's very important to get a good start in any match, but particularly

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against Ronnie O'Sullivan. It's effectively his own back yard, he's

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got to score today, Liang, and heavily.

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I love watching Liang Wenbo play. He really is very exciting. A bit of a

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character as well. He's one of those players, John,

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that just loves the stage like here, packed house at Alexandra Palace. He

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plays his best snooker under these conditions. What conditions they

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are, look at this wonderful venue. 1500 in a couple of years ago, now

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it's 2,000 capacity. Very popular event here in London. Why not!

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Should be in for a real treat this week.

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The tournament that first started in 1974/75 season, won by the late

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great John Spencer. 9-8 in the final then, and kept going ever since. '79

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to 2006, it was in the conference centre, the next five years it went

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to the arena and for the last - this is has seaminglessly taken over of

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this wonderful event. And, of course, we mustn't forget the new

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London theatre in Drury Lane, it was played there, that was a terrific

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venue. Well-established now, as you say, John, always packed out here. I

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used to love playing in this event. There's a real buzz about it. It's

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your reward of being a top player for playing well through the year.

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You know full well you have got to be at it right from the get-go. No

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way to hide here. One table, and you got to bring your stuff with you, no

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good trying to find it because you won't win this event by doing that.

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You got to come here with your A-game, too many good players.

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That could be the end of break. He was just a little bit unlucky.

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Didn't quite get enough right side in potting that brown to go into the

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bunch. A little bit more side to hit the pink and red. He's be

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disappointed he had a big target there. It's his first proper visit

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on the table, but that was a big target for him to hit.

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE Decided to have a go at the double

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and the only red he had to leave was the double and he left the chance

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for Ronnie to have that red. Can you put that camera away, please. He did

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mention no cameras please, but the referee just emphasising that.

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Lovely touch that. APPLAUSE

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I don't know whether he's - you see the red go in, whether he's got the

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angle to get into the pack like Liang did. Wow. His angle on that

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wasn't the same as Liang's. It was a bit more difficult shot that one,

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but couldn't quite get the side on. Yeah, so easy to go in off that last

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shot that Ronnie attempted. APPLAUSE

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That's the angle you have and you need to hit it on the right-hand

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side, avoid the middle pocket and he didn't quite manage that.

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Even though it's the best of 11, always nice to get off to a good

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start. He's had plenty of good starts in the Masters. Six times the

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Masters champion. I think some of Ronnie's best snooker ever has been

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played in this event. The demolition of Wi was astounding. He's played

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some great stuff here. Not particularly appetising for

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Liang, he's just got to be careful here. Probably try to drop in the

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back of the pack here. All this talk about Ronnie being the

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greatest break builder of all time but he's got a fabulous tactical and

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safety game. Which you have to have. You have to be able to mix it.

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Not the best safety this time from Ronnie. Liang Wenbo can have a g at

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this red and get himself on to the black and it's a bit of a free shot

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because once again the only ball he could leave would be the red he's

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having a go at but if he misses it, he could quite easily send it into

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the pack, but it's a half-chance this. He's pretty good at this type

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of pot. APPLAUSE

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Concentrated so hard on getting the pot which was difficult in itself.

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As you see, straight in the centre of the pocket but just lost the

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white. Stop there is. Now would have been perfect, but not much he can do

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here really. Just going back to the venues, John,

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the Wembley Conference Centre, he was so far away from the table. Here

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you're closer to the table. It used to be there was players and all

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sorts between you and the table, it was quite a long walk to get back to

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your seat, took a lot of getting used-to in that venue. But then

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you'd have 2,700 people there in the final. A long walk when you were

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getting... I know that. Players were tripping other over the plants in

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that place -- tripping over the plants in that place.

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APPLAUSE That's a terrific shot. I think he

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can take the brown because there is a red just to the right of the pink

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and the bunch that's available. Oh! He didn't see that coming. He

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was perfectly on the red. Well, second chance really for Liang here.

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Just caught the near jaw. Now, perfect position on the blue. And

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this is a lovely pack to go into. That red next to the pink is making

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it better. If he can hit that one full or red and pink together, this

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should open up lovely. Just got to be careful that the pink doesn't

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head towards left corner pocket when he counters into them.

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I thought he would have hit them a little harder than that. He had to

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go into them harder than that. He got a little bit lucky to finish

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there. They were begging to be hit hard. But he's on one.

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Tell you what, John, this table looks beautiful. I thought he was

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going to come up short on the blue, but it's very, very quick and the

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players like it that way. He's got a nice shot here. He pot this is blue

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and leaves himself low on the red, he can pop the red and splits the

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pack up if he wants to play it that way. This is the cue ball to go a

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bit more. If it does, that's what he's looking for - pot the red and

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counters into the reds, guaranteed to be on the pink and a few into

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play. Loved to have another couple of inches of row on that cue ball,

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it could have been perfect. 34-point advantage, he could win the frame if

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he could play the shot John suggested. Not a lot there.

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So change of plan and this time is he going to go far enough? He's

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going to have to take the pink if he's going to split the reds and

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straightaway, gets the rest out. It's a natural angle to pop the pink

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and split those Fyfe reds. When you think of this shot - both players

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are had a go on the brown and didn't get enough side on the cue ball to

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split the pack early in the frame. Sometimes on these new cloth and the

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cushions, they throw a little bit different. So got to judge this

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correctly. Missed the pack. And this is all

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come from that one shot off the blue. If he got the right angle on

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that bottom red, it was frame over. Not thrown as wide as he thought and

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missed the pack. He might have a 41-point lead here,

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this is a dangerous board, it really is. He opens the reds up here, only

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the brown in an awkward position, so got to be very careful.

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This require good cueing, you can only to see enough of this red. He

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had a couple of looks at that, but he's looking at an alternate.

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Just the safety shot. He needs a good cue ball here.

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Not bad, but there is a half-chance for Liang. He's a devastatingly long

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potter, Ronnie knows that. He practises enough for this, the

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Chinese player. This is not straightforward and he's got to find

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the gap back around the table. Much too thick. Now what damage has he

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done here? Mis-hit that completely. What a chance for Ronnie to get

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right back in this opening frame. Yes, not only the damage of missing

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it, you flip the red. Double whammy it. Misses it by a mile and brings

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that red into play. A good chance for a counter play or it should have

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been. And just nicked past the yellow enough to pop it in.

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Just a bit of a noise. A late-comer getting into a seat, but someone is

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making a bit of noise there. See if Paul has spotted. See if you can get

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the blue and the other one turned off, thank you. Just a couple of

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lights, I think, maybe in the line of sight which is a little

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off-putting. Just reflecting on to the railings

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there that are catching Ronnie's eye.

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He's going to wait until they get the light off. It is putting him off

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and he know this is is quite a good chance here to get himself right

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back into the frame. So we're going to find the switch that will get rid

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of that blue light. Two lights. Just one red that's safe here that could

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come to Liang Wenbo's rescue. The one near the cushion, as John

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mentioned, if he knocked the other red out into the open...

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APPLAUSE Frank Baker heading off there. The

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light is switched off. You mentioned that red on the top cushion, ideally

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Ronnie would like to get the black into place at least you only need to

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drop that red in. In a perfect world that's what he'd like to do. There

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we go, if we can get on the black now, pot it, stay on the red next to

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the pic, or just gone a bit too far? Change of plan. He did play on the

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black there. This is a lively cloth. This is a tricky little cutback now.

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Can he avoid the contact on the brown here, Dennis? He'll have to

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put a bit of juice on it, just a little bit to avoid that. Only just.

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Yep. APPLAUSE

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Haven't used that term before - little bit of juice. Another word

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for "a little bit of side." Mentioned earlier, looked like a

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dangerous position for Liang, even though he was a few points in front.

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All the balls in possible positions with maybe the exception of the

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brown. You can see Ronnie trying to work out the best way. Ideally, as I

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say, he'd like to drop the black in and play on the loose red. This has

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got counter-clearance written all over it. And Liang could kick

:18:41.:18:45.

himself with the chances he's had in this frame. Doing exactly as you

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predicted, John, getting the black back on the spot. And he doesn't

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want to be dead straight, though. APPLAUSE

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And that looks as if it's almost straight. So - well, not much of an

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angle. Yep, that could always happen. His

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alternate would be to make sure the pot and play the snooker in behind

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the black, but very little angle to work with there. In fact, the red

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jumped a few times. Not the best safety Liang Wenbo's

:19:24.:19:50.

ever played, but on the other hand, this is far from easy. Oh, what a

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pot! CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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What a cracking pot that is! A Ronnie O'Sullivan special there! All

:20:07.:20:12.

about brown to blue now. That's going to be the key factor.

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I tell you what - it is lively this cloth, isn't it? Hardly touched

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that. Straight back. Perfect angle and what a red that was.

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Now, has he left himself a decent angle or is he a little bit

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straight? APPLAUSE

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He had that little bit of angle that John mentioned.

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Is that going to come up a little bit short? He only needs the pink,

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so no problem. Doesn't matter about getting on the black.

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APPLAUSE He's going to pot the black.

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APPLAUSE It has to be said, Liang Wenbo had a

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few chances there to take that opening frame, but he didn't and

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Ronnie O'Sullivan, with that cracking long red to get in there,

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takes the frame and he leads one frame to nil.

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That red covered the one that's near the pocket? I don't think so. Liang

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Wenbo can get through to cut this in and I think he'll avoid countering

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into the bunch of reds and the pink. If he did do it, it wouldn't be the

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worst thing in the world but it's all about making sure the pot and

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let the white take care of itself here. I was going to say, one of

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these shots to say the red is over the pocket, but it's difficult to

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get position, isn't it? APPLAUSE

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Except for that, it's gone through a gap which I didn't see. He's

:23:11.:23:11.

perfect. LAUGHS

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That's what he was looking at there - you can see. Wasn't absolutely

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certain about the cue ball but to find the gap was a bonus as we show

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you the shot again. Not the gap he played for but he'll take that. Just

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giving himself a little bit of extra time here to make sure that he gets

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this next shot correct because if he can get good position, he could give

:23:44.:23:47.

himself an early chance here in this third frame.

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I think the pink is out of commission, the black is a little

:23:57.:24:03.

bit awkward, a little bit like it was in the earlier frame. This is a

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much more difficult chance than the one he had in the second frame. The

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black is really awkward. I don't blame him taking his time a little

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bit. He is 2-0 down after all. If it's 3-0 down, I don't fancy him at

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all. And somehow he's got to get himself on the blue. He's just

:24:33.:24:35.

checking the pink if it could possibly go into the right middle

:24:36.:24:40.

pocket. Looks a bit tight - that. Find out shortly the way he plays

:24:41.:24:42.

this shot. But that's overhit by quite a way

:24:43.:24:56.

there. That's just a little bit of tension there.

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We mentioned how quick the cloth is. That's such a difficult shot to play

:25:04.:25:12.

on a really quick cloth. -- cloth - the side cushion. The yellow as

:25:13.:25:21.

well. May have left Ronnie a long red on the right-hand side, but have

:25:22.:25:28.

a look at the black. It's very, very tight if he was to leave it where he

:25:29.:25:32.

was cueing there. Well, maybe he can. He can get on that if he stuns

:25:33.:25:42.

it right through. A few inches. Oh, he had an angle to come on and off

:25:43.:25:47.

the cushion again on the black. Unexpected miss there from Ronnie

:25:48.:25:54.

and a chance for Liang Wenbo to -- Wenbo. To show you the miss again.

:25:55.:25:58.

Wenbo can believe that black after potting this red because we know

:25:59.:26:02.

it's available. Little bit straight, but looks as if he's going to miss

:26:03.:26:08.

it to the right of the pocket as we watch him cueing there, but safely

:26:09.:26:10.

and this will open the black up. Well played there. Just a little run

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through to land on this loose red. We keep harping on about it, but if

:26:47.:26:50.

you're going to have a future in this match, Liang, you got to score

:26:51.:26:52.

now. Need to keep going, that, because he

:26:53.:27:20.

wanted to have an angle on the blue to play for the red that's just to

:27:21.:27:24.

the left to have black. Looks a bit straight now. He'll have to power

:27:25.:27:25.

this through with lots of side. He's going to be a bit close to the

:27:26.:27:35.

cushion, but he's got the red that's near the right corner. It was quite

:27:36.:27:40.

cleverly played that shot, wasn't it, the way he did that? I don't

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often to say to people, "How do you make a break", we try to leave

:27:46.:27:49.

yourself in a position with a couple of options. He played well. If he

:27:50.:27:53.

didn't get the red on the black, he had this one.

:27:54.:27:59.

APPLAUSE Very controlled. A lot better shot.

:28:00.:28:11.

He's done that right across the face of the black. That was really well

:28:12.:28:18.

controlled. And you can sense already, Dennis, can't you, Liang

:28:19.:28:22.

knows how important this frame is. He knows how important the next shot

:28:23.:28:26.

is going to be when he leaves himself on the black to split the

:28:27.:28:30.

bunch of reds up. That's going to be key.

:28:31.:28:34.

This is the one that could pave the way. Pave the way to taking his

:28:35.:28:42.

first frame of the match. It's not the best pack of reds to go into. He

:28:43.:28:46.

needs to get plenty of action on this.

:28:47.:28:52.

Yep. That red is available to him and he'll just run through and leave

:28:53.:29:12.

himself on the pink or the black. Once again, he finds himself with a

:29:13.:29:16.

near 40-point lead and really there's no excuse from here.

:29:17.:29:21.

Somebody of his quality, this is an excellent chance. -- chance to take

:29:22.:29:26.

the frame. See Liang there taking a nice deep

:29:27.:29:50.

breath and he's walking around there. He knows this is the one

:29:51.:29:55.

chance. The referee respoted the ball. Deep breath and go again. And

:29:56.:30:03.

then that concentration level. This is what he's very good at -

:30:04.:30:33.

Liang - close cue ball control around the pink and black area. He

:30:34.:30:36.

scored very heavily and very quickly. A little of stun and screw

:30:37.:30:46.

shots. It racks up the points very quickly.

:30:47.:30:54.

Yeah, he knocked in 30 last season, 18 this season, he let the white run

:30:55.:31:01.

a little further than he intended. So... Safely in.

:31:02.:31:06.

APPLAUSE You can see 67 ahead with 59

:31:07.:31:16.

remaining. He can relax a little bit.

:31:17.:31:21.

This is an excellent response. We said, Dennis, at the start of this

:31:22.:31:28.

frame, this is what he had to do to score. He had a little bit of help

:31:29.:31:33.

from Ronnie in this frame. It has to be said, I didn't expect Ronnie to

:31:34.:31:38.

miss, but nevertheless, he's taken these very well. With Ronnie's shot,

:31:39.:31:45.

we thought we'd drag that one in, but come up for the black, but that

:31:46.:31:49.

wasn't meant to be. Shows really good character here - Liang.

:31:50.:32:01.

He's got a lovely swagger with him around the table - a very confident

:32:02.:32:08.

swagger. He's a lovely lad, this Liang Wenbo - but he's got this way

:32:09.:32:12.

around the table and when he's playing well, you know, it's as if,

:32:13.:32:21.

"I'm the boss, the big boss." You remember that, John - Bruce Lee, the

:32:22.:32:23.

big boss? No reason why he shouldn't go to

:32:24.:32:45.

make a century break, first one of this year's Masters, and his cue

:32:46.:32:51.

ball control has been exemplary. Funny feeling won't be the only one

:32:52.:32:55.

this week, Dennis. There'll be a few of them, John.

:32:56.:33:05.

APPLAUSE A magnificent century break from

:33:06.:33:10.

Liang Wenbo who's 185th century break of his career. Coming just at

:33:11.:33:15.

the right time for him and his supporters.

:33:16.:33:23.

That really sets this first round match-up. I mentioned after the two

:33:24.:33:29.

frames, in fireworks. Well, we had a few in this frame all coming from

:33:30.:33:36.

the Chinese player. Doesn't matter about the pink. He only had one

:33:37.:33:42.

chance and didn't he take it well. He made a century break, but he

:33:43.:33:44.

still trails 2-1. Liang Wenbo will be helping to

:33:45.:34:17.

continue where he left off. A decent break off shot.

:34:18.:34:18.

APPLAUSE I had a good chat with Ronnie at the

:34:19.:34:52.

interval. Had a cup of coffee with him. He's saying he's enjoying being

:34:53.:34:56.

out there. He seemed level-headed about it all. Did he mention

:34:57.:35:01.

anything about the tip because as I passed in the corridor, it was a bit

:35:02.:35:05.

of sand paper or something... He did give a bit of a surgery at the end

:35:06.:35:10.

of it, but it seems fine now, no great issues about that. He was in

:35:11.:35:12.

good spirits. Position play is difficult off this.

:35:13.:36:22.

You'll think he'll go for the blue. Can't really get on pink or black.

:36:23.:36:28.

Just have a look at which way the cue ball will go. Someone say no

:36:29.:36:34.

problem with the opening red, but what is he going to get on? Well, he

:36:35.:36:39.

thinks he can pop this. Go past the blue, come off the side cushion and

:36:40.:36:43.

try to get somewhere near that red he was looking at. To get on the

:36:44.:36:48.

black, this will be some shot. Seemed to have a little bit of

:36:49.:37:02.

movement on that shot. He just seemed to - he didn't cue that one

:37:03.:37:06.

as smoothly as he has been cueing the ones before the interval. I

:37:07.:37:09.

think they were shots that have a bit more pressure on them. You tend

:37:10.:37:13.

to see a malfunction in the cue action, don't you, with Liang

:37:14.:37:17.

occasionally. Seen a couple of times this afternoon already. What a

:37:18.:37:21.

chance he's left Ronnie O'Sullivan now.

:37:22.:37:22.

APPLAUSE He did have a 55 break in the second

:37:23.:37:44.

frame but the look at where the reds are situated here - all the colours

:37:45.:37:47.

are in open play. You're in the going to mention the M

:37:48.:37:59.

word earlier on, are you, Dennis? It's too soon for me, but as you can

:38:00.:38:03.

see, they're sitting nicely. Even though we're not mentioning it,

:38:04.:38:24.

I'm going to talk about it. You know all three of them, do you, Dennis? I

:38:25.:38:33.

know Stevens with the white suit had the first one. Jimmy White had one.

:38:34.:38:40.

I don't think it might be that, it's Ding. I thought Jimmy did. No, and

:38:41.:38:54.

the other one was Marco Fu. Jimmy was playing against the Canadian

:38:55.:38:55.

Kurt Stevens when he made his. John, we were obviously chatting

:38:56.:40:07.

away there, there's no chance of a maximum in this range, so. Highest

:40:08.:40:14.

break in itself is well worth winning, ?10,000 for the highest

:40:15.:40:18.

break here. Not to be sniffed at. Ronnie will be trying to put a

:40:19.:40:20.

marker down for that one. Taking these very well so far,

:40:21.:41:09.

Ronnie, but obviously the break was helped by Liang to get the start of

:41:10.:41:14.

it. Poor shot on the red here. Shouldn't really be missing those.

:41:15.:41:23.

Got himself with a foothold in this match certainly from 2 behind. Just

:41:24.:41:27.

thinking if he can get a good start and goes and misses a red like that!

:41:28.:41:41.

Looks like his concentration is back in order, Dennis? I think it came in

:41:42.:42:01.

at the right time, get himself a cup of tea, relax. But this is him

:42:02.:42:06.

showing all his experience. Frame safe. Concentrate on the

:42:07.:42:36.

possible century. 856 centuries he's made in his career.

:42:37.:42:44.

There is a strong possibility he'd go on to be a player that made 1,000

:42:45.:42:51.

century breaks in a career! APPLAUSE

:42:52.:43:00.

Just hit the wrong red there. That might have spoiled the century. Just

:43:01.:43:09.

countered the wrong red otherwise he may have cleared the table. Can he

:43:10.:43:14.

see that? No, it just had to try and fluke a red there. But well played.

:43:15.:43:21.

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE He's come out after the mid-session

:43:22.:43:26.

interval firing with all cylinders. That's enough to take the frame.

:43:27.:43:31.

Ronnie O'Sullivan back in front at 3-2 frames.

:43:32.:43:47.

Not quite on the cushion with the cue ball. One of the shots that the

:43:48.:43:55.

players do practice a lot these days - this type of shot.

:43:56.:44:01.

APPLAUSE Cue ball needs to pull up. It just

:44:02.:44:14.

keeps rolling, all he can do is just nestle in behind the brown. Good

:44:15.:44:22.

opening pot, though. Had he dropped on a ball colour, it may have been

:44:23.:44:26.

an early chance. APPLAUSE

:44:27.:44:44.

Yeah, nice pot, but that fast cloth prevented him from stopping nicely

:44:45.:44:55.

on a ball colour. With lots of side to make the angle and he's failed

:44:56.:45:05.

that. He touched the brown there. He was trying to get a bit of swerve on

:45:06.:45:11.

it, but took it straight into the brown.

:45:12.:45:21.

I think Liang Wenbo had put the white so close to the brown, it made

:45:22.:45:28.

it quite difficult to get the angle to just nestle into those reds.

:45:29.:45:38.

Once again, the swerve shot. Loads of side.

:45:39.:45:46.

In the end, just a little bit too much on it, but wants the middle

:45:47.:46:07.

pocket. If he rolls this red into the left

:46:08.:46:22.

middle pocket, he won't be perfect on the black. He'd like to stun it

:46:23.:46:30.

in, but it make it is shot slightly more difficult. He's hampered

:46:31.:46:37.

slightly, I think. Not too bad. If he gets a bit of screw on it, it

:46:38.:46:40.

will get closer to the black. No. It's been interesting today with

:46:41.:46:56.

Liang Wenbo. There's been a bit extra pressure on the shot. His cue

:46:57.:47:01.

action isn't always as been reliable as when there isn't. Doesn't quite

:47:02.:47:06.

seem to cue as well when there's that little bit of added pressure.

:47:07.:47:08.

APPLAUSE The trouble is - when you got this

:47:09.:47:19.

fellow following you, you tend the pay for your mistakes.

:47:20.:47:24.

This is quite a good chance already with that loose red at the back of

:47:25.:47:29.

the pack. Ideally Ronnie would like to play

:47:30.:47:44.

this, leave the cue ball slightly low on the red, he would pot it and

:47:45.:47:49.

leave a few more into play and leave himself on the black. That's what

:47:50.:47:50.

he's played for. Just have to play the run through

:47:51.:48:05.

there, but once again promoted a red.

:48:06.:48:34.

Got a choice of shots here, where he could either move the pack out or

:48:35.:48:41.

screw and move the loose red away. That's the one he played on.

:48:42.:48:42.

APPLAUSE Ideally like to stun up into the

:48:43.:48:57.

pack here. Nice and firm. Oh, played the screw shot. Couldn't

:48:58.:49:07.

have come out any better. APPLAUSE

:49:08.:49:15.

Looks like he's going through the... He's one of the best in the business

:49:16.:49:21.

of that particular type of shot there where he gets so much action

:49:22.:49:25.

on the cue ball, it stops in the pack and then keeps on spinning.

:49:26.:49:40.

Last frame lasted under 10 minutes. A break of 89. This frame is not

:49:41.:49:48.

going to last very long by the look of things. No, not while he looks as

:49:49.:49:53.

focused as he does. I agree with you, Dennis - I think the interval

:49:54.:49:56.

has been very good. Simple little shot on to the loose

:49:57.:50:30.

red on the outside. Of course once he pots this, the red that's on the

:50:31.:50:32.

left of the three will be available. And the bottom one on the right is

:50:33.:50:49.

also available. So perfect position for him.

:50:50.:50:56.

He's taken these supremely well. Once again, Dennis, I think he's

:50:57.:51:08.

done well. Potting that red leaves the past for the other two in the

:51:09.:51:19.

right corner. You see the difference - 61. Once again, just a matter of

:51:20.:51:27.

whether he can make a century. Not going to be easy with the red tight

:51:28.:51:34.

on the side cushion. Almost got the century in the previous frame, just

:51:35.:51:43.

misjudged a little. All about winning frames, the centuries are

:51:44.:51:45.

nice, but... APPLAUSE

:51:46.:51:52.

Have to be a spectacular red down the cushion to keep this effort

:51:53.:51:56.

going. Long way, away, but he won't be too

:51:57.:52:05.

concerned about that. He just got the one chance and what did he do?

:52:06.:52:10.

He won the frame with that chance! And now Ronnie O'Sullivan opens up a

:52:11.:52:15.

two frame advantage. It's now 4-2 to the Rocket.

:52:16.:52:49.

Oh, there might be a gap through to that one. It's tight, but maybe the

:52:50.:52:59.

brown - no, he can't pot that. See, the red into the right corner

:53:00.:53:29.

is not very inviting because he can't get on a colour.

:53:30.:53:47.

Not often you see a player play a safety shot at this end of the

:53:48.:53:51.

table. That was the case there. Just looking to see where he can

:53:52.:54:32.

leave the cue ball off the side cushion when he plays off the side

:54:33.:54:36.

of the pack here. He's playing off the loose red at the back of the

:54:37.:54:40.

pack, but obviously wants to cover the red on the left-hand side so

:54:41.:54:44.

it's not easy for Liang to get back down to the baulk area off that

:54:45.:54:50.

loose red. But has he hit it just a little bit too hard? He may have

:54:51.:54:55.

left that red just to clip off past the yellow.

:54:56.:55:42.

That's just helped the situation, brought the pink into play.

:55:43.:56:50.

APPLAUSE Black is tied up at the moment. I

:56:51.:56:59.

think the black is tied up, I don't think it goes into the left corner.

:57:00.:57:03.

Yeah, Liang can play off the face of this up and down but he's got to be

:57:04.:57:07.

careful with the red itself going across and hitting the pack of reds,

:57:08.:57:11.

and maybe knocking something towards other corner. So even with a shot

:57:12.:57:16.

like this, you have to be a little bit of careful. Trans -- little bit

:57:17.:57:18.

careful. APPLAUSE

:57:19.:57:44.

Nicely shufflely hit that so the red didn't counter into anything else.

:57:45.:57:45.

Good touch. I think the brown is going to come

:57:46.:58:08.

to the rescue here, is it? APPLAUSE

:58:09.:58:13.

He's just covered it, or has he? I think he has. Can't see the potting

:58:14.:58:20.

angle of it. So it's imperative that he got a good cue ball there. I

:58:21.:58:26.

think Liang is just looking to see if he can move the cue ball near the

:58:27.:58:31.

top cushion, just hit that red maybe halfball and leave the cue ball at

:58:32.:58:36.

the top end because I don't think he can pot that, can he, Dennis? No, if

:58:37.:58:42.

he was away from the cushion he can play writ a little bit of a curve,

:58:43.:58:47.

but if it's away from the cushion it's not a shot that's available to

:58:48.:58:52.

him. If he come off the side cushion and play on to that red, but either

:58:53.:58:55.

way it looks like that's what he's going to do, a containment shot

:58:56.:58:58.

here. Unless he's got better eyesight than the both of us.

:58:59.:59:07.

Yeah, that was a better shot than the one I was looking at. He played

:59:08.:59:26.

the other red on the other side, he could have left that red he's just

:59:27.:59:30.

played off as a cutback. So much better choice of choice than mine.

:59:31.:59:39.

Boy, is that a test of your cueing. Well, here goes!

:59:40.:59:51.

He's been very measured, Ronnie O'Sullivan. He hasn't taken any

:59:52.:00:09.

undue risks. APPLAUSE

:00:10.:00:17.

He's what they call pnls at the moment. It's another good safety. He

:00:18.:00:24.

knows if he can get this frame under his belt, he'll only need one, Liang

:00:25.:00:28.

Wenbo would have to win three. Both played some excellent safety

:00:29.:00:44.

shots but that one is coming up a little bit shorter. Though at first

:00:45.:00:48.

glance it looks like everything is covering each other. Win

:00:49.:00:53.

He played that as a shot forking in, but this is pretty difficult to do,

:00:54.:01:24.

just to roll up that way to this. Seen plenty of players coming up

:01:25.:01:28.

Little shots like that that can get happens quite a lot that, Dennis,

:01:29.:19:30.

Little shots like that that can get Ronnie annoyed. He's 39 in front.

:19:31.:19:35.

Most of the time he'd go on and make enough toll secure the frame.

:19:36.:19:43.

-- to secure the frame. Not an easy chance by any means, but it's a

:19:44.:19:50.

chance that Liang Wenbo wasn't expecting. Yep, good for him to

:19:51.:19:56.

knock the black in and get that back up on its spot as well, that will

:19:57.:19:59.

help. Pink is out of commission. Once again, played that quite

:20:00.:20:11.

cleverly. Got a choice of shots, red next to the yellow or the one near

:20:12.:20:16.

the corner. That's the one he'll take. In the context of the level of

:20:17.:20:25.

snooker that we're playing at, this constitutes a chance. And a pretty

:20:26.:20:32.

big one at that. One or two cannons away here from making this a

:20:33.:20:36.

brilliant opportunity. Can he hold himself together?

:20:37.:21:09.

Just want to be straight on this. And he's not, so nice angle, come

:21:10.:21:19.

around for the loose red at the bottom. Played that nicely.

:21:20.:21:49.

Have to take the cue ball up the table now. A little bit more

:21:50.:21:58.

positional play. Those two reds that are both are red, he's going to pot,

:21:59.:22:02.

I don't think either of them pot in any pocket, so they'll have to be

:22:03.:22:06.

moved at some point through the break.

:22:07.:22:15.

It's an excellent chance, it's not totally straightforward.

:22:16.:22:31.

Play that cue ball into a position where he was going to have a choice

:22:32.:22:37.

of green, brown or blue, believe it or not!

:22:38.:22:55.

Interesting to see how he goes about this. As I say, no problem with the

:22:56.:23:04.

loose red that's there near the pink spot, but those other two, how is he

:23:05.:23:08.

going to open them up? Is he going to play on the red and on to the

:23:09.:23:12.

black and take a chance with the cannon? Or is he going to pot the

:23:13.:23:17.

blue and get the blue on the spot and play one? Interesting. The

:23:18.:23:21.

beauty of this game is all players see it differently, don't they,

:23:22.:23:23.

Dennis? Yeah, no problem getting on the red

:23:24.:23:39.

that's to the left of the pink spot. I thought he might have able to keep

:23:40.:23:43.

the blue and potted the blue and cannoned the two reds that would

:23:44.:23:46.

have left himself a few options. I mean, there's another way he could

:23:47.:23:51.

play it as well if he wants - he can drop the blue in and pot the red and

:23:52.:23:56.

flick the other one out off it F he wants to do that. But now it looks

:23:57.:24:03.

like he's just going to get good position off this and play the

:24:04.:24:07.

cannon off the black but this is the big part of the match here. Can he

:24:08.:24:12.

negotiate the cannon off the black, just put the two reds up? Pretty

:24:13.:24:15.

sure they don't pot. Has he gone just a little further

:24:16.:24:29.

than he wanted? He's got to play the cannon. He did have a look - I think

:24:30.:24:34.

he's just about OK. But you need plenty of screw on this to get the

:24:35.:24:38.

cannon. Yeah, not stick on it either. Mmm! That's a poor shot. I

:24:39.:24:49.

think that was just down to a little bit of tension there. He knew the

:24:50.:24:52.

importance of that one shot, he knew if he got that cannon right he could

:24:53.:24:55.

win the frame. The pink is certainly to Liang

:24:56.:25:17.

Wenbo's advantage being safe on the side cushion.

:25:18.:25:23.

This is not the best safety shot he's ever played. It's a nice 50

:25:24.:25:31.

break, though. APPLAUSE

:25:32.:25:37.

A good 50, but there's two poor shots on the end of it. Shouldn't

:25:38.:25:42.

have missed the cannon, but you don't do that, play a good safety,

:25:43.:25:45.

and that wasn't. He hasn't been punished for it.

:25:46.:26:40.

Where is this red going to finish? It was a tough one that he took on

:26:41.:26:57.

there. Certainly at this stage of proceedings, a lot of pressure on

:26:58.:26:59.

that attempt. Yeah, Liang is just looking to see

:27:00.:27:09.

whether he can avoid the cannon on the green if he pots this red. At

:27:10.:27:13.

this stage of the frame, is priority is to make sure you knock the object

:27:14.:27:17.

ball in, which is the red, of course. Make sure you get the pots,

:27:18.:27:22.

sometimes you have to just stand for position. He could avoid it. Good

:27:23.:27:28.

pot. APPLAUSE

:27:29.:27:35.

And now, if he's got the angle, has a little bit of pressure on this

:27:36.:27:37.

black to say the least. Oh!

:27:38.:27:54.

APPLAUSE Just the pace. Any harder that would

:27:55.:28:01.

have wobbled and stayed out. If he pots a red and black, he's going to

:28:02.:28:04.

need the yellow. Decided he was going the need the

:28:05.:28:13.

yellow even if he played the black. Much easier to get position when

:28:14.:28:17.

you're closer to the ball colours, so good thinking there from Liang

:28:18.:28:25.

Wenbo. Just means he's got to pot a few more balls.

:28:26.:28:32.

Yeah, good stuff from Liang. A couple of mistakes at the end of

:28:33.:28:38.

that 50 break, but didn't get punished by Ronnie and he's holding

:28:39.:28:46.

himself together very well here. And the tournament favour, he's going to

:28:47.:28:51.

do it the hard way, he's going to have to win the last two frames of

:28:52.:28:53.

the opening So the pattern has been broke. It

:28:54.:29:05.

was two for one player, two for another player, this will be three

:29:06.:29:06.

in a row for Liang Wenbo. It doesn't matter the fact that he's

:29:07.:29:30.

finished... It's not far away. It's not far away!

:29:31.:29:42.

What a gritty performance from this Chinese player. He has won the last

:29:43.:29:49.

three frames and he gets himself one ahead. He needs one for a famous

:29:50.:29:51.

victory, it has to be said. We have seen him on many occasions

:29:52.:30:05.

and sometimes that's when he produces his best. He is going to

:30:06.:30:13.

need it now against Liang Wenbo who is growing in confidence. We always

:30:14.:30:20.

say, the hardest frame to win is the one that gets you over the line, not

:30:21.:30:24.

so much for the players right at the top. Liang Wenbo is claiming a world

:30:25.:30:28.

ranking ladder -- climbing. Ronnie has had five wins. Had a

:30:29.:31:13.

close match in the Shanghai Masters not long ago. Ronnie one bat on a

:31:14.:31:15.

deciding frame 5-4. -- won that. That is a cracking shot if he has

:31:16.:32:02.

held that for the black. Pinpoint accuracy there.

:32:03.:32:29.

He can cut the scene, can't he? Not like that, he can't. -- he can cut

:32:30.:32:41.

this in. The blue may have come to his rescue. And it has. Not the

:32:42.:33:04.

worst for Ronnie. That is a poor shot from Liang Wenbo. Not

:33:05.:33:11.

straightforward to get good position.

:33:12.:33:27.

He has knocked the read write over the pocket. -- he has knocked them

:33:28.:33:46.

red right over the pocket. Not the best outcome. Liang Wenbo is having

:33:47.:33:59.

a look if the red will go over the left-hand pocket. The fact he

:34:00.:34:09.

couldn't see the one over the right, he couldn't fancy it either. Even if

:34:10.:34:15.

Ronnie hits this yellow, it might not be safe.

:34:16.:34:26.

Going back again because the blue has covered the one over the pocket.

:34:27.:34:31.

And nice situation for Liang Wenbo at the moment. It's just that red he

:34:32.:34:39.

had over the pocket, he wasn't sure what was going to happen to the cue

:34:40.:34:43.

balls. Third time lucky. APPLAUSE

:34:44.:34:49.

. Similar scenario for Liang Wenbo

:34:50.:34:58.

now. He has tried to drop it in. What a

:34:59.:35:26.

bit of a sharp on this blue. He needs one more frame. --A bit of

:35:27.:35:44.

pressure. He has just got to make sure he finishes his cue action, no

:35:45.:35:49.

movement. Big pressure. Nice and clean, right in the centre

:35:50.:36:10.

of the pocket. Not out of the woods yet as far as position is concerned.

:36:11.:36:32.

This is a great performance from the Chinese player when you think he has

:36:33.:36:38.

only played once before in the Masters. He lost 6-4 at this age

:36:39.:36:47.

last year. -- at this stage. Every match in the Masters is like a world

:36:48.:36:57.

final. Absolutely. It wasn't any doubt about Liang Wenbo's ability

:36:58.:37:00.

but his ability to handle the situation and the occasion. It is

:37:01.:37:07.

very intimidating playing Ronnie. There are 2000 people and 90% of

:37:08.:37:14.

them are probably supporting him. You have to have a certain mentality

:37:15.:37:28.

to be able to cope with all of that. That is pretty poor. A bit of

:37:29.:37:36.

tension in the arms and no man's land with the cue ball. To give

:37:37.:37:44.

yourself less of a chance of being on the pink... It could be tension.

:37:45.:37:53.

That was a very easy shot for him to make a mess.

:37:54.:37:59.

What about this for a shot he is taking on?

:38:00.:38:12.

Accent he was so disappointed with his previous positional shot. Surely

:38:13.:38:23.

that was the wrong choice under the circumstances. --I think he was so

:38:24.:38:29.

disappointed. A classic example of not happy with the position he

:38:30.:38:34.

played before. A better expression, he pushed the boat out. Will it be

:38:35.:38:44.

costly, though? Ronnie didn't play the right shot. He got the wrong

:38:45.:38:46.

side of the blue. APPLAUSE

:38:47.:38:53.

A pretty good recovery --! He wanted a full ball not half ball

:38:54.:39:17.

contact on that Canon. I think he might have been snookered

:39:18.:39:55.

on the black. Maybe it's one of the reasons the red didn't go in. Have a

:39:56.:40:06.

couple of shots he can play here. He could play off the one that is near

:40:07.:40:12.

the pink and go up behind the yellow or bring it back near the black.

:40:13.:40:20.

It's not going to be an attacking shot, that is for sure.

:40:21.:40:35.

He just needs to make sure he is covering that red that is near the

:40:36.:40:43.

green pocket. I don't think he has. There is an awful lot of distance

:40:44.:40:58.

between the cue ball and the object ball that there is a situation that

:40:59.:41:02.

faces Liang Wenbo, it's not dead straight. One would think you would

:41:03.:41:16.

come up for the blue. Test the cue. Well done.

:41:17.:41:22.

What a chance now for the Chinese player. I mean... Required terrific

:41:23.:41:33.

cueing. He couldn't have hit it any better.

:41:34.:41:45.

Wow... This is getting pretty tense. A big smile from Liang Wenbo. That

:41:46.:42:01.

is a stinker. He has got such an area that to hit to do that.

:42:02.:42:08.

Honestly, that chance was as close a frame in a match as you could have

:42:09.:42:10.

got. Wow. What a mistake. He could be on the ones in the

:42:11.:42:34.

middle. That was a really tough shot to take

:42:35.:42:47.

on. The red next to the brown is no

:42:48.:43:23.

problem. The four cannon next to the pink a not perfectly placed by any

:43:24.:43:37.

means. -- the four reds. The two reds that Liang tried to cannon. He

:43:38.:43:49.

can pot this and flick the other two a way from the pink. He is just

:43:50.:43:55.

thinking, maybe. Don't want to take the chants in case it goes slightly

:43:56.:43:57.

wrong. -- chance. Straightforward in the end but I

:43:58.:44:28.

think he was thinking he didn't want to risk any little cannons in the

:44:29.:44:30.

end but he played it well. Every chance now that we are going

:44:31.:44:49.

to have a deciding frame in our opening match.

:44:50.:45:09.

Ronnie O'Sullivan looking good in this frame. Not just yet.

:45:10.:45:23.

Oh. That's an interesting shot he played there. Why did he just drop

:45:24.:45:40.

the pink in and secure the frame? I think his head went because of the

:45:41.:45:45.

previous shot he played. Yes, he is not thinking straight at the moment.

:45:46.:45:51.

If Liang hits this one in, it could be frame and match.

:45:52.:45:56.

APPLAUSE It wobbled its way into the pocket.

:45:57.:46:07.

Look at that. Very strange from Ronnie. He could pinch the match by

:46:08.:46:15.

just one point here. Wants to get absolutely plumb on the

:46:16.:46:35.

black to make its straightforward. Needs to bounce off the cushion.

:46:36.:46:36.

APPLAUSE A little bit of pressure on it, as

:46:37.:46:55.

you can imagine. No! Can you believe it? All he had to do was drop the

:46:56.:47:11.

black in. Ronnie O'Sullivan! Liang Wenbo, how did he miss just running

:47:12.:47:17.

the black in. It is five frames all. Look at the black again. He hit it a

:47:18.:47:22.

little bit harder than he needed, I think. It is all square, five frames

:47:23.:47:24.

each. ANNOUNCER: OK, thank you. Liang

:47:25.:47:49.

Wenbo to break. Not the best of break shots. It has covered that one

:47:50.:47:55.

but there is one for the right corner. A nice little touch, Liang

:47:56.:48:02.

just smiled and patted Robbie at the start of the frame.

:48:03.:48:12.

Oh, the cannon and the Black has come to his rescue there.

:48:13.:48:37.

Where -- we're in frame decider. Just drop it in the Jaws, gravity

:48:38.:48:59.

would have taken that one in. He will need to put that behind him to

:49:00.:49:03.

win the final frame. Should have been all over.

:49:04.:49:13.

this cuts into the little pocket. Wouldn't it be ironic if Liang Wenbo

:49:14.:49:35.

were to knock this in? If this goes in, he could open things up. What a

:49:36.:49:38.

big shot. He is very, very unlucky. He played

:49:39.:49:54.

a very positive shot. He opened the pink and reds up. That was a great

:49:55.:50:14.

opening red. You know what it is like when you miss your

:50:15.:50:16.

opportunities in this game. The snooker got don't forgive you, do

:50:17.:50:27.

they? He got one they're, that was an excellent pot.

:50:28.:50:38.

-- there. Bello that is probably the best pot of this match so far.

:50:39.:50:59.

I think the red a second closest to the black on the right-hand side is

:51:00.:52:12.

available. The cue ball was always going close to the pocket. This is

:52:13.:52:18.

not an easy pot. You saw the black that Liang Wenbo missed in the last

:52:19.:52:23.

frame, it is not easy. APPLAUSE

:52:24.:52:37.

It's all about experience and he has done it so many times. It's hard to

:52:38.:52:46.

believe this is his 23rd Masters. He has been runner-up in three

:52:47.:52:47.

occasions and champion. He has seen everything there is to

:52:48.:53:04.

see in the game of snooker. Giving us a little bit of tension, slightly

:53:05.:53:07.

awkward here. Just decided to hold for the black.

:53:08.:53:22.

He didn't fancy playing through the gap for the blue. Whoever wins this

:53:23.:53:33.

deciding frame won't play again until Thursday. You say whoever wins

:53:34.:53:43.

this game, I think it's all over. He has been given a lifeline and a

:53:44.:53:54.

massive one at that. Like all the great champions, if you ever get a

:53:55.:53:58.

second bite of the cherry, you are never going to let it go begging.

:53:59.:54:08.

How many times did we see them do it, start with a match-winning

:54:09.:54:16.

break. Just taking a bit of time here to make sure he doesn't play an

:54:17.:54:22.

unnecessary cannon to get out of position. Try to do it without

:54:23.:54:30.

having to play a cannon and get the risk out of it. He was worried about

:54:31.:54:43.

snookering himself. Like all great champions, he can smell blood. A

:54:44.:54:53.

match he should have lost. This will be a very sore one for Liang Wenbo.

:54:54.:55:01.

He will be thinking about that black for a long, long time. Yeah, a black

:55:02.:55:10.

that would have knocked out the defending champion. Just a few more

:55:11.:55:16.

pots away from keeping himself in this Masters.

:55:17.:55:27.

I think you can get used to the idea there will be many more of them in

:55:28.:55:34.

this year's event. APPLAUSE

:55:35.:55:42.

You have got to feel a bit sorry for Liang Wenbo. He played so well, lost

:55:43.:55:47.

the two opening frames, came back and then won three frames in a row

:55:48.:55:49.

and it was just that one pot. How well has he taken these, Dennis?

:55:50.:56:09.

He has waltzed around the table like he in the club.

:56:10.:56:19.

This is him at his best in the final frame, when it matters most.

:56:20.:56:24.

Top-class performance in the final frame. Tricky.

:56:25.:56:39.

Might just finish with that. What a time to make your highest break of

:56:40.:56:57.

the match. In a frame that takes you into the next round.

:56:58.:57:01.

APPLAUSE .

:57:02.:57:20.

There will be quite a few players that will be gutted he has made it

:57:21.:57:26.

through. APPLAUSE

:57:27.:57:29.

. I think he is just going to be

:57:30.:57:41.

tapping all the way through, they might as well keep clapping.

:57:42.:57:45.

APPLAUSE . You can't take it away from the

:57:46.:57:53.

defending champion, Ronnie O'Sullivan. Liang Wenbo was just one

:57:54.:58:00.

pot away from knocking out the favourite, the defending champion,

:58:01.:58:04.

but in the end, he did it, as great champions always do, he did it in

:58:05.:58:09.

style with that magnificent break of 121 and he is through to the next

:58:10.:58:17.

round, beating Liang Wenbo six frames to five. That missed black

:58:18.:58:27.

will go down. It will take Liang Wenbo a while to get over that. The

:58:28.:58:31.

defending champion marches on to the second round but he will play Andy

:58:32.:58:36.

Carter or Neil Robinson. We're back on air at one o'clock on BBC Two. I

:58:37.:58:40.

hope you can spend your Monday afternoon with us because we have a

:58:41.:58:50.

cracking match in store. It is John Higgins. Get some sleep before it

:58:51.:58:58.

all kicks off again. Good night.

:58:59.:59:00.

Hazel Irvine introduces highlights from Sunday's match featuring the reigning champion Ronnie O'Sullivan against this season's English Open champion Liang Wenbo.


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