Day 1 Masters Snooker Extra

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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




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


Ronnie. Not easy, of course, first shot.


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


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


got to score today, Liang, and heavily.


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


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


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


plays his best snooker under these conditions. What conditions they


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


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


Should be in for a real treat this week.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


CHEERING AND APPLAUSE Decided to have a go at the double


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


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


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


Lovely touch that. APPLAUSE


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


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


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


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


shot that Ronnie attempted. APPLAUSE


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


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


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


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


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


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


some great stuff here. Not particularly appetising for


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


of pot. APPLAUSE


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


APPLAUSE That's a terrific shot. I think he


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


head towards left corner pocket when he counters into them.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


correctly. Missed the pack. And this is all


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


off-putting. Just reflecting on to the railings


there that are catching Ronnie's eye.


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


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


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


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


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


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


APPLAUSE Frank Baker heading off there. The


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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




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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


want to be dead straight, though. APPLAUSE


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


angle. Yep, that could always happen. His


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


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


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


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




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


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


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


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


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


straight? APPLAUSE


He had that little bit of angle that John mentioned.


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


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


APPLAUSE He's going to pot the black.


APPLAUSE It has to be said, Liang Wenbo had a


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


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


takes the frame and he leads one frame to nil.


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


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


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


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


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


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


get position, isn't it? APPLAUSE


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


perfect. LAUGHS


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


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


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


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


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


himself an early chance here in this third frame.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


now. Need to keep going, that, because he


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


APPLAUSE Very controlled. A lot better shot.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


needs to get plenty of action on this.


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


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


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


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


the frame. See Liang there taking a nice deep


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


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


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


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


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


shots. It racks up the points very quickly.


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


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


APPLAUSE You can see 67 ahead with 59


remaining. He can relax a little bit.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


APPLAUSE A magnificent century break from


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


the right time for him and his supporters.


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


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


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


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


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


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


APPLAUSE I had a good chat with Ronnie at the


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


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


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


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


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


good spirits. Position play is difficult off this.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


chance he's left Ronnie O'Sullivan now.


APPLAUSE He did have a 55 break in the second


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


showing all his experience. Frame safe. Concentrate on the


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


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


century breaks in a career! APPLAUSE


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


APPLAUSE Cue ball needs to pull up. It just


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


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


an early chance. APPLAUSE


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


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


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


it, but took it straight into the brown.


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


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


Once again, the swerve shot. Loads of side.


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


pocket. If he rolls this red into the left


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


APPLAUSE The trouble is - when you got this


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


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


the pack. Ideally Ronnie would like to play


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


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


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


there, but once again promoted a red.


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


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


APPLAUSE Ideally like to stun up into the


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


have come out any better. APPLAUSE


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


also available. So perfect position for him.


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


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


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


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


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


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


nice, but... APPLAUSE


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


left that red just to clip off past the yellow.


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


APPLAUSE Black is tied up at the moment. I


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


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


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


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


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


careful. APPLAUSE


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


Good touch. I think the brown is going to come


to the rescue here, is it? APPLAUSE


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


undue risks. APPLAUSE


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


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


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


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


glance it looks like everything is covering each other. Win


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


brilliant opportunity. Can he hold himself together?


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


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


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


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


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


moved at some point through the break.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Dennis? Yeah, no problem getting on the red


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


win the frame. The pink is certainly to Liang


Wenbo's advantage being safe on the side cushion.


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


break, though. APPLAUSE


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


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


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


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


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


that attempt. Yeah, Liang is just looking to see


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


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


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


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




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


black to say the least. Oh!


APPLAUSE Just the pace. Any harder that would


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


need the yellow. Decided he was going the need the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


the opening So the pattern has been broke. It


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


held that for the black. Pinpoint accuracy there.


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


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


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


straightforward to get good position.


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


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


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


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


Ronnie hits this yellow, it might not be safe.


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


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


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


balls. Third time lucky. APPLAUSE


. Similar scenario for Liang Wenbo


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


What about this for a shot he is taking on?


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


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


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


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


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


side of the blue. APPLAUSE


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


middle. That was a really tough shot to take


on. The red next to the brown is no


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


to have a deciding frame in our opening match.


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


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


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


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


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


APPLAUSE It wobbled its way into the pocket.


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


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


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


APPLAUSE A little bit of pressure on it, as


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


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


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


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


each. ANNOUNCER: OK, thank you. Liang


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


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


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


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


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


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


win the final frame. Should have been all over.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


frame, it is not easy. APPLAUSE


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


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


occasions and champion. He has seen everything there is to


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


awkward here. Just decided to hold for the black.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


pots away from keeping himself in this Masters.


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


this year's event. APPLAUSE


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


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


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


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


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


Top-class performance in the final frame. Tricky.


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


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




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


through. APPLAUSE


. I think he is just going to be


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


APPLAUSE . You can't take it away from the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


all kicks off again. Good night.


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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