Browse content similar to Day 1. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
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
pot! CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
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
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
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
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
. 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.