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Hello. January blues? Not hear the Alexandra Palace, because we got
under way here today, the second of snooker's three big events, the
Triple Crown events, in any given season. Only the top 16 get the call
to come here in search of the prize of ?200,000, and this event has been
producing unforgettable moments since 1975. Just when you think you
have seen it all in this tournament, something else happens of the
dramatic variety, and that is exactly what happened in our opening
match this afternoon between the defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan
who looked for all the world like he had blown his chance of making it a
record seventh win in this great event when he found himself very
definitely under the cosh against left-hander from China Liang Wenbo.
When he was convinced he was going out, but then the left-hander had
this black to complete a famous win, he won't forget that miss. Ronnie
O'Sullivan knocked it into level the match, and he powered over the line
in the decider, knocking in his highest break in the match, a first
century of 121 to send a forlorn Liang Wenbo back home. So, follow
that for pure drama. That is what was being asked of this evening's
players. Ding Junhui, and Kyren Wilson, the world number 16 and the
only debutant in this year's line-up. This fellow has rocketed up
the world rankings over the last 12 months. He actually met Ding Junhui
on his way to a breakthrough title in Shanghai in 2015, although it is
China's most decorated player who holds the aces. Ding made his debut
at six years of age -- 16 years of age, one it six years ago, and
knocked in one of the few maximums. And he made the initial
breakthrough, taking the opening frame. Could these boys match the
afternoon for pure theatre? Maybe, because take a look at what is
happening in the second frame, with Ken Doherty and John Virgo.
KEN DOHERTY: I think that Ding is on this red, it is one that Kyren
potted in the first frame. And what a shot. It was almost identical as
the very first read in the first round.
JOHN VIRGO: Yes, and it is almost a disadvantage to have the break shot.
This is wonderful cueing. Writer the heart of the pocket.
There is not many better than Ding Junhui in and around the black spot
area. He break builds for fun. And he is one of those players that
you really enjoy watching him make a break, because it is not all brute
force and getting the red site, you will see him during a break, he
plays someone the full little cannons and stun shots into reds,
very precise, the way he goes about a break. He is having a close look
here, the speed of the table caught him out. Can he get to this red? It
is tight. He is having a look at the pack
here. He has a wonderful angle on the black.
Now it is making the right connection. He is going to need a
little bit of pace, and every time you go into the pack of reds of this
black you are looking for a bit of luck.
Didn't go into it with much force, and he is closer to the cushion that
he would have liked here. Difficult to get back on the black. He is
digging down. This is a tough shot. He made it look very easy, excellent
shot, well played! APPLAUSE
This is a good shot, John. As you saw when he was striking down and
the cue ball started to bounce, but he hit it absolutely beautifully.
And he's not frightened to go for the maximum. He's made six 147s in
tournament play. Well, will he play for the black
office? -- off this? He may do. He is, he is playing down again.
Couldn't have cued that any better with that.
There is it typical example of Ding Junhui, the way he makes a break, he
had a lovely angle to go into the pack of reds there, he is going to
take the couple of loose ones, you would think, first. There is nothing
wrong with that at all. We saw from that camera angle the middle red
directly in line with the black pots as well in the corner pocket, right
in the middle of the bunch, and he might get on that here. The white
needs to travel a little bit more. It looks OK.
Now, he's got a choice here, he can play this black, come off the top
cushion and cannon into those two reds just below the pink, leaving a
choice of reds. Couldn't have played it any better. Well done, that is
eight reds and eight blacks. Could have just got away from that raid he
is cueing over, but he doesn't have to do much with the cue ball. He has
to be careful on the follow-through he doesn't touch the red. He needs
the cue ball to move. He's OK. He had to be careful he didn't clip
that Red with the cue on the way through. Wonderful shot, and it is
still an! He made a maximum in this tournament, in 2007 he made a 147
and the Masters, only the second player, I believe, to have done so.
Well, he is now past the point where his opponent needs because, so 100%
concentration, can he make the 147? Is he just about on this red, the
bottom read he was trying to get an? Looks OK.
Oh, he needs to hit it, it needs to run a little bit. He drops his head.
What a shot this will be. He is going to have to go in and out of
baulk. You play on a quick table, and you just start on the hit a
little, but he had some margin of error there, he could have gone
another three or four inches further up the table and had a choice of
reds, so it is careless, but can he pot this red and get in and out of
baulk and get back for the black? Will you try to go around the brown
and back for the green? How is the cue ball? A flick on the
brown, that looks very good! What a shot! If he had it in his hand, he
couldn't have put it better than that. The adrenaline will be running
Now, he needs a good angle on the red to get on the final black.
In goes the black. Slowdown, slowdown! That's just about perfect.
Good plot, nice angle on the black to get up to the yellow.
Slow down, cue ball, slow down! Oh, no!
REFEREE: Settle down, please. That just shows what that little bit of
tension in the arm can do. He had a rush of blood on that final black.
Can he pull out a pot and a half now on the yellow. I think he is playing
it to the left middle. Get in, you beauty! Oh, I'm lucky.
And you can see the frustration as he rubs his head. Karen -- Kyren
Wilson just broke off, and Ding Junhui is disappointed, he has won
the frame, but you wouldn't think so.
HAZEL IRVINE: Moments later, he was in complete command of this first
round match, knocking in a 65 contribution to go 3-0 in front,
totally outplay Wilson at this point, and it could have been 4-0
until Kyren stole the fourth was a mid-session consolation, and in
Richmond built on that take the fifth, so suddenly there is only one
in it again as we head into frame six.
No, he's not quite there with These young players rely so much in
the long game. That's just off. They are going to struggle. It's better
than Ding Junhui. Four out of aid. -- eight. Didn't seem that good to
me. Just playing a little plant here, but you would think this was
unmissable. He's unlucky not to leave a straightforward pot, but I
don't think he'd make a mistake here. Of course, he has the pink
available. And this is now a very good chance.
And there's an interesting spectator, Patsy Fagan. Happy
birthday, Patsy, 66 today, the 1977 UK champion. Nice to see him here,
with Jeanette. Give us a smile. That's better. Happy birthday.
A man you would have played quite a number of times over the years? Yes,
I play him more at golf now. We need to renegotiate the handicap, he was
getting the better of me last summer. He must have a good handicap
to get the better of you, that's for sure. He has a good partner now,
hitting the ball 300 yards, playing off 22. Shouldn't be allowed.
Meanwhile, back on the table, this is a great opportunity for Ding
Junhui. Pink at the moment available on the
left corner, into the middle. He'll have the blue on its spot. Doesn't
have to bother too much about the black. Although he could get the
black interplay, in a couple of shots time.
He had the nice angle on the blues, just as said. This will certainly
help get rid of the red near the black spot, getting this in. He's
looking at the red into the right centre come but I feel if he pots
this red, gets on the back, gets it the spot.
Pot this red, will clear the black to the left hand corner pocket.
This is probably what the doctor needed, as far as Ding Junhui is
concerned. He looked a little bit edgy. Should have won the frame to
go 4-0. Looked a little bit edgy in the last frame and sometimes you
need an easy opportunity just to get your arm going again. Popp-macro a
few balls. -- Popp-macro a few We. We have seen this is when he is
at his best, in the black spot area. 68, the target. Another 23 points
required. 60 points the lead, 75 remaining.
Red cover red required. So this red to go 67 points in
front, just 59 remaining. So they do see it now, 73 ahead, no
way back. That's a bit careless. But Kyren
doesn't see any value in playing, so Ding Junhui goes two frames in front
once again. It's now 4-2. HAZEL IRVINE:
He took the seventh as well, to go 5-2 up. He's one frame away from
breaking his north London duck. He's never yet won a match at Alexandra
Potting black and potting the black spot. Doesn't lead to any great
advantage at the moment because the black is still not available to any
corner pocket. He decided to go for the blue. He
wanted a better angle on the blue, than this. Yes, he'll be
disappointed. He wanted the cue ball almost touching the cushion, or very
close to it. He would have had a nice angle putting the blue backdown
for the red but now, he's not going to be close to these reds.
There's a pathway when potting this red, he can just go left of the
black, try and missed the red close to the top cushion on the left-hand
side and back-up for pink or blue. He's found the gap nicely. Now how
was the cue ball? Not bad. That was a nice pot. Leaves that --
needs that cue ball to slow up a little bit but he's just about on
the left to right corner. Just a bit short of pace. Another
couple of inches would have been perfect on the blue. He'd be in a
perfect position. Now, he's got a bit of work to do with the cue ball
in playing this more difficult pink. 35 points, the lead, but still
plenty of points left. Good cue ball control. Well, that's
not too bad. It's not great. That's the problem with that. When
you are going up for the blue, it's OK if you get a nice angle on the
blue, but he's got a Finnish blue, looks like he's very straight on the
brown. A little bit of work to do here.
Played it nicely though. And surely that's the shot that will win him
this frame. That was a similar blue that Ding missed. Earlier in this
frame. As you said, the black will put him
57 ahead, 59 remaining. That was a fine ball. Sense a little
signal out to Ding Junhui that take your concentration, let it lapse for
a second, there's still a match on here. Already this is his highest
break of the match so far. 120 from Ding in the match, and this
is the highest here from Kyren. This is a lovely shot.
APPLAUSE Very nicely played.
This would be a nice little feather in his cap if he could make a
century here on his debut at the Masters.
Oh, he just needed to avoid the black. Can he cut the green in? This
will be some shot. Oh, what a shot that is! Fantastic.
APPLAUSE He is going to need the black for a
century. Yes, the pinks and 99. Well played! The scoreline has
improved somewhat, too, but his first time at the Masters, debut
with a century, but he still trails by two, and Ding is still one place
away from a place in the quarterfinal.
HAZEL IRVINE: Well played, Kyren Wilson marks his debut with a fine
century, there is life in his opening campaign yet. The
25-year-old from Kettering is the youngest and lowest ranked player to
make it to the Masters this year, and he is in the balls again on a
break of 16 in frame nine. JOHN VIRGO: Slowly but surely
building up a lead, but as Ken said, he has got to somehow get in
position to open that cluster of reds below the pink. He won't be
able to get anywhere near the winning line in this frame without
doing that. We thought earlier on the left-hand
side of these two reds went to the far corner, obviously it didn't.
Possibly now trying to play into the middle.
Well, he could have played that better. He may now have to play for
the red near the right-hand side cushion.
Well, didn't want to risk playing for the red near the right-hand side
cushion, and at that pace, that was a good pop. That was a tremendous
pot at that pace. Not too bad, he played a yellow. He has missed the
pack completely. Expecting to get the cannon here, and this could be a
frame-winner. Same thing, got into it too much. It
was a straightforward cannon. Seemed to get a little too much side on it.
He managed white write a few reds, but with low value colours, he has
only got a 34 point lead. Well, I was going to say he couldn't
have played that any better, but now the red has gone safe, I will say
it, he couldn't have played that any better!
APPLAUSE What a pot that was. Is anything
safe? Very straight on the black. I don't
see how he can get enough pace to open those reds up. Mind you don't
miss cue. Well, that was a good effort, but being so straight on the
black and so close, he had to get the cue out of the way pretty quick,
and it was hard to get the amount of pace. That is why he didn't get the
pace on the cue ball, but he just missed them anyway, it was a great
effort. And I think here, Ken, just signs that Kyren is beginning to
fancy the job here. Yes, there is a bit more of a spring in his step.
From Ding's point of view, you can't let your guard down for one second,
not at this level. Kee will be disappointed, if he
doesn't catch the beginning of the green for safety, this is it now. A
half chance for Ding Junhui. He just needs to avoid the kiss on the red
here. Well played. He is nicely on the blue. And we saw from that
camera angle the red that is closest to the pink will pot as well, so he
has got a choice of reds here. The red just below the pink does pot.
Also the red to the right of the black, so he has more of a margin of
error, so a chance for Ding Junhui. Nicely on the red, would have been
nice to have an angle to try to restore some of the reds here, but
he is pretty straight. Well, that is OK, but I would have thought he
would make a bit more of an effort to try to nudge those four reds into
play. OK, it may have involved him playing a little stunned, and
imperative he gets a good angle on a colour here. Because none of those
four reds in the middle of the table are available at the moment.
So he's got the angle on the black, if these four reds brick nicely, it
could be a frame and match-winning chance. S it's OK. That red has just
flicked the pink, just look at this red, it just flicks the pink. It
goes into a portable position to the left centre.
Not completely ideal, he has to drop the pink in, but he has to judge the
pace here. It needs to run a little bit. That
is pretty good. Very good. APPLAUSE
He needs a nice angle when potting this red on the black. He doesn't
need to be too straight, just needs to play it off the top cushion. And
a little bit of left-hand side, the cue ball over towards the red, for
possibly the left centre pocket here.
He has played it perfectly, excellent shot.
In these situations, you look what could go wrong, and the fact that
the green is half covering a straightforward yellow. He needs a
good angle on the blue, so he has just got to be a little bit wary
here that he doesn't bring the green interplay when playing position for
the yellow. If the green was on its spot, there would be no danger, I
would think he would win the frame and match, but it is just a little
bit more awkward. You just wonder, will he try to check the cue ball of
the baulk cushion. Well, that was a strange choice of positional shot,
I'm not quite sure why he didn't just to write a check it up in a
straight line, back-up between the gap of green and yellow. He could
still have a go at this yellow into this bottom left-hand corner pocket.
The green will act as a possible cover.
Or he could just play the snooker, but it is worth having a go. What
would be your choice, John? It is a frame and match-winning chance, I
would take the yellow one. But he didn't, he decided to play
safe, he has done it well and got the snooker, and a little tap on the
table from Kyren Wilson. You have decisions to make, and now that
looks like it was the perfect one, because Kyren has got the age-old
problem, he has got to hit the yellow, got to get it safe, got to
get it safe. And he has done! Superb.
Where is this yellow going? Close to this bottom left-hand corner pocket.
It definitely cuts. It's all about controlling the cue ball. Just
beware of the right middle pocket. And if he gets position on the
green, we have a new favourite for the frame.
Watch the right middle pocket! Watched the right middle pocket!
Oh... Those pockets are always in the same position. They never move.
Settle down, please, thank you. Green and brown for a place in the
quarterfinal. Looks all over now, Ken. Yes, that
was an excellent shot on the green. Disappointment for Kyren Wilson. But
he will have learned a lot from this experience. He knows he can play
better. Just sometimes let the occasion get the better of you. He's
had his chances. There's no doubt about that. But Ding Junhui, well,
the second frame, if he hadn't have played a poor positional shot off
the black, could have had a maximum. He has scored the heavier of the two
and deserves this victory. Kyren Wilson will be disappointed, but
Clare played to Ding Junhui. He's proved once again he's one of the
top players in the world and certainly one of the top
break-builders and he will be a handful for anybody. He moves into
the second round. He beats Kyren Wilson by 6-3 frames. I played well
today and I'm a bit disappointed with that maximum. I'm surprised to
win, leading the game first. I've been away in the tournaments, the
last tournament I haven't entered. But I did well today and I'm looking
forward. I'm happy. I hit it so hard, the black, it's overhit, but
is too much side spin. Too far. The first time I won six years, it's
good, after New Year it's a good present.
HAZEL IRVINE: He makes a good point because after
winning in 2011 the event moved here to Alexander Palace and that was
Ding Junhui's first win here in this venue since then. It's been quite a
run of ill luck from his point of view, but he's through. After that
maximum attempt earlier on, Judd Trump tweeted that Ding Junhui
looked like he was beginning to become the first man ever to make a
147 and his pyjamas. It's quite an eye-catching suit, isn't it? We'll
have the breathless finale to that Ronnie O'Sullivan Liang Wenbo match
coming for you next. It's in Snooker Extra. We are back at 1pm on BBC
Two, with more live first-round action as John Higgins, the two time
Masters winner, who is having a fantastic Masters season, takes on
Mark Allen, a man who knows how to knock him out of this event. Twice
before. It should be a cracking match. I hope you can be with us for
it. Until then, it's goodbye from a Zaw Lin north London. -- it's
goodbye from us all, in north London.
To break someone physically... Agh! ..is not a problem.
Nectar of the gods, I'm telling you. Thank you, Colonel.