First Round: Ronnie O'Sullivan v Liang Wenbo Masters Snooker

First Round: Ronnie O'Sullivan v Liang Wenbo

Similar Content

Browse content similar to First Round: Ronnie O'Sullivan v Liang Wenbo. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



Hello. This is Alexandra Palace. Ali Pali in north London. The PVC darts


boys and girls have packed away the arrows, they have had their fun,


they have at the moment, and now it is the turn of snooker. The 16 top


players in the world have turned up here, hoping for a very happy start


to 2017, as the Masters champion, the second longest running event in


snooker. And arguably, this is the greatest field we have ever


assembled. For the first time, every one of the players involved already


owns in major world ranking title. That's the first. But none of them


in this field has mastered this great event more offered than the


man who will be taking those off this afternoon - the six time


champion, the defending champion, the Rocket, Ronnie O'Sullivan.


Ronnie O'Sullivan, playing his best ever of the week to take the Masters


title. I'm a Londoner. Being in London, I'm looking forward to it.


MUSIC It looks like his fourth Masters


title now... I love winning, I love it!


and, like running, the only other six time winner of the Masters,


Stephen Hendry, is trying to look cool calm and collected at the


prospect of perhaps losing that record. Warning on a roll, going for


a seven. Steve Davis, he has long since worried about other people


making his record! Happy New Year to you both. What are the chances of


Ronnie itching himself alone in the history of this event. He has as


good a chance of anybody -- Ronnie itching himself into the history of


this event. He has been slipping up against the other top players.


He has been beating players, maybe not fancying it so much against the


top players. He won this last year in superb fashion. Obviously he


loves the big occasion,... It's an interesting point. You look back at


the last three months. He's been in a big final three times, he lost the


Judd Trump, John Higgins, and of course Mark Selby Dustin December.


How do you read that form? No disgrace to lose the those three


players. -- just in December. It is getting more difficult to guaranteed


to win events. All you can really do is get your solving the frame and


give yourself a chance. He is getting there. So will get yourself


in the frame. It's just getting over the line has always been difficult


and will be more difficult. Is he going to be nervous with that record


in the last three months, though? I don't think he looks at it that way.


He's had lots of match practice. When it comes to this event, this is


a massive crowd now. It's like a big auditorium. One table, all eyes on


the one match. As Stephen said, a big occasion player. This, I've


probably said it before, this is his office, he is harder to beat here


than anywhere else in the world. Is going to be fascinating over the


next week or so. Ronnie O'Sullivan and the world number one Mark Selby


drawn to face each other in the final at the top and bottom of the


order. There are a huge number of very capable, very expert players


who could take this title themselves.


First up it's O'Sullivan against China's charismatic Liang Wenbo, a


real firecracker. A home event for the Essex boy. Flamboyant Judd Trump


meets Marco Fu, he was informed. World number two Stuart Bingham


playing the Gentleman Joe Perry tomorrow. The only debit and this


year, Kettering's Ireland Wilson. 2015 winner Shaun Murphy playing


last year's for up Barry Hawkins. And the world number one meets Mark


Williams. It gets going in a couple of moments when Ronnie O'Sullivan


works out to this great arena, 2000 strong, against Liang Wenbo this


afternoon. As you know, this time last year he came to Ali Pali off


the back of a seven month sabbatical away from the sport, not the first


time he's done that. He's also had something of a bit of a love hate


relationship with snooker. He's in love with a together the moment


because he tells us that he would now love to be viewed as the Lionel


Messi of this game. People that are watching, they're saying, he don't


just win, but he delivers on it. I think it's very important. Sometimes


people say like you can't play like that, but Lionel Messi proves that


you can, Tiger Woods and Roger Federer do. I want to try and be one


of them. Arguably he has been that, one of those great entertainers all


of his career. This is his 23rd campaign in the Masters. Let's meet


the man he is going to be playing today. 29-year-old Liang Wenbo. This


fella could cause a few problems. The odds have been stacked against


Liang Wenbo consider the previous match-ups. Ronnie with five wins the


Wenbo's one. The recent contests have been pretty close. Ronnie has


reportedly given Liang Wenbo one or two pieces of playing device. It


will be interesting to see what difference it makes today. And how


about this? Liang getting his big first title in the English open in


October, really that. Loved A lot of people will remember he was in the


UK championship final two years ago. A quirky character, a heavy scorer.


I wonder how many questions he is capable of asking Ronnie today? As


you said that, I think his heavy scorer, he is going to have to do


that today. You know, Ronnie is going to be well up for this match.


Liang has to match in the scoring department. His temperament also,


he's got to keep that in check. You know, he concedes a lot of times,


Liang, he shows his emotions. He starts swearing, shaking his head,


his he smacks himself in the face. He's got to keep his temperament in


check as well stop like the crowd will be thoroughly behind Ronnie


O'Sullivan. That is a withering experience for a player in the past.


Good luck you do well in by the final it is the full crowd.


But this is round one, you are right in the deep end. It's a shock to the


system for every player that comes here. Usually you is your solving


the tournament. Wenbo has a bit about him, though. So you is


yourself into the tournament. Perhaps the early start, it would be


good for Wenbo to get off to a good start from his perspective. But this


tournament is a shock to the system. A blogger made a very good point, it


is required reading. Ronnie seems to like playing. If you watch his body


language, he is always smiling against Wenbo. Do you get that


impression about him? They are very good friends off the table. Liang


amuses Ronnie, possibly off the table as well. He likes his antics


around the table, he's a breath of fresh. So many of the players


nowadays show very little emotion at all, if any. He is different from


that, he's good to watch and good to play against. He has a 5-1


advantage, he is comfortable with that. From the perspective of


Stephen, my perspective from my rack and Stephen's era, we prefer to have


an aura around us that we were untouchable. We didn't make friends


too much with our opposition, if at all. Do such an extent that we were


quite disliked! But it seems different now, the game has changed


enough. But I don't like the thought of getting too friendly with another


player. Judd Trump did it in the UK championship, he had dinner with the


guy who beat him. And suddenly it's a different culture now. You see


them before talking to each other before they go out, we would never


have done that. OK, I don't know who is buying goods to write, but we'll


find out. Liang is -- buying dinner tonight. Ronnie is 13 and Liang is


11. But this 2000 strong crowd is already the start. It will be lively


and crackling with anticipation. As we get ready to get underway, the


honour is being done by the man who won this great title exactly 30


years ago, Mr Dennis Taylor. Would you please welcome into the arena, a


player who lifted his first title just a couple of months in ago in


Manchester. The reigning English professional champion, Liang Wenbo!


APPLAUSE And his opponent, would you please


give a warm welcome, he is the defending Masters champion. He is


five times a world champion, six times in Masters champion, it's the


rocking Ronnie O'Sullivan! It's lively, all right! A quick


sprint into the commentary box. You have done your Sunday work-out


already! Sit back and revel in one of the great sporting occasions of


any year, is the Masters, best of 11 frames in the opening round. We'll


get a win this afternoon. Dennis on his way to meet three-time Masters


champion John Parrott, good afternoon, John.


COMMENTATOR: Welcome to a very lively Alexandra Palace. The top 16


players in the world put into the melting pot. And usually when you do


that combination, it comes out to be very exciting. Away we go for what


should be fascinating week of Sugra. -- a week of snooker.


I don't think he has covered the outside read here. This is a chance


for Ronnie. Not easy of course, first shot in this year's event for


him. So, not to be. I agree with the


boys, his attempt at the long pot. It's very important to get a good


start at any match. Particularly against Ronnie O'Sullivan,


ineffectively his own backyard. He has got the score to date, Liang,


and heavily. I love watching Liang Wenbo play. He


really is very exciting. Bit of a character as well.


And he's one of those players who just loves a stage like this. Packed


house at the Alexandra Palace. He plays his best snooker under these


conditions. What conditions they are. Look at this wonderful venue. I


think it was 1500 couple of years ago, now it is 2000 capacity. A very


popular event here in London, and why not? We should be in for a treat


here this week. The tournament first started in


1974-75 season by the late, great John Spencer. He was beaten in the


final. It has kept going ever since. From 79-2006 it was a conference


centre. The next five years it went to the arena, and then for the last,


well, this will be the 60th year at Ali Poly. This was seamlessly taken


over as a great host for a wonderful event -- the 16th year at the Ali


Paoli. 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, almost packed out here.


I always used to love playing this event, Dennis. There's a real buzz


about it. It's your reward for playing well throughout the year and


being a top player. You know full well you've got to be at it right


from the get go. There's nowhere to hide here. You're the centre of


attention, only one table, and you've got to bring your stuff with


you, no good trying to find it, because you won't win this event by


doing this. You've got to win here by bringing to a game. -- your a


game. Well, that could be the end of


break. He was just a bit unlucky. He didn't get quite enough right-hand


side when potting that brown. Justin Gilbert Moorside and he would hit


the pink and red. -- just a bit more on the side. He will be


disappointed, his first proper visit on the table and it was a big target


for him to hit. Liang Wenbo 27. Decided to have a go at the double.


The only red he could leave was the one he tried to double. He has left


a chance for Ronnie to follow that red. Can you put the camera away,


please? They did mention no cameras, please. The referee just emphasising


that. I don't know whether he saw the red


going and he kept the angle to get into the pack like Liang did. Wow.


You know, his angle and that wasn't the same as Liang's, it was more of


a difficult shot. Couldn't quite get the side on.


Yes, it's so easy to going off that last shot on the attempted. That's


the angle he had. You need to hit it at the right-hand side and avoid the


middle pocket. Didn't quite manage that.


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


good start. And he's had plenty of good starts in the match, six times


in Masters champion. Yes, I think some of Ronnie's best


snooker ever has been played at this event. The 10-3 was as close to


perfection as you could see. The demolition of Ding Junhui was


absolutely outstanding. He has played some great stuff here.


Not particularly appetising for Liang. He's just got to be careful


here. Probably trying to drop in the back of the pack here.


We always talk about Ronnie being the greatest break-builder of all


time. 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 go at this red and get himself onto the


black. It's a bit of a free shot. The only ball he can leave will be


the red. If he misses it, you can quite easily send it into the pack.


It's a half chance. He is pretty good at this type of pot.


He concentrated so hard on getting the pot, which was difficult in


itself. Straight in the centre of the pocket, but just lost the white.


If it stops there, it would have been perfect. Not much he can do


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


the Wembley conference centre. You were so far away from the table.


Here you are closer to the table. It was quite a long walk back to your


seat, it took a lot of getting used to in that venue. But there again,


you would have 2700 people there for the final.


Many a time players forgot where they were and tripped over the


plants in that place! That's a terrific shot. I think you


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


available. Oh! He didn't see that coming. He


was perfectly on the red. A second chance for Liang. Just caught the


near jaw. Now, perfect position on the blue.


This is a lovely pack to go into. The red next to the pink is making


it even better. If he can hit that one, the red and pink together, it


should open up lovely. He has just got to be careful that the pink


doesn't head towards the left corner pocket when he cannons into them.


Well, is he on that red? I thought he would hit them a little harder


than that. I think he got a little bit lucky to finish there. They were


begging to be hit hard. He is an one.


I'll tell you what, this table looks beautiful. I thought he was going to


come up short on the blue, but it's very quick and the players like it


that way. He has a nice shot here. He pops this blue and leaves it low


on the red, he can split the pack up that way. He needs the cue ball to


go a bit more. If it does, that's what he's looking for. If it does,


what the red and Canada into the pink, quite a few open in the plate


-- cannon into. I'd love to have another couple of inches of role and


that cue ball, it would have been perfect. With the 34 point


advantage, he can win the frame if he can play the shot that John


suggested. Is it a little too straight from the red to do that?


Not a lot of room there. So, a change of plan. Is he going to


go far enough? I think is going to have to take the pink. He's going to


split the reds. Straightaway he gets the rest out. It's a natural angle


to pot the pink and split those five reds. We have seen it already, but


both players have had a go on the brown and in quite get enough of the


side of the cue ball in the frame. Sometimes on these new cushions,


they throw a little bit different. If he judges this correctly...


Well, missed the pack. And this has all come from the one off the blue.


If he had just got the right angle on the bottom red, it was from over.


Not from as wide as he fought and missed the back. -- not thrown as


wide as he thought. He might have a 41 point leave here,


Liang. This is a dangerous board. If he hits the roads here, only the


brown in an awkward position, he has to be very careful.


Well, this will require good cueing. He can only just see enough of this


thread. He has had a look at that. -- of this red.


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


That's not bad, but there is a half chance for Liang. He is a


devastating long putter, and runny nose that. He practices enough with


this Chinese player. -- and Ronnie knows that. This is not


straightforward. He has defined the Gap back around the table. -- he has


defined the gap. What damage has he done here? Mis-hit that completely.


What a chance for Ronnie to get right back in this opening frame.


It's not only the damage of missing it, he flipped the red off the side


cushion, a double whammy. He brings the red into play. A good chance...


It should have been. Can he just sneak back the yellow


enough to pot the green? Just a bit of noise. There is a


latecomer coming into a seat, and somebody is making noise there. It


has been spotted. Just a couple of flights, I think. They might be the


line of sight, which is off-putting -- a of lights.


Just reflecting on to the railings. They are catching Ronnie's I.


He is going to wait to get the light off. It is putting him. He knows it


is quite a good chance to get himself back into the frame. We've


got to find the switch that will get rid of that blue light. There is


just one red that is safe here that could come to Liang Wenbo's rescue.


The one near the ocean, as John mentioned, he knocked the other red


red out into the open. -- the one near the cushion. Frank Baker just


heading off. The light is safely switched off. I suppose, Dennis, we


mentioned the top cushion. Ideally Ronnie would like to get into the


black and only dropped the red in to get it back on the spot. In a


perfect world, that is what he would like to do.


The Wiggo, if you can get on the black now... -- there we go.


Change of plan. He did play on the black there.


This is a lively cloth. He has overhit that by the way. This is a


little cut back. Can he avoid the contact on the


brown? Of all he will have to put a little juice on it. Only just.


I haven't used that term before, a little bit of juice, another word


for a little bit of side. I mentioned earlier, it looked like


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


The ball is in a portable position, 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 and play on the loose red. This has got


counter clearance by the North Everett. -- written all over it.


Liang could kick himself with the chances he has had in this frame.


Doing exactly as you predicted, getting the black back on the spot.


And he doesn't want to be dead straight, though. And that looks as


if it is almost straight. Not much of an angle.


Yes, that could always happen. Trying to play the snookering behind


the black. -- the snooker in. Very little angle to work with. In fact,


the red jumped a few times. Not the best safety Liang Wenbo has


ever played. On the other hand, this is far from easy.


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


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


I agree with you Dennis, this cloth is lively, hardly touched that.


Straight back. Perfect angle. Deserves to win the frame. Has he


left himself a decent angle or is he a little bit straight?


Had that little bit of angle. Is it going to come up a little bit short?


He only needs the pink, no problem, doesn't matter about getting on the


plaque. -- the black. It has to be said, Liang Wenbo had


if you chances to take the opening frame and he didn't, Ronnie


O'Sullivan takes the frame and he leads 0- one. The defending champion


off and running, effectively a tale of. Yes, one that Ronnie turned


down, you can see the situation here, he looked at they read a


couple of times and perhaps if he is 2-0 or 3-0 in front he takes it on,


but he knows the importance of this frame so he refuses it and place the


safety shot and gets in. Looks like he was possibly going to win the


frame. The next long red and we are going to see is when you had to take


on, there is no safety shot. Hardly hit it, this was just all timing.


Also in stroke as well? Yes, came straight at the red on the top


cushion but looks to be cueing very nicely on what looks to be a


lightning fast piece of cloth, snooker on ice effectively and no


better player than Ronnie O'Sullivan per controlling the cue ball on fast


conditions. And perhaps that safety shot that Liang Wenbo played, when


it rolled a few more inches down the table gave Ronnie the chance. Safety


becomes difficult on fast clots, everything is tricky on a very fast


cloth. There were a few nervous moments as you would expect from


both men and I think that lends to the intensity and intimacy of this


venue. Liang Wenbo will be disappointed, he had three or four


chances in the frame and if he keeps needing that he will get beaten


today so he has to up his game if he wants to win. Back we go, the second


frame. COMMENTATOR: I would agree with Stephen Hendry, Liang Wenbo


cannot carry on as he did in that opening frame. Had a few decent


chances. But he knows that only too well John. Yes. Playing against the


very best chances seem to be few and far between and he had enough of


them in the opening frame but have to make the most of them.


That certainly will help his confidence. It was a long red


similar to that that he hit two thick in the previous frame. No


problem this time, right in the centre of the pocket. This is a


really good chance. Reds spread around, could score plenty of points


before you need to get down to the nitty-gritty of opening up the pack.


Could score a few here. The pink is out of commission at the


moment, but the black has a red either side of it. In a few shots


time he could have the black in the open. Got to be very precise with


this, needs to pull up a little bit. That looks to be absolutely perfect.


Yeah, he is on the black, you can tell by his body language. Looks a


bit tight but I think he's OK. If he is on it it's the best shot he has


played in the match. Have already mentioned how quick the cloth is.


That's a fabulous shot. Excellent control. But his heart was in his


mouth when the cue ball was running. And now he has the black in the


open, that truly was a superb positional shot.


I remember a good few years ago we were in the commentary box and I


remember seeing I thought Liang Wenbo was the next big thing. I had


seen him play and thought his cue ball control and scoring was


absolutely fantastic and I thought this boy would going to win lots of


events and it's fair to say he went missing for a few years but


thankfully he is back on the big-time here in top 16. Won a


ranking event in 2016, he has found something from somewhere and it's


good to have him back because he certainly supremely talented.


Well, this might have just gone astray. Misjudged the cannon, think


his left things very difficult for himself.


This is tough, it will just go past the blue up into the corner. A


beauty! Yes, excellent recovery. Could have


easily been disappointed from the shot he played before. Really had to


do so little with the cue ball on this cloth, it is zipping around the


angles. Just got to make sure that this next positional shot, it's


important, got to get the right angle.


Isn't it ironic John, when he played the previous shot in the first frame


to split the reds he did not get enough side, that time he got too


much side on. He was thinking about the shot he played as we show you


out again, this time getting too much side on it. No easy safety


shot, has to just roll into them, cannot do everything else. Ronnie


cannot run away up the table. Of that red. Closest to the tank.


Following a similar pattern to the opening frame here where Liang Wenbo


was leading by 40 points. Once again the safety shot has to be very


careful. Have to get the cue ball glued to the bottom fusion cushion.


That's pretty good but there is an easy safety shot for Ronnie of the


reds just to the left of the pink as we look at them.


He needs the green to come to the rescue here. It's not. Round of


applause but there is a gap through to this red. This would be some shot


but knowing Liang Wenbo he will play at. This will be interesting to


watch because it was a long part in the opening frame when he was in


front and not in much trouble that caused him to ultimately lose the


frame. What will he do here? That was not the cue action I'm afraid.


Looked like a lot of pressure on that.


Let's have a look, the reds sitting on the black spots will have to go


directly behind because of the other spots are occupied. I think that


last part that Liang Wenbo missed, he's just concerned about who's


coming behind him, he's got Ronnie O'Sullivan, the six time Masters


champion and that puts a much pressure on a part like that and


that's where the mental strength comes in, you have to try to forget


what you are playing and think about what you're going to leave. But that


is easier said than done. I think the red goes that is closest to the


black, but he cannot get on that red, the angle he has left the pink


but there is no problem, plenty of other choices. Usually manages to


sort out which way to go doesn't he? Adept at seeing the table and


getting the computer working, where to leave the cue ball. To make the


break as easy as possible. Fair to say he's been fairly useful at that


over the years. He can leave that red next to the


black for the time being. He played the last red, playing to try to come


dead straight on the pink to run through for the red next to the


black, did not quite get there are so a change of plan. Just trying to


leave himself that angle to run through and get on that red by the


black. But if you don't quite manage it you have to change the way you go


about it. And he is they are now. -- there


now. A couple of tricky reds, the one next to the blue is available


only in corner pockets. That one jumped quite a bit but did not


affect the shot. The one that is near the right side cushion is


slightly awkward, I wonder if he will try to develop that? A little


risky. That's what he's played. And didn't develop it.


Just having a look to see if the red passes the blue to the green pocket


which I think it does. I think that was the table again,


the reaction he got. It really is so fast. This is awkward because he's


so close to the red. And look at that shot. APPLAUSE


Difficult to pick the angle out when you're so close to it and he can


take the green here and swing this around the angles to head towards


that last difficult red. Here comes the cue ball, where is it going to


vanish? Just slipping past it. 15 in front, they are all on. Needs a good


snooker here. APPLAUSE I think he'd have to use web around


this stick at the edge of it. It's quite tricky to judge with the blue


and green playing with a touch of swerve. Where is the red going?


Well, this will pot, to take the second frame.


For all the world and looks like 2-0 now to Ronnie O'Sullivan. If I was


Liang Wenbo I would be sitting in that chair kicking myself because


the scoreline at the moment is self-inflicted. Two long reds, one


in the opening frame that he missed by a mile and that one there in the


last frame that he missed when he was 40 points in front...


That's the one in the first frame that he missed by a mile. Cost him


the frame. And then this one which was a really good opportunity for


someone of his class. Because of those looks like he's going to be


2-0 down. Well, no fireworks just yet but


Liang Wenbo could have quite easily led 2-0 but the scoreline currently


reads Ronnie O'Sullivan 2-0 Liang Wenbo.


Defending champion has a 2-0 lead and John Parrott summed it up,


self-inflicted he said from the perspective of Liang Wenbo, do you


agree? Of course, Liang Wenbo wins his first ranking event, his stock


rises and with that comes different problems and one of those is


expectation. Now Liang Wenbo possibly going to come into


tournaments from now on in expecting it to do better and that puts


pressure on. Only his second appearance at the Masters, on his


debut last year, this is a 23rd appearance for Ronnie. How


intimidating is this place when you're just getting used to it? You


are battling against the Ronnie O'Sullivan show when you come here,


you have you have to have tremendous mental strength to get through it. I


remember when I used to play Jimmy White at the old Wembley conference


Centre and it was the same thing. Forget about the surroundings and


just, anyone who plays a top player, cut out the unforced errors and


you'd be amazed how well you do. It's quite obvious when you are


looking at all these factors, he has been caught cold in the first couple


of frames, couple of misses that you could put in the easy category, how


do you set yourself down? It's just an unforced, it's trying 100%


concentration into every shot. He needs to win frame quickly in this


match. COMMENTATOR: We always say you never really settle until you


get your first frame on the scoreboard. And that is what Liang


Wenbo will be thinking about, must get a frame sooner rather than


later. Now, has that red cover of the one


near the pocket? I don't think so, Liang Wenbo can get through to cut


this in. And I think he will avoid cannoning into the bunch of reds and


the pink. Even if he did it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world but


it's all about making sure of the pot and letting the quite take care


of itself. -- the white. Come through a gap that I didn't


see. That is what he was looking at, 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 it. Just giving himself a


little bit of extra time here to make sure that he gets the next shot


right because if he can get good position he can give himself an


early chance here in this third frame.


I think the pink is out of commission looking at it, the black


still a little awkward, 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. Taking his time, I don't blame him. He is 2-0


down after all. If it goes 3-0 down I cannot fancy him at all. Somehow


he has to get around and under the blue, so how does he find the path


round there? He's just checking to see if the pink would possibly going


to the right middle pocket. Looks a bit tight. We'll find out shortly,


the way he plays best shot. That has been overhit by quite some


way. That's just a little bit of tension there. We mentioned how


quick the cloth is, that such a difficult shot to play on a really


quick cloth, of the side cushion. May have left Ronnie along red on


the right-hand side. He's looking at the black, but I don't think it


pots. Very tight if he was to leave it where he is cueing, maybe he can


get on that if he stuns the white through. He had an angle to come an


and off the cushion to get on the black. Unexpected miss from Ronnie


O'Sullivan and a chance for Liang. We know the black is available.


Little bit street, but looks as if he's going to miss to the right of


the pocket as we watch cueing but safely in. This will open the black


up. Little run through to land on the


loose red. I know we keep going on about it but if you're going to have


a future in this match Liang he's got to score now.


Need to keep going, he wanted to have an angle. Looks of it straight.


We'll have to power this through with lots of side. Going to be a bit


close to the condition but he's got the red lives near the right corner.


Quite cleverly played. Often say to people how do you make a break, you


try to leave yourself in positions where there are a couple of options


so that was well played, knew he didn't get on the other red near the


black he still had this one. APPLAUSE


Very well controlled. Really well controlled. You can sense already


that Liang knows how important this is. And he knows how important this


next shot is going to be, leaves himself on the black to split up


this bunch of reds, that's going to be key. This is the one that could


pave the way. To taking his first frame in this match. It's not the


best pack of reds to go into, needs to get plenty of action on this.


That red is available to him. Just run through and leave himself on the


pink or black. Well once again he finds himself with an almost 40


point lead and really there is no excuse from here. Somebody of his


quality, this is an excellent chance. To take the frame.


You can see Liang taking a nice deep breath as he walks around.


Deep breath and go again. Maintain that concentration level.


This is what he is very good at, Liang, close control around the pink


and black area. Scored very heavily and very quickly. A series of little


stuns and screw shots. Racks up the points very quickly.


Yes, he knocked in 30 centuries last season. Nearly 18 this season. He


has just let the white run a little further than he intended. Safely in.


And there you can see, 67 ahead with 59 remaining he can relax a little


bit. Certainly is an excellent response.


We said at the start of this frame, this is what he has to do to score.


A little bit of help for Ronnie in this frame, it has to be said. I


didn't expect Ronnie to miss. But nevertheless, he has taken things


very well. Ronnie's shot, we thought he would come off of the black, but


not to be. Showing very good character here, Liang.


He has got a lovely swagger around the table, a very confident swagger.


Liang Wenbo is a lovely lad. But 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 on to make a century break. The first one


of this year's masters. His cue ball control has been exemplary.


I have a funny feeling he won't be the only one this week. There will


be a few of them, John. A magnificent break from Liang


Wenbo. And coming just at the right time for him and his supporters.


That really set this first-round match up. After the two frames, no


fireworks. Well, we've had a few in this frame, all coming from the


Chinese player. It doesn't matter about the pink. Ronnie missed an


easy red here. Wenbo got one chance, and didn't he take it well? He


missed a century break, but he still trails 2-1.


It very much needed frame for Liang. If there was a shot in that frame


that was a surprise that Ronnie played, with mentioned he played a


drag shot. I thought it was strange, he played with a lot of bottle just


hold for the black. That's the drag shot but you mention, when you hit


the ball on the bottom, swinging backwards, take all of the off of


it. It reverts into top spin, as you can see. It lands on the object ball


softer. That is what he was trying to do with the black, it didn't


quite work out. Consequently, Liang went on to win the frame. Once


again, it's amazing from the break of shot, look at the red either side


of the black. What has happened in all three frames so far, the red


they are hitting seems to be sitting on either side of the black. I think


it is an indication, the pack is really opening.


Actually a very good break off from Ronnie. Can he just get past that


blue just need that read. It looks as if he can. Paul Collier is having


a good look to see. The reason the referee looks is because if you were


to miss it altogether he'd have to get it back, but he can, and he can


avoid it if he hits it than enough. He can play and swerve, even write


up this. That's what he's done. That's what you call a containing


shot. Ronnie just tapping the table. Nothing wrong with that shot.


Sometimes that's all you've got. He thought one pocket might be in the


wake if you didn't get it right, he chose to play that one. Sometimes


you put yourself back into the bit of trouble, but that's all that you


can do. Well, the crowd have got so involved


this afternoon. It's the opening match, a packed house.


He didn't get it in the jaws of the pocket.


This is what the game of snooker is all about, playing, a one-table


situation, 1700 people in, this is what the players turned professional


for. And they strive for it. They've got to play an awful lot of events


these days that are the best of seven frames, mostly cabled venues.


But this is what it's all about. This is your reward. Well, Ronnie, I


think you found the plant here. Just having a look at it. Trying to see


whether it is on the near jaw locked. Which side he is going to


hit it. Of course, it depends a little bit on how much of a gap


there is between the two reds. It looks like it's on to me. If it is


so close and he doesn't get it correctly, he can squeeze the second


read away from the pocket. That is why he is taking extra care -- the


second red. It is going is to the left of the pot. Which means he


would have to make sure that he gets the correct contact on the first


round. It's not a foul shot if you can lift your feet off the table


when you are looking at the short! But you can't do it while you are


playing the shot. Well, we've got a perfect picture to


see whether he judges it or squeezing it away from the pocket. A


foul and MS. -- and a miss. I think because he was striking down


on it, the Kiwis going down and he swerved it, it bounced straight into


the blue. -- the the cue. The final thing that happened in that shot,


the black Kayumova and rested on the plant and moved it. Everything


happened there apart from the lampshade for on his head! -- the


black Kayumova. Of course, the balls wouldn't have


to be placed back, because it is not a miss. It is just a far shot. And


that is a player with quite a bit of confidence. And that century break


has given Liang Wenbo back fat confidence. That was a terrific long


pot. It certainly was -- a bit of confidence. The second frame he hit


right across it. It was excellently cued. He won't be bullied by the


fact that he has seen a couple of mistakes from morning. It is nice


when your opponent is missing one or two poor shots. It helps with your


confidence. Ronnie at 85%, Liang my device


percent. His potting success rate. -- at 95%. 95 is quite high


considering he lost the first two frames. If Liang hasn't got high


enough on the pink, that a stinker. It wasn't easy shot to get up there,


but maybe he's just sneaked an angle out of it. One thing he had to be


there was above the pink to go back down for the reds. Have a look. He's


just made it. And that's OK. So much reverse side on that shot. I


mean, I don't think the crowd realised how much side he had to get


onto that. You can see the whites spinning off


the cushion and heading towards the red. That normally would have run


out into the middle of the table. Yes, quite a bit of work to do with


this chance. It's not a great one. It would be helped if he can get the


blue back on the spot, that's for sure. Just drop this in and get the


angle on the loose red, that would help.


I'm just wondering whether the black goes in the centre pocket. He is


coming round to have a look. If you can drop this into get that handle,


he may get the black back in play. Yes, it does. It looks to have come


well, a natural angle to get back in there.


All of the spots are occupied. The black will have to go behind its own


spot, behind that red there. It shouldn't really put it out of


action. Oh, we've got a wasp! It's a bit early, sorry, a bit late for one


of those, John. Missed it! Well, that's it now, the refs at it,


it'll be coming after you in a minute! I think you got a kick when


he had a go at that wasp! -- I think EE got a kick.


Well, that was looking like not a very promising visit to the table.


But he's negotiated is very well, Leanne. -- Liang Wenbo. He has the


blue back on the spot. Black might still be available. A lot better


than a few shots ago. More importantly, he has started off


dangerous. It is amazing how many top


left-handed players or in the game nowadays, and all terrific players.


Answer me this, why do they all look so good? That's the other thing.


It's like the top-class golfers, left-handed looks brilliant. Bob


Charles, I remember him, and elegant golfer.


Yes, is definitely warming to the task. A bit of a shaky start. Down


by 40 points -- up by 40 points in the opening two frames and lost both


of them. A century in the last frame. Going well here. He is


looking like the player who won that English Open back last year. He met


Judd Trump in the final. He has got a slight problem here. He


didn't get on the pink as he intended. He is going to get a


cannon. I think he can come off the crush and looking at that angle and


hope to bring water or two reds in the plate -- off the caution. Lots


of top spin, I don't know if there is a possible planned there. He's


got a bit of a kick there. He may have been attempting the plant. Yes,


Dennis, I think that's what he's playing for. That was a terrible


kick. 48 up in the air of Mike both balls. He's already had a look at


that. This is not totally straightforward. Quite a bit of


distance between these two reds. They look easy from behind the


pocket, but when you actually see the gap between the two of them...


Well, he's picked the spot on the cushion where he's going to set the


first round to make that angle. Well, that was just... He didn't


have the angle. I'm thinking he was lucky there.


Boy, didn't he give that a good old belt? He has covered the one with


the blue, but there is another to the right corner.


Be careful you don't touch that white, Ronnie, he was clearing


something away and very close to the cue ball with his finger, there.


Now, then, Mr very straightforward in the previous frame which cost him


-- missed a very straightforward red. I didn't collecting the missed


this. It looks like he's got away with it. He has had the right


result. He will be very happy to have left the cue ball where he has.


It could have been a lot easier for Liang year. Here.


Much too thick. He was just hoping to bring the black back into play


there. But he got it particularly wrong. He has just gone slightly out


of sorts for a frame and a bit, Ronnie. Not his usual high matchplay


standard at the moment. Needs to keep running to finish on


the black. Look at that. Once again, it looked as if it was going to come


up short. It's just beautiful to play on. When you're cueing well,


it's beautiful to play on. I don't know if he has got two straight on


this black, though. It looked like he had a few inches on the cue ball


to leave an angle. He's got a little bit. You couldn't force much out of


that cue ball. To be honest, he didn't you it very well either. --


he didn't Huw it. He cued the plant poorly before. It was fairly


straight. A few players would have got a bit more out of that than he


did. Well, there is a half chance for


Ronnie here. If you can get himself onto the black, we will show you the


miss from Liang Wenbo. Yes, he's got a gap. He can avoid three reds and


get round and black or blue. He doesn't want the cannon on the


blue. It has finished a little awkward. Had he have missed the


blue, he'd have been perfect on the black.


Now, the way the red Czar, you'd have to say that Liang Wenbo is a


strong favourite, but you never know with Ronnie O'Sullivan -- the way


the reds. Absolutely superb. Beautifully, all


of the work that he gets on the cue ball, it goes past the blue. Run


inside the back with this red. Can you believe it? Liang Wenbo has come


out of his seat. He can't believe it. That red was a bit of a


distraction, leaning over the two reds. Still, what a mess. -- a miss.


I suppose, at 2-0, Liang Wenbo would be thinking, if I can get just 3-1


down I would be quite happy. The way it's going coming he's going to be


all square. He's going to be all square after missing a couple of


chances as well. Even better. Ronnie has had breaks of 55, 30


five. I don't think that's happened very often. Last week he was on only


55, but that's what's happened today. He was good enough to lead


2-0, but disappointed going into the interval 2-2. Leanne will be


delighted. Game on again. -- Liang Wenbo.


Just over one hour and three minutes before the first four frames. It has


been pretty fluent staff. -- fluent stuff.


Could have played to move the red, but decided, being a left-hander,


I'll just dropping behind it. It doesn't matter if he misses this.


He'd like to clear it, but it doesn't really matter.


He lost a bit of concentration. Now the frame as well and truly over. A


shaky start the Liang Wenbo, but I'll tell you what committee didn't


half finish in style. He goes to the mid-session interval all square.


It's two frames each. STUDIO: We thought there would be a


turnaround in that frame, but Ronnie misses a relatively simple red. You


could hear the audio bowl last of the audience when that happened --


be audible gasp. So from that happens. You play a bit of


brilliance, and the some reason you miss the next shot. Either you think


it is easy or you put too much pressure on yourself. Have those


ever happen to you? No? I didn't think so! Many times! It


interesting. Ronnie O'Sullivan goes 2-0 up, you think he is the best


frontrunner there has ever been. You think, that's it, he's going to push


on now. He missed a long red with a drag. And he has been pulled back to


2-2. A couple of unforced errors from Ronnie. The confidence levels


you could see beginning to surge through the anchor. He makes the


will -- through Liang. He has missed a couple of long once, he is now


needing help from Ronnie to get into the match and he got it. You got to


say the Wenbo, perhaps Wenbo a number of years ago wouldn't have


had the strength of character that perhaps take the next smack frames,


but he's an experienced winner now and he is using all of that to good


as dead -- the next two frames. It wasn't as pretty as he would have


liked -- he is using all of that experience. Will Ronnie be feeling


despondent at this stage about how he has performed? No, I think he


plays on a pretty, he is pretty level-headed about it, in his


attitude to matches and how they go these days. He is prepared to win


ugly. Winning the match is the most important thing. Sooner or later, he


would be too disappointed. It is interesting. Ronnie has won this


Master six times, as we know. He has also been in five other finals as


well, and incredible strike rate over 23 years, this is his 23rd


campaign. He is just wanting to win here, but what has been interesting,


and interesting he did on BBC radio five Live and indeed on the telly,


he was very keen to stress that he wanted to win with style. We showed


you the quote about him wanting to be the Lionel Messi of snooker. He


has been in rather expansive form in that chat with Jamie Elliott. --


Jamie earlier. It'd be great to get another


Masters. I does want to win another Masters. I want to win another world


is. I want to win another Welsh, and China Open. I just want to win more


tournaments. What are your memories of last year, and how well do you


think you played between the corners? I was struggling last year,


because I wasn't sure if I would ever be able to play properly again


because of my back. Seven or eight years ago I would probably have


thrown in the towel. I had to fight to win matches that normally I


wouldn't win. It was good for me, you know. Do you take a lot of


positives out of getting to the final of the UK championship? I know


it wasn't the result you wanted, but for the neutral watching it was an


amazing final? For me, it was about people coming to watch, you know, it


was on the TV, good entertainment. But I want to win it with style. I


want to play an exciting, aggressive, attacking game. So that


the people watching say, you know what, he doesn't just win, he


delivers entertainment as well. I think it's important. Some people


say, you can't play like that and when. But Lionel Messi proves that


you can, Tiger Woods does and Roger Federer. I want to try and be one of


them. Does it worry you, the lack of development, particularly the


amateur game in the UK and Europe? When I turned professional, in 1992,


I think. They basically just allowed everybody to turn pro, there's no


amateur game, there is nothing further to go and do. You turned


pro, go and get beaten 6-0. That's what's happening now, all of these


pros turning pro who are not good enough to be professional. A lot of


guys are wasting their time really. A lot of players are struggling to


stay on the tour financially. They are playing lots and lots of


variance. And it's training them. -- lots and lots of events, and it is


training them. If you're glad wanted to be a pro, would you encourage


him? I've told him, he's not allowed to. I'm going to be strong on that.


I said to my daughter, I know that girls play snooker, but I don't want


you to play. I don't think it is a good life for a snooker now coming


into the game. If you are Selby, me or John Higgins, or Judd Trump, yes,


but for the other 120 if you like, it's a nightmare. They are literally


struggling to put food in the fridge. You know, I don't want my


children being brought up in a system that only benefits the top,


top people, know. It's a bit like the banking world, you. Everyone


else is struggling to kind of make ends meet when the top people get


fortunes. It's like that in snooker. I don't want my children being


involved in an industry where that is the culture, you know. I want


them to be in something where it's a bit more even, you know. Do you feel


that you are playing at the level that you are happy with, or would


you feel that you can't lay better? I think I'm OK. For six weeks I had


-- you can play better. I had to really struggle. The last 16 was a


good result. I could have got beat early. My form over the last, say,


November to December, I had a really good plate when I fault had with my


game, I was confident and enjoying it, and it was good. My game is a


lot better place now than it was, say, early September. Your champion,


Ronnie O'Sullivan! Is there a bit more expectation, it is a London


tournament, and most of the fans are behind you and want you to do well?


I no longer here to put all of my eggs in one basket. You know, I


think the winner Masters, this is the bonus, for me. I don't ever now


make snooker my number one goal. This is part of what I do, is not


everything I do. I don't take it too seriously no more. I enjoy having


that freedom of not being a slave to the sport as much as I used to be.


And it's just about having it in my life rather than dominating my life.


I enjoyed coming in this room here day after day, playing for three or


four hours. Don't get me wrong, it's not bad. But other things I've been


doing really good fun, you know. You get to meet different people. I feel


it has made me a happier and better person by taking the pressure off


and just playing snooker. So I think it's more important for me at this


stage of my career but I have a happy, stress-free life. I'm not


going to be regretting, you know, on my tombstone it won't be, you know,


I wish it was seven world titles instead of five, I don't think it


actually matters when it comes to Judgment Day. It's just about


enjoying whatever it is that I'm here to do. I love to play and I


love to compete. I've got my book coming out, that's been great. I


love doing my exhibitions. I've enjoyed doing the American show.


That's enjoyment for me. Believe it or not, I know its work, but I see


it as enjoyment. This is work, coming to place Newco, talking about


snooker, that's work. Because that's where I'm scrutinised, and that's


where I Judd myself and where everybody judges me. You are really


under the microscope. All the other stuff, just being myself, you know,


I haven't got to be the best pundit in the world, I haven't got to be


the best tour guide in the American show, just got to have a laugh.


He has broken out and is doing other projects were other TV stations, he


has a lot in his life. We drill down to the specifics of the titles and


the number of titles, he says it doesn't matter if he wins seven


world titles or Masters titles. But I am interested, the other side of


that airs this is the first time he can actually own one of the records


in snooker's three major events outright. He has chased you two over


the last 20, 25 years, your title of six in the UK he now co-owns and


your total of six in the Masters and seven in the World Championship, he


can overtake you and that is a watershed moment potentially for the


sport. Discuss. CHUCKLES I think it's right, when I was


playing, I had something in the distance all the time I was going


for. Ronnie has got the same and it's good to have that target. But


listening to that it looks like he's not bothered about it, whether he


does it or not. I think when he gets on the table he's a winning animal


like both of us wear. But he's given himself that comfort zone of if he


doesn't win then he's looking back and saying it doesn't really matter.


Secretly, deep down, how much do you feel it would matter to him as a


professional, as a snooker animal? What you have to recognise is that


is a 40-year-old man talking and I don't think a 40-year-old will have


the aspirations of a 25-year-old or even a 30-year-old. What is coming


out of his mouth is how years trying to deal with the daily pressures of


playing in a competitive game. He's unloading the pressure a little bit


by saying it doesn't matter, a 20-year-old doesn't say that, nor


does a 30-year-old, they are committed and focused. So when you


listen to him talking about other players in the game, you have to


consider its not ill informed but it's coming from his perspective


because it absolutely rubbish that Ronnie O'Sullivan says the rest of


them should not be professionals. You have aspirations as a young


player coming through, you might not be good enough at the moment but you


practice hard, do like Mark Selby and Stuart Bingham have done and


suddenly you can improve your standard and could be one of the


players to get through and makes the money. You cannot say the player


ranked hundred and 20th is wasting his time because the player at 120th


is not wasting his time, he has got a dream. Ronnie O'Sullivan does not


have a dream any more, at least not in snooker. But these other players,


it doesn't mean it's not worth achieving or chasing. It's a


political dimension to this discussion that we address that the


UK championship, we did a feature on the economics of the current regime.


For Ronnie to say it's not a career he would now have his son going to


or his daughter, it's a strong statement. The great thing is that


he won't have a choice in the matter because if his son wants to be a


professional snooker player he will be. What is your take on all of


this? When you started out at 13, 14 and you are looking at the records


and were having to get your bottom skelter couple times in matches back


then, how did you go about processing? There were so many


deserting voices sing I was too young when I was coming through at


16, saying I would lose my love for the game but when you're younger you


dream. You think what could happen if I have some success in this game


that you love playing and you have to keep that focus and that belief.


That you can do something. I am sure somewhere in the back of his mind


the target of seven 's Masters title and owning something outright, it is


a huge shining goal for 25 years of your life. It should be but I think


possibly if you try too hard as you get older you put too much pressure


on yourself so secretly he wants it as much, but perhaps the way to


achieve it is to say it's not as important any more, that might be


the way to do it. Fascinating stuff but it will work out over the next


seven frames potentially. Before we go to the match, we saw Dennis


Taylor introducing the players in some style, 30 years ago this year


was when he beat Alex Higgins and 9-8, he is partial to a final frame


decider. He still has a couple of tricks up his sleeve. Six times


world champion, seven times world champion, this is a difficult trick


shot I am going to attempt, send a height of three cushions, it should


come between the gap in the queues. Very difficult shot, under pressure.


Let's see what happens, go on, get up there. Go and knew little beauty.




Fantastic Dennis, you never lose it. It's good but you are going to


struggle to beat one of the trick shots that you might have seen, it


has just gone viral on social media, 400 million views on this one from


the all stars snooker club in Bristol. If you have not seen this,


watch this. Starts at the top of a flight of stairs, the golf club does


the damage. It took four hours to set up, four hours of tinkering


before it all came right, over 90 attempts before they actually nailed


it. The cue ball sent on its way with the golf putter, the brainchild


of the general manager. They set it up at closing time in the club, they


kept tinkering with the set and till dawn when the cleaners were about to


come in and the club was about to open. It involves the stairs, the


snooker table, these two are mesmerised by this, two American


pull tables, six English pool tables and even a role across the floor.


What do you think? It's a good job the floors are level. It's quite an


architectural feat of engineering. It's fascinating, shows what you can


do with some imagination and a few snooker cues. There have been things


like this before with dominoes on the table, it's a magnificent


effort, the Labour of love that has gone into this is fantastic. It's


the first time it's been done from table to table, this has been seen


on the Internet before, but the sophistication of this, the area it


takes up in the club... This is the sticky point. That is where the


floor needed to be a fraction of level. Using pool tables and snooker


tables, I don't know if it goes to the dartboard? No. It's over 500


feet and for about two minutes they are already planning to top this but


look at this. Onto the bar. Some golf required at the end of this.


Here we go. The best all in one you will ever see. Extraordinary isn't


it? Have you ever seen anything so elaborate? That goes back to the old


dominoes. Dennis I know you were watching that, the man who set that


up is going to come in during the final next Sunday so has some tips


to give you and perhaps you can give him some in return? I am looking


forward to it, I might introduce that into my routine but it would


take about a week to set up. That was absolutely incredible. Something


I have been thinking about, wouldn't it be great if we got some of you


guys to think about maybe doing something at home and sending in


videos? I am just thinking good job they never assured that before the


Dennis! Absolutely, before we get back to the action, tonight 's


match. Kyren Wilson the only debit and


tear, the youngest and lowest ranked player here, ranked number 16 but


earned his place after victory in the Shanghai matters last season. He


will be making his debut this evening. Let's hear a bit more and


introduce you to master Wilson. Good old foot massage. Most


definitely James Bond, Daniel Craig. My dad playing in his best mates, he


had a pool room built and I was too young to go in and play so I was


banging on the door trying to get in. Dedication. Bad loser. I once


wrote happy anniversary to my fiance on the sand in the beach. He took it


well. Not really, I am quite laid back


when it comes to that sort of thing. Ranji jumping naked. -- bungee


jumping naked. Chilling out with my fiance and my


son and lovely warm weather. After winning Shanghai I bought myself a


new car. In just about a year he has managed to vault into the top 16 and


is now amongst the elite, earned his place here. Fantastic temperament,


what do you make of his potential? Yes, he's improved a lot, I remember


commentating on him to three years ago at the Crucible and he did not


look comfortable at all. Last year he was a dark horse to win the World


Championship. I disagree slightly about his temperament, I think you


can let things get to them, when his opponent is getting good luck you


start pulling faces so that might be a weakness but a tremendous potter.


I am sure he is taking that on board because he's a very bright guy. As


for his opponent, Ding Junhui, the first Asian winner of this title in


2011, has not won a match at Alexandra Palace since.


Extraordinary. It is, you can only put it down to the fact that the


first-round series against the top 16 player, you are not that much of


a favourite. The first round of other events you are much more


likely to get off to a good start as one of the top players. But still,


for Ding Junhui who has won five ranking events in a season and has


been very strong, amazing. Probably coincidence, just the way it


rumbles. He's already won avec tournament this season, was in a


final where he was dumped by Mark Selby and was a Crucible finalist.


Given the history, is he vulnerable? I worry a little bit, I think in


York he went out with a whimper, did not look like he was enjoying


himself, bad attitude for such a big tournament. Interesting to see how


the break over Christmas and New Year will change his attitude. That


match will be on the red button from 7pm this evening. If you have other


plans I will be back at 11:45pm on BBC Two with the highlights. But we


have this opening match of the Masters to conclude, it has become a


best-of-7 frames, let's see if Dennis has managed another trick by


sprinting into the commentary box to join John?


COMMENTATOR: I just made it! Not as quick as I used to be.


Liang Wenbo will be hoping to continue where he left off. That's a


pretty decent break-off shot. Hazel asked just before the


interval, do you think you'd be disappointed with his early


performance, I spoke to Ronnie in the interval, had a cup of coffee


with him and he said he is enjoying being out there, just happy to be


playing. Seems very level-headed it all. Did he mention anything about


the tip? When I passed him he was looking for sandpaper. Yes, he did


give some surgery to the end of it but he seems fine now. No great


issues. In good spirits. Last weekend we were over in Dublin,


Ireland played England in Legends match, it was fabulous and Ronnie


was in form. Mark Selby was there. Kyren Wilson will be on tonight, he


played really well, the Irish crowd took to him. That wasn't as easy as


it looked. A pot you would expect him to make


here of course but positional is -- play is difficult of this. Don't


think he can hold for the blue. Just having a look to see which way the


cue ball will go if he plays a screenshot. -- screw shot. No


problem with the opening Marin but what's he going to get on? He thinks


he can pot this, go past the blue, come off the side cushion and get


somewhere close to that red he was looking at and get somewhere near


the black. This will be some shot. Seemed to have a little bit of


movement on that shot. Didn't cue that one as smoothly as he had been


cueing the ones before the interval. Those shots with a bit more pressure


on them, you just ten to see an more function in the cue action with


Liang occasionally. What a chance he has left Ronnie O'Sullivan now.


Had a 55 break in the second frame but look at how the reds are


situated here. All the colours are in open play.


You're not going to mention the M word are you? It's a bit too early


but as you can see, they are sitting nicely.


Even though we are not mentioning it I am going to talk about it. Three


maximum is made here in the history of this tournament, do you know all


three of them? I remember Stevens with a white shoot making the first


one -- suit. Jimmy White made one. I'm not sure about that. It was Ding


Junhui. And the other was Marco Fu. Jimmy White was playing against a


Canadian, Kirk Stevens, when he made his.


Chatting away there, no chance of a maximum in this frame. 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. The break helped by Liang at the start of it. Poor shot on the


Marin, should not be missing those. -- on the red.


Looks like his concentration is back in order, Dennis. Yeah, I think the


interval came at the right time to Ronnie, just to get in and get a cup


of tea, relax. But this is him showing all his experience.


Frame safe. Concentrate on a possible century. 856 centuries he


has made in his career. There is a strong possibility he could go on to


be a player that makes a thousand century breaks in a career? APPLAUSE


Just hit the wrong red, might have spoiled the century. Just cannoned


the wrong red otherwise he would have cleared the table. Just had to


try. But OK, it might be in, no. But he's come out firing on all


cylinders after the mid-session interval is. The fabulous break


enough to take the frame. Ronnie O'Sullivan back in front.


At one point the M word was being mentioned, the maximum, there have


been seven already this season, Mark Davis, the first of his career in


the championship league just last week. Tell me about the demeanour of


Ronnie O'Sullivan as he's wandering around the table, he has the swagger


and it will do him good to have got a semi-decent sized break? It was


lovely. Again supplied by a bad miss from Liang Wenbo. You would think


having got himself back in the match at 2-2, presented with a great


chance, missing an easy red in the middle. He's done well to get back


to 2-2 but that's not job done, you have to keep your focus and


concentration. After that it looked inevitable that Ronnie was going to


win the frame. Their personal series so far has been emphatically in


Ronnie's favour with this 5-1 record but Liang Wenbo has been getting


closer, a final frame decider in September in Shanghai so he knows


how to get close to him. He has lots of grit and determination apart from


being a heavy scorer. The difficulty for players like Liang Wenbo to


become regular winners is how do you outplay your opponents, not just


beat them. You have to outplay them and put your authority on matches


and that's not easy playing against this standard. But every time you do


miss an easy shot and let your opponent in your progress and run


halts so it's back to square one again. They start the match off,


lose the first frame, start the session, lose the first frame and


play catch up. It is still tense, don't feel the match is caught fire


as yet. No, no real fireworks. Every frame has had mistakes so it's not


been flawless by any stretch but it has been interesting. Very


interesting indeed. A stunning final previously between Mark Selby and


Ronnie O'Sullivan. Back we go. COMMENTATOR: Not quite on the


cushion with the cue ball. One shot the players do practice a lot these


days, this type of shot. APPLAUSE


Cue ball needs to pull up. It just keeps on rolling, all he can do is


nestling behind the brown. Good opening pot.


Nice pot, but that fast cloth prevented him from stopping nicely


on the right colour. He's fouled that. I think he touched the brown.


Trying to get a bit of swear bonnet. -- a bit of swerve bonnet. I think


Liang Wenbo had put it so close to the brown it made it quite difficult


to get the angle. In the end just got a bit too much


on it. But left one to the middle pocket.


If he is this red into the left middle pocket it would be perfect on


the black. Would like to stun it in that makes the shot slightly more


difficult. Hampered slightly. Actually, not too bad. If he can get


some screw on it will get closer to the black.


Doesn't quite seem to cue as well when there is that little bit of




The trouble is when you have this man following new you tend to pay


your mistakes. Quite a good chance already with that was red at the


back of the pack. Ideally Ronnie would like to play


this with the cue ball slightly low on the bottom red, could pot that


and bring a few more into play. That's what he's played for.


Had to play the run-through, but again promoted a read. -- red.


Has a choice of shots here. Can either move the packed out or screw


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


25. 26. Ideally he would like to stand up into the pack here. Played


the screw shot, could not have come out any better. APPLAUSE


33. Looks like he's going through the


gearbox. One of the best in the business at that particular type of


shot, so much action on the cue ball, it stops in the pack and then


keeps on spinning. Last frame lasted under ten minutes,


break of 89. This frame is not going to last very long by the looks of


things. No, not while he looks as focused as he does. The interval has


been very good, I agree. Simple shot into the loose red on


the outside. Left on the three will be available.


Bottom one on the right is also available. Better position for him.


He has taken these supremely well, and once again, I think he has done


well, it looks very simple. Potting that red has cleared the path for


the other two to the right corner. You see the difference, 61 in the


frame already, and already safe. Once again, a matter of whether he


can make a century. Will not be easy with the read out on the side


cushion. Almost got the century in the previous frame. Little cannon


may have spoiled it. All about winning frames this century is nice,


but... APPLAUSE You would have to be a spectacular


red down the cushion to keep this effort going. He will not be too


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


he won the frame with that chance. Now, Ronnie O'Sullivan opens up a


two frame advantage. 4-2, to the Rocket. One shop there that paved


the way, plays it so well, black when you go into the reds, a lot of


people stick in the reds, but the way that Ronnie plays, the way that


a lot of the top players play, they make it look so easy. Playing with


lots of bottom, deft hand side, because it is not a good pack to go


into, but when he hits it, it stops and keeps on spinning. A lot of


players will play this, there will not be a lot of work -- enough work


on the cue ball for it to come back, I prefer when you play that shot you


play a stamp up into it, it's the -- cue ball up into the table. This is


what happens with the cue ball. You can see the back spin, spinning


away, spinning away, and then, whenever he hits the red, because he


has so much spin on it, it does not stop, it keeps on spinning, and


eventually, it works its way through the reds, and he played it


perfectly. That is a great example there, we have seen, with the


special black and white ball, made by Stephen Hendrie, I think. --


played. STUDIO: Was that you? It was! 89 and


80, and suddenly looks like he is in the groove. Seems to have found an


extra gear, to really punish Liang Wenbo, amazing how, losing an


insignificant shot, but when Wenbo misses the red in the middle in the


fifth frame, since then, it has been Ronnie O'Sullivan, in the balls now,


he looks like he is a certainty to win the frame. Wenbo was first in


there, and it was punishing once again. The best players in the world


convert more chances among the balls than the players further down the


rankings. Even so, a little smile from Wenbo, I think he has got


himself into the game, a couple of frames, has not got the


embarrassment of being whitewashed, anything like that. He just has too


see how much he can dig in again. I think the smile there from Ronnie


O'Sullivan, back to the action. COMMENTATOR: Wenbo's turn to break


off. Good opening part, what will the


attempt on the green, will he attempt something special? He is, he


is, look at the action on that cue ball. What a positional shot that


is. My goodness... APPLAUSE CO-COMMENTATOR: What a shot, what a


shot! Work on the angles, superb. Left this purposely low, pops this


red... All about the positioning, manoeuvring reds into play. -- pots


this red. If you take the black on, good luck. He is looking at the


black, I tell you what... Almost typed on the cushion. Wow, this is


tough. The odds slightly against that going in.


Tough shot, even for the greats. Found himself 2-0 down in this


match, nice to claw his way back to 2-2. Two friends down again. And he


is going to do exactly the same thing again now. -- two frames down


again. If it were 5-2, that would end the match. That is the


importance of this visit. We said when we were 2-0 down, test


of his character. Did very well to go to the mid-session all square. Is


he up to it again? Another test. Did not want to be straight, slight


angle, might just be able to stun onto the red on the right of the


pack, that will develop things, enough angle to stun onto the red to


the right. At one of these early in the match, just sneaked past it, did


not quite get it, he needs to get the edge, as long as he does not hit


it hard, just click the edge. APPLAUSE


Good shot. Just got the cannon how he wanted. Made it look easy but


those are tough shots. I think the bottom red on the cluster will part.


Also have the red on the left-hand side as well. -- will pot. Should


have after he has ported the black. Well played. Could not hold a cue


ball for that. Scrapping for cue ball control the,


not perfect on every shot he has had on the last few. Obviously you would


expect him to pop this but he has not had the cue ball under maximum


control. 32. Good pot, not quite on the


black, he is going to have to play the cannon announced, the red was


available, but you can't really hold for that, so it'll be the cannon.


And just got a little bit too much on it, hoping he's pushed the red


into a plank there. That would be a bonus. He should be buying a lottery


ticket, because that would be incredible if he's made that into a


plant, looks pretty much spot on. What a result that is. One thing he


has got be careful on, and we will show you the attempted cannon, if he


hits the other red, and he plays the plant, the white will go close to


the left corner pocket, he needs to avoid cannon ink-jet. -- he needs to


avoid cannon -- cannoning it. INAUDIBLE


Wow! That is amazing. That was basically going to be frame


ball there are, could position of the green. -- good position of the


green. Little bit more to do now, of the angle. As I say, it has been the


feature of this break, hasn't quite have the cue ball perfect. Keeps on


going. Another difficult positional shot.


Personally played. We have seen this afternoon, one or two shots have had


extra ball. Did not cue them very well but cue that one beautifully.


Great recovery. Deserves everything he gets after that shot.


I don't think any of these three ribs are available. Another key shot


coming up here. Might just be OK, if that red keeps on running, yes, I


think he has a choice of reds, into both middle pockets. For a moment,


stuck on the red, but he is OK. Now you see it, now you don't. This


really has been an excellent contribution, on more than one


occasion through this break, cue ball was not perfect, what he has


managed to make a break and keep going. -- but he has managed. What


was that shot? 52 in front, and that is the reaction from Liang Wenbo,


because he knows he is not safe, Ronnie needs one snooker, but how


did he manage to get the white there, with the red over the middle,


I think you just made sure of the black. The only needed to stun the


black and then he could pop the red over the middle, he didn't have to


screw back, very strange shot. Chance of sniggering yourself if you


play the full screw shot but if he stands it, puts the red over the


middle pocket, game over. -- chance of snooker in yourself. --


snookering. Liang Wenbo still the massive


favourite to win this, but there is enough friends to know that when you


should win a friend, get it over with, the last thing you want to do


is give yourself another 15, 20 minutes of aggravation, trying to


get back into this match from two friends behind. Should have got it


over a lot quicker. APPLAUSE What a pot that was.


The pot was difficult enough playing with your opposite hand but to screw


it back for the black? Just checking the scoreboard, to see the high


value colour, which one he can take, so he still only needs the one


snooker, he is OK, he has a future work with. -- he has a few to work


with. All of a sudden, a friend that should have been over a few minutes


ago, Liang Wenbo is going to have to suffer for a while. Didn't mean to


hit the pink, that cue ball, close to the corner pocket... Needing a


snooker, not a bad thing to hit the pain. He has left him a lovely angle


to play a thin clip off, not the worst.


See this read full ball, he can stay in behind the yellow and the red


backed up the table. And he could do, that may have spoiled things,


catching the middle jaw. -- red. -- back. It was a certain snooker. If I


was Liang here, I would be concentrating on the long pot,


putting everything into it, because this is a frame that could go wrong,


he should have had it one already, and the chance with a bump,


concentrate, knock this read in, get the frame over. -- should have added


won already. What was he going towards... What was he doing going


towards the middle pocket with the cue ball, if it had gone in, need


could have lost the frame! That was close. This is a good effort, this


is a very good effort. Is it hard enough? Just coming up a little bit




Well played. Some shop, that. Just wondering whether if he swerves


this, checks on the cue ball, could not hit enough of it... -- some


shot, that. Is thinking, if Ronnie potted this


read he would have to get the black, and then would still only need one


snooker, you want to keep the red on the table, more chance of a snooker.


Looking to see if he cut this read, and can he hold for the black,


because the yellow is never brown... That is what he has played. Is he on


the black? He can still take the black up into the corner, had he


have missed the cannon, would have gone on the black, potted it, up for


the yellow, in behind the brown, that was his plan. Needs to pot


this. That jump, jumped quite a bit. Ronnie O'Sullivan, one. The chance


has gone, it will be a relief yang Wenbo. Both the black jumped and the


cue ball. -- this will be a relief for the end Wenbo. -- Liang Wenbo.


Foul. Liang Wenbo two, Ronnie O'Sullivan four. He has decided...


Too difficult to get the snooker is required, Liang Wenbo has stopped


the rot, he has a frame back. STUDIO: Like sweating blood to get


that one in the end, over the line, did well to keep the break going,


one plant in particular that allowed him to do so, the crowd were doing


and dying, but he settled in nicely. Missed a cannon, but he created


this, not a difficult shot. -- oohing and ahhing. The pressure


shot, this could have cost him, if he had missed this, lovely pot. The


facial expressions, by Wenbo, were going ten to the dozen, but it


should have been over, he should have kept going because it is a lot


of aggravation, as John Parrott would say. He was always playing


catch up, I think Wenbo is improving his confidence, that shows, that


blue, struck in nicely. He is gritty and as the match goes closer, if it


does, we will see more facial expressions from Liang Wenbo, as it


gets closer to the end, every player begins to live and die... Burning...


A little bit, we all do that, even the best in the world. -- gurning.


He has endeared himself, over the last couple of years, he has become


far more popular because you can see some of his internal thoughts, he


wears his heart on his sleeve. For us watching, makes it interesting,


we have said, we were never ones to show any emotion, quite miserable,


we cornered the market in miserable as. Definitely good value. Ronnie


certainly knows he's in a match. Ronnie O'Sullivan to break.


CO-COMMENTATOR: He certainly is in a match, 4-3 ahead, some stuff from


the boys in the studio there, I agree with them, if you were looking


for... INAUDIBLE COMMENTATOR: Saw them both outside


the bar last week, I asked what they were doing, they said, waiting for


happy hour to finish... (!) -- I agree with them, if you were looking


for two more unhappy fellows, you couldn't do better than those two.


The two lads were talking early on, the fact that the players are a lot


more friendly these days, and some of the players go out for dinner


together. In their day, that would not have happened. Having a giggle


at their expense. Those two would not give you too much! 13 world's


titles between them. Seven for Stephen, 64 Steve It obviously


worked. -- seven for Stephen, six for Steve. So it obviously worked.


Good shot that he has played. Moving roads around. Up near the yellow and


the brown, that is one you have got to cover. A bit more pressure on


this. -- moving those around. There might be a gap through to that


one. Tight, but maybe the brown... Can't pot that.


Read into the right corner, not very inviting, because he cannot get on a


colour. -- red. Not often you see a player playing a


safety shot up this end of the table. That was the case there.


Just looking to see where he can leave the cue ball err on the side


cushion. Playing off the loose red the back of the pack. Obviously he


wants to cover the red, so it is not easy for Liang to get down. But as


he hit it just a little bit too hard? He might have left that red is


just to clip of past the yellow. That has just helped the situation.


It is brought to the pink into play. The match is tied up at the moment.


I think Oblak is tied up. Liang can play off the face of this red. You


have to be careful with the red going across and hitting the pack of


reds. They might be something across the other corner. Even with a shot


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


He played that really well. Didn't cannon into anything else. Good


touch. I think the brown is going to come


to the rescue. As he covered it? I think he has. It is imperative that


he got a good cue ball there. I think Liang is just seeing if he can


leave the cue ball at the top cushion, just hit the red half ball.


I don't think he can pot that. If he was away from the cushion, I think


he could but it is not a shot that is available to him. Of course he


could come off the side cushion and play that red but either way it


looks like that is what he's going to have to do. Alessi has better


eyesight than both of us. That was a better shot than the one


I was looking at. Had he played the other red, he could have left that


red to cut back. In much better choice of shot than mine. He red the


pot but boy, is that a test of your cueing. Here goes. Change of plan.


Ronnie O'Sullivan has been very measured. He hasn't taken any undue


risks. That is what we call playing the percentages. He knows if he can


get this frame under his belt, he will only need one and Liang Wenbo


would have to win three. They have both played some excellent


safety shots but that one is coming up a little short. At first glance,


it looks like everything is covering each other.


He played that has a shot to nothing. This is pretty difficult to


do. And there is another one. It happens quite a lot, Dennis, on


these fast clocks. You are trying to be too delicate. And then he has on


to hit it. It is so easy to hit it a little bit of -- a little bit hard,


just trying to nestle onto it. He is taking the brown. An extra red.


That would look a lot more different than it would. He had that lovely,


didn't he? Yes, it was a clever shot. They were all covering each


other, as you mentioned. One good positional shot away from giving


himself an early opportunity here, in a frame that could get him back


all square. He may just have to take a chance of playing into an area


here, if he lands on one, which he has done. That could not have come


out much better. Left-handed, even better.


He is quite a tall lad, Liang Wenbo. Around the 6-foot mark.


He could have played the last shot a bit better. One thing he did not


want to do with this is leave himself straight on. It looks like


an easy shot, but there are limits to what you can do. He has played


that particularly well. Make no mistake about it, he will


consider this to be a very good chance to draw level in this match.


Not the best with the cue ball there. The cue ball has run eight


inches to fire there. I don't really know what he played


on there. Just make sure he gets the green in, which is obviously the


priority. But he has come on the red into the middle pocket, and that is


a bit of a result. He has taken the slightly more difficult one. If he


was right-handed, it would be straightforward. He has a slight


angle, and he can get it away from the cushion, but he needs a little


bit of existence with the extension on the cue there. -- a little bit of


assistance. And he has played it well. I think is going to need one


more cannon to put himself into a prime position. That was a better


shot than it looked on the screens. Pretty tricky. He negotiated it very


well. Now the cannon. It is pretty good. What a chance this is.


Following a pattern of the frames before the interval, to nail down,


he paid it back to 2-2. -- 2-0 down. It was in the club, he would not be


missing these. In the club, it is well documented


that Liang Wenbo, when he practices, he very rarely misses. A lot of


players like that, but it is the really special ones that can take it


to the practice table. Taking it on to the match arena, that is the key.


I would be slightly annoyed having to play this way. Playing for the


other two on the left, you have to take it down a little bit. You may


have a choice here. The pink mingle in the middle. It certainly does.


And black it is. He is still OK. He has gone a little


bit further than he intended. He had the one that was near the middle


pocket. And they are absolutely sitting


perfectly now. And once again he has taken these


very well. Still punching. One thing is for


sure, he will not give him the match today. Ronnie is going to have to


win it. Ronnie has an awful lot of support


here at the Alexandra Palace, as he has all over the world. Always a


fear crowd here. If the opponent is knocking the ball is in, they give


them the utmost respect and this is exactly what Liang Wenbo is doing


here. The great Ray Reardon, a six time world champion, used to say,


keep potting balls and you will get the crowd your side. -- get the


crowd on your side. A couple of pots away from levelling


the match at four each. A fabulous fight back. And a very


important frame coming up. If he can win the next frame, what a


lovely feeling. Your opponents needed the last two to be true. You


are not over the line but I know which scenario I would prefer. --


needed the last two to beat you. Liang Wenbo will be hoping the


pattern of the match changes because Ronnie won the first two, lost the


next two, won the next two, lost the next two.


There is something about him, I like watching Liang Wenbo. I like his


mannerisms. He has that little swagger. He is good on the eye. But


that is not very good on the eye. But he has done more than an offer.


Liang Wenbo takes another frame and all of a sudden it is all square at


four frames each. STUDIO: Shone and Dennis were saying it is a familiar


pattern, and it is all even Stevens. From Liang's point of view, he has


to take charge instead of doing the chase. He has himself into the


position to effectively take it. Ronnie O'Sullivan is still the


person dominating the match, in some ways, therefore it becomes a bread


and butter match to get over the line in which ever way you can. Some


good scoring. 83-65, 109, solid stuff from Liang Wenbo. He is doing


very well. It is turning into a good match. A lot of the time when we


watch Ronnie it is like an occasion. But it has turned into a bit of a


grind, a real high quality snooker match. I would agree. It feels


different to the normal Ronnie occasion. There is definitely a bit


of tension. It is not a done deal. As for winning with style, it is


perhaps not the messy performance he was hoping, more like a solid


midfielder. -- Messi performance. A couple of years ago, the whole thing


seems like the Ronnie show. No two years are the same, but as we have


also said on many occasions, the general standard of the top 16 is


getting better and better. It is tighter and tighter. Every first


round match is more of a potential banana skin. On that subject, at the


top of the show we mention that this is the first time we have had 16


players who are qualified to be there. Often times it was invitation


but now you are here on merit. It is the first time that everyone has


been a major world ranking champion in their own right. That underlines


the quality. You could almost make a case for maybe not every single


player but most of them, for winning this. And actually, an interesting


exercise, obviously the bookmakers do not often get it wrong but let's


say, just for interest, that you were to bet on every outsider of


every match, how you would fear. -- how you would they are. Ronnie has


been the bookies favourite, although Mark Selby has been the number one


for some time. Ronnie, back we go. He attempted a long pot but he has


not left the red. Everything is safe. He could be deemed fortunate


there. The fact that he was snookered on the green and brown in


the ball area, it makes Liang's city shot more difficult. -- in the baulk


area. Not much he can do with the cue ball


because it is so close to the cushion.


A difficult frame. Wonderful horrible frames you get when the


players keep tapping the balls. -- one of those horrible frames.


Because they cannot leave that red in the baulk area. Sometimes the


frames end up looking like rear racks. -- re-racks. The players do


not like these frames either. Either player cannot run away up


into the right corner of the table because they would leave themselves


in trouble. Once again, tight on the cushion,


preventing Liang Wenbo from being able to get any back spin on the


ball. You do not want to leave a part, that is the priority. Just


make sure the cue ball is away from the cushion, bring it back. -- you


do not want to leave a pot. It looks as if he's going to take


this very difficult spot on. Where is the ball going? It is going past


the blue. It does not want to go into the pocket. I thought when he


was getting down to take that on... OK, he hit it a little thinner than


intended, but it was always a distinct possibility. He looks a bit


confused. Directory just asking the crowd...


It is OK to have an atmosphere, but when one player shouts out, it


doesn't help the player that is at the table, even though they mean


good. It can work against you. Usually, when the pressure is at its


highest, the best players produce the most. And this is a good chance


already but if he plays the cannon up into the pack here, he could


force a few reds out. Obviously he has a choice of shots. A few open


reds that he could play, but there is the chance to storm into the pack


if he wanted it. He decided to play the loose one.


It is all about the split here. Deep screw. How is your luck?


I am not surprised he hangs his head. He really did give that a good


old belt. He needed two force it but he did not have too it that hard.


And that is what he thinks of it. -- he did not have to hit it that hard.


It is little shots like that that can get you annoyed. He is 39 in


front. Most of the time, he would go on and make enough to secure the


frame. It is not an easy chance by any


means but it is a chance that Liang Wenbo was not expecting. Good for


him to knock the black in and get that back on its spot. It will help


to get that out of commission. Up in the corner, that is the one he


will take. In the context of the level of snooker we are playing at,


this constitutes a chance. And a pretty big one at that. Two cannons


away here from making this a brilliant opportunity. And he pulled


himself together? -- can he hold himself.


You just want to be straight on this but he is not. A nice angle. Coming


round for the loose red at the bottom. He played that nicely.


Those rates that are above the rate, I don't think he will be parting in


any pockets, they will have to be moved at some point during the


break. Excellent chance, not totally


straightforward. -- those reds. 33. 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. No problem with the loose


thread, there are near the pink spot, but those other two, how is he


going to open those up? Just play on it, on the red, and onto the cannon,


or is he going to do something else, interesting. The beauty of this


game, Dennis, all players see it differently.


No problem getting on the red to the left of the pink spot, thought he


may have been able to leave the blue in such a way that he potted the


blue and cannon and the two reds, leaving himself a few options.


Another way that he can play it, he can drop the blue in, pot the red,


flick the other one out on it, if he wants to do that... But now it looks


like he is going to get good position of this and cannon off the


black. This is the big part of the match here, can you negotiate the


cannon off the black and put the two reds up? I'm pretty sure that they


do not pot. Has he gone a little further than he


wanted, he has the cannon, he is OK, you need to get plenty of screw on


this to get the cannon. Not stick on it, either.


That is a poor shot. I think that was just down to a little bit of


tension, he knew the importance of that 1-shot, new new, if he got the


cannon Wright, he could win the frame. -- one shot. -- he knew. Only


11 in front. -- if he got the cannon right. Safe on the side cushion.


This is not the best safety shot he has ever played. Liang Wenbo, 50.


Nice 50 break, though. APPLAUSE It is a good 50. But a couple of


very poor shots on the end of it, shouldn't have missed the cannon,


you don't do that plain good safety, and that wasn't. But he hasn't been


punished for it. Is this... Where is this thread


going to finish? -- red. It was a tough one that he took on there.


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


that attempt. Liang Wenbo looking to see if he can avoid the cannon on


the green if he pops the red, at this stage of the frame, the


priority is to knock the object ball in, which is the red, of course,


sometimes you get the pot, sometimes you have to stand for position.


Could avoid it. Good pot. And now... He has the angle, little bit of


pressure on the black, to say the least.


Just the pace. Any harder, that would have wobbled and stayed out.


If it pops on red and black, he's going to need the yellow... Beside


it... Going to need the yellow even if you played for the black, much


easier to get position when you're close to the ball colours, so good


thinking there from Liang Wenbo. Just means he has got to pot a few


more balls. Good stuff from Liang Wenbo... Mistakes at the end of the


50 break. Didn't get punished by Ronnie, holding himself together


very well here. The tournament favourite, if he's going to get


through in this round, news going to have to do it the hard way, he's


going to have to win the last two frames of his opening match. The


pattern has been broken, two for one player and two for another player.


This will be three in a row for Liang Wenbo, and...


Doesn't matter the fact that he has finished close on the pink. Not far


away. Not far away! 43. APPLAUSE


Well, what a gritty performance from the Chinese buyer, he has won the


last three frames, now gets himself one ahead, he needs one for a famous


victory, it has to be said. -- Chinese player.


STUDIO: Looking so comfortable for Ronnie, and now three on the bounce


for Liang Wenbo, a shot in the air, you sensed Ronnie's frustration,


tried to force it. Little bit of pace required, steered it, hooked it


to some degree, later on in the frame, missed a long read, hit the


wrong side of it, hats he has missed his cue action for the day, can


sometimes happen, in his chair, doesn't look like he has too much


adrenaline pumping around, a bit flat at the moment. Somehow, he's


got to dig himself out of a hole. The way that the match is completely


swung away from him, how do you read it? You've got to give credit to


Liang Wenbo, as himself right back into it, looks... Steve said, his


attitude looks definitely better, looks more alert, and in his chair


and at the table. Pool is, that black, by Ronnie, and a couple of


long pots which he did not even get close, either he is relaxing and


letting his concentration slip, or he's feeling the pressure. -- poor


miss. Talking about attitude to the game, Ronnie is in his 40s, the one


thing that became harder as you got older was the fire in your belly


every match, right from the off. And possibly, mentally, he hasn't got it


as much as he needs to to apply the killer instinct early on and now,


somehow he's got to switch the switch, which is a lot harder to do.


Is going to have to win the last couple of frames. The defending


champion is really under it. COMMENTATOR: We have seen him under


it on many occasions, sometimes that is when he produces his best. He's


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 climbing that world ranking ladder. APPLAUSE


Good opener, close to the cushion, showing you the pot again.


Just had the one victory against Ronnie, Ronnie has had five wins.


Close match in the Shanghai Masters, not that long ago. Ronnie won that


on the deciding frame, 5-4. But they had never played each other in the


Masters. That is a cracking shot, if he's


held that for the black. APPLAUSE Pinpoint accuracy there. But that


certainly wasn't pinpoint accuracy with the positional shot.


CO-COMMENTATOR: I bet you he can believe he didn't get the cannon


there. Just played, just to nudge that out of the way, stay on the


other one, but it didn't happen. He can put this in, can't he? Not like


that he can. -- not like that he can't. The blue may have come to his


rescue. Ronnie O'Sullivan, eight. And it has. Not the worst for


Ronnie. That is a poor shot from Liang


Wenbo. OK, not straightforward to get good position. Played some very


good safety shots but that was not one of them there. I said it wasn't


going to be easy to get on a colour, look where he has finished. Not only


that he has knocked a red over the pocket, so that at that, of all the


possible outcomes. Usually know your way around a table, how does he get


out of this one... Playing the yellow, even if he hits it, can he


get it safe? Foul. Ronnie O'Sullivan, one, Liang Wenbo, four.


Into the left corner pocket, having a look at that... He has decided to


put it back... He will have to go back to that, if the position had


been easier, of the other, off the red on the left, he would have taken


it, the fact he could not see the one over on the right, didn't fancy


it, even if Ronnie hits this yellow, will do very well to get it safe.


Foul, miss, Liang Wenbo, four. Coming back again because it is


covering the pocket. Nice situation for Liang Wenbo at the moment. Just


that read that he had over the pocket, wasn't sure what was going


to happen to the cue ball, had the worst possible outcome. Third time


lucky... APPLAUSE Was always going to leave the red


that was over the pocket. Similar scenario for Liang Wenbo, to get


onto a colour. Always tricky, these, to try to get up for the colour, as


you say, getting trapped. Tried to drop it in. I think he was playing


on the pink, in the middle. A bit of pressure on the long blue, if he


wants to take a go. Really need one more frame. Good long potter, wee


bit of pressure on this because there are red is available into the


left corner. Just got to make sure he finishes his cue action here,


right back and right through, low movement. The pressure.


APPLAUSE Me nice and clean, right in the


centre of the pocket. Not out of the woods yet, where


position is concerned. This is a great performance from the


Chinese player, he only played once before in the Masters, losing 6-4,


two John Higgins, at this stage last year. -- losing 6-4, to John


Higgins, every match in the Masters is like a world final, John. It


wasn't in any doubt about Liang Wenbo's ability turning up today,


but it was about his ability to handle the situation and the


occasion. Very intimidating playing Ronnie O'Sullivan here, 2000 people,


99% of them supporting Ronnie, so you are playing against the table,


the balls, Ronnie O'Sullivan and most of the crowd. You have to have


a certain mentality to be able to cope with all of that.


That's pretty poor, a little bit of tension in the arm, he's in no man's


land with the cue ball, so easy to get on the pink or the blue, if you


want to screw back. Why did he's done it, needs to be a screw shot,


if he plays the screw shot, pink or blue, to stand it, give yourself


less of a chance of being on the pink, can only be tension. That was


a very easy shot for him to make a mess of.


What about this for a shot he is taking on.


I think he was so disappointed with his previous positional shot that he


thought he'd have a go on that, but that was a disappointing shot, under


the circumstances. Classic example of not happy with the positional


shot you played beforehand, so onto a better expression, pushed the boat


out. Will it be costly, though? Mind you, Ronnie didn't play a good shot,


wrong side of the blue, now he's having to pull out another good shot


here. That's a pretty good recovery there are! APPLAUSE


It's gone wrong. Then again, lively cloth... He wanted a full ball, not


half-ball contact on that cannon. Ronnie O'Sullivan, 12. One of those,


I think you might have been snookered on the black, with the jaw


of the pocket, one of those he is pleased the reds did not go in. --


red. Yeah, got a couple of shots he can play here but might roll onto


the red that is just above the cue ball, on the side cushion, could


drop of that, could play the one near the paint, go behind the


yellow, bring it back near the black, a few shots he can play. --


near the pink. What's the sure, it's not going to be an attacking shot.


-- Watts for sure. -- what's for sure. He has got to make sure he


covers the red that is near the green pocket. I don't think he has,


he's left a path through for that. OK, an awful lot of distance between


the cue ball and the object ball, but there is a situation which Liang


Wenbo, not dead straight, one good pot here, you would think he would


come up for the blue, certainly get on a colour. Test of cueing, this.


Well done! APPLAUSE What a chance now for the Chinese


player, required terrific cueing, could not hit it any better.


Well, this is getting tense, big smile from Liang Wenbo. He can


smile, Dennis, but that is a terrible shot, honestly, that is a


stinker, such an area there to fit, to do that... Honestly, that was as


close to frame and match as you were going to get, with that chance.


While! What a mistake. -- Wow! Cannon on either of the two reds


next to the pink. Promoted those towards the corner, ones in the


middle... Liang Wenbo, six. He's doing his


best to lose this frame...! Really tough shots to take on. One. Red,


next to the brown, no problem. Four reds, near the pink, not


perfectly placed, by any means... The one just to the left of the pink


is still available, angle to cannon... Two reds that Liang tried


to cannon. APPLAUSE Played perfectly. 12. He can pop


this and flick the other red away from the pink. -- pot. He can do,


Patsy is thinking, maybe, do I want to take the chance, in case it goes


slightly wrong...? Doesn't look a natural. -- it does look natural, to


pot that red and flick the other one away from the pink.


Straightforward in the end, as you said, I think he was thinking, I


don't really want to be risking any little cannons at this stage. Played


it well. 20. Every chance now that we're going to


have a deciding frame, in the opening match, in this Masters


contest. 27. Ronnie O'Sullivan, looking good in


this frame. Not just yet... Well... That's an interesting... Ronnie


O'Sullivan, 34. What a chance this is. Why didn't he drop in the pink


and secure the frame? I think he's head went a little bit because of


the previous shot. Not inking straight at the moment. Potted a


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


APPLAUSE Wobbled its way into the pocket. But


that last... Very strange from Ronnie... Just drop it in, and... He


could pinch the match by just one point. Nine.


14. Wants to get absolutely plumb on the black to make it


straightforward. Needs to bounce off the cushion. APPLAUSE


This one could be going... Right into the pocket. A little bit of


pressure on it, but this will be very slow. No! Can you believe it!


All he had to do was drop the black in. Get in! Ronnie O'Sullivan


thought he was out, we all thought he was out, the crowd thought he was


out, but how did Liang Wenbo misjudge getting the black in, hit


it a little bit harder than he needed, but it is all square, 5-5.


STUDIO: You cannot get your breath, in the palm of his hand, and we are


into a decider. We have all been there as players, the expectation


level therefore Liang Wenbo was to steal the match, he has had his


chance, whatever happens now, he cannot complain, how he must be


feeling at the moment, nothing worse in the game then missing a


relatively easy match ball. You have been there, more often than not you


have come through successfully, what a lifeline for Ronnie. To be honest,


I did not fancy Wenbo to clean up, he was perfect on every single shot,


just... Obviously wanted to be straight on the black, but, I just


didn't fancy him putting it, for some reason, I don't know why, he


needed the black on the spot, I think... The magnitude of the


victory against Ronnie, in a game like this just got to him. Getting


over the line at the best of times against Ronnie O'Sullivan is tough


but in this atmosphere, 2000 people watching you, the tension of this,


Ronnie has not been out in round one for five-year is. When 2000 people


go dead quiet, it is on you! Trains the enough, when he was playing pink


to black, talking about which way to go, I thought that if he goes of the


side cushion and plays the run-through, I think he gets on the


black better. Stunning it down, there was the chance that he would


leave himself low. Perhaps it is just me thinking about the way that


I would have played it myself but Ronnie missed the pink in the middle


pocket, must have thought there was a chance that had gone begging.


Looked OK for Liang Wenbo at that stage, Ronnie O'Sullivan is back in


its now. Those of you who remember last year 's Masters will remember


the final decider, Mark Williams against Ronnie O'Sullivan, Ronnie


came through it and went on to hammer Barry Hawkins, 10-1, in the


final. Goodness me. Then we go. Deciding frame. First match of the


Masters, first decider. COMMENTATOR: Not the best of Rachel


shots. Cover that one. Nice little touch. Patted Ronnie before the


start of the frame. The cannon on the black has come to


his rescue there. Because he would certainly have left Liang Wenbo in


among them. CO-COMMENTATOR: We are in a decider,


I don't know where we are, look at this again, why not play it dead


weight, first day of the tournament, love is then, sliding in a little


bit, drop it into the jaws, let it drop in, gravity would have taken


that one in. He will need some mental fortitude to get that behind


him to get the final frame. -- not the best of break-off shots. Should


have been all over. Ronnie hoping to cover the red. To


the left of the blue, this cuts into the middle pocket. Wouldn't it be


ironic, after missing the black, if Liang Wenbo were to put this in. Cue


ball looks as though it will career into the pink, if this goes in, it


could open things up. Black over the pocket but what a big shot.


. He played a very positive shot. He is unlucky not to finish on the


black. But after the easy black he missed to knock the defending


champion out, that was a great opening red. That was a great part


but you know what it is like, Dennis, when you miss opportunities


in this game, the snookered gods do not forgive you. -- that was a great


pot. Expect a bad run of the balls. He got one there. That was an


excellent box. That is probably the best pot of


this match so far. Fully stretched, you could hear the


groans from Ronnie. It is not about opportunity. -- not a bad


opportunity. I think that red, closest to the


black is available. He will have to be careful. The cue ball was always


going close to the corner pocket. This is not an easy part. And you've


seen the black that Wenbo missed in the last round, nothing is easy.


One player is a little better than the other are getting over the line.


It is all about experience and he has done it so many times. Hard to


believe that this is his 23rd Masters. He has been a champion six


times, runner-up on three occasions. He has seen everything there is to


see in the game of snooker. This is slightly awkward here. He has


decided to pool for the black. You might have thought he would go for


the blue but he did not fancy playing through the gap.


Whoever wins this deciding frame, they have a few days off and will


not play again until Thursday. You say whoever wins this game but I


think this is all over. There is pressure in this final frame but he


has been given a massive lifeline. He knows full well he should have


been out of this year's event. But like all the great champions, and


there are a couple in the studio this afternoon, they note that if


they ever got a second bite of the cherry, they would not let it go


begging. And how many times did we see them


do it in style? Finish with a match-winning break. Just taking a


little bit of time to make sure that he does not play an unnecessary


cannon, to get out of position. Trying to do it without playing a


cannon, to take that risk element out of it. He is worried about the


growing himself behind that red. Like all great champions, he can


smell blood. He knows immediately that this is the chance to win the


frame and the match. In a match he should have lost.


This will be a sore one for Liang. He will be thinking about that black


for a long time. A black that would have knocked out the defending


champion. Just a few more pots away from keeping himself in this year's


Masters. I think we can use to the idea that


there will be many more of these in this year 's event. You have to feel


sorry for Liang Wenbo. He played so well, losing the two opening frames,


he came back and won three in a row. He was just one point away from


knocking out Ronnie O'Sullivan. But how well has he taken these? He has


waltzed around the table like he is in the club. He really is one of the


best closers of matches I have ever seen. This has been him at his best


in the final frame, when it matters most. Top-class performance in the


final frame. A tricky red. That might just finish it.


What a time to make your highest break of the match. A frame that


takes you into the next round. And the crowd will be delighted that


their favourite has stayed in. Quite a few players will be gutted that he


has. I think we are going to keep on


clapping like the way through this frame. They might as well. Well, you


cannot take it away from the defending champion, Ronnie


O'Sullivan. Big smiles and hugs from his good frame, Liang Wenbo. Just


one pot away from knocking out the defending champion, but in the end,


he did it, as great champions always do it, in style, with that


magnificent break of 121. And he goes through to the next round,


beating Liang Wenbo six frames to five. HAZEL IRVINE: The two are


great frames but what a dramatic let off for O'Sullivan and what a way to


complete that incredible match. Your reaction to that? That is the most


focused he was all match. That comes automatically. You have either got


that or you have not and that is what separates the best from the


rest. What a let off. Wenbo will not have a great night's sleep. But it


Ronnie O'Sullivan my sometimes you need is the adrenaline pumping


through his body and throughout that match, it was not that type of


match. There was no real danger at 4-2. But when it looks like he's


going out and Wenbo misses the final black, Ronnie O'Sullivan is on red


alert. He was never going to make any mistakes in that last frame. And


how close was he? Not that close. It will be interesting to see how he


feels about it. A fantastic way to finish but that was pretty close. I


know I have won but I did not deserve it. It was there for the


taking. I did not play very well today. I know what it feels like to


be one ball away from winning the match. It will be hard for him to


deal with that one. What were you thinking when he was on that shot? I


was thinking I might have a nice week off, because I am not feeling


that well. I have felt really tired. I have trouble vision out there. I


am shaking and I just wanted the match to be over. I am hoping that I


will feel a bit better. You looked a little flat in the chair towards the


end. You coming down with something? I have at this for about a month. I


will probably give it to you. -- I have had this. In terms of the


adrenaline kicking in, it was therefore you. I did not feel any


adrenaline. I did not feel like I was involved in the match, I was


just going through the motions. Just trying my hardest, hanging in there,


trying to stay professional. I did not expect to win, because I thought


that he would have finished me off, but I got lucky. In the build-up,


you talk about winning with style, and presumably it fell a bit short


from your standards. I don't mean like I tried to go out there and do


that, I just mean that my style over 20 years has been to play a pretty


game, if you like, to try to win a game in one visit. You cannot always


do that. I think I have done all right over 25 years, and I just


enjoy winning. I do not get much pleasure out of playing poorly.


Maybe Steve and Stephen were different. They were much more


ferocious animals. I just want to play well, even in practice,


otherwise I get down on myself. We were talking during the match about


your chances of breaking Stephen's record and getting seven Masters


titles. And for the first time, warning that record outright. I know


that you do not try to put too much pressure on yourself but it would be


a significant achievement if you pulled it off. If I do not get it


this year, I have a good chance that you're after. I do not look around


and see anyone else doing anything fantastic. If I stay fit and


healthy, I have half a chance. Obviously, there are not a lot of


grassroots coming through. I will play until I am 50, I suppose. Well


done, Ronnie. Get their head down, and you have a few more days until


your next March against Robinson or Ali Carter. -- your next match. And


there is live coverage of that game from 7:00pm. I am back at 1145


tonight were the highlights. And tomorrow, we're back with John


Higgins taking on Mark Allen. Just to distract you from work on a


Monday afternoon. If you need fresh air, ski Sunday is on at 6:15pm this


evening. A classic weekend from Wengen. And at ten o'clock tonight,


Match of the Day too, with Everton city and Man United. From all of us,


you want a drama, you always get it. From our victor today, Ronnie


O'Sullivan, and all the crew, thanks for being with us.


Download Subtitles