Third Round - Part 2 UK Snooker Championship


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Third Round - Part 2

The third round continues at the UK Championship, the second biggest ranking event on the snooker calendar. Hazel Irvine introduces live coverage from York's Barbican Centre.


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LineFromTo

Good afternoon. We are spending our

week here in York for UK

0:00:330:00:40

Championship. This is one of the

landmarks of this city, very popular

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at this time of year, with the

Christmas markets in full swing. But

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not far from here somebody is going

to win a sizeable Christmas bonus at

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the Barbican centre. This afternoon,

we have the class of 92. They are

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like the sporting greats Ryan Giggs

and David Beckham but these guys

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have been dazzling the crowds for 25

years. They are John Higgins, and

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the man who celebrates his 42nd

birthday today, The Rocket, Ronnie

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O'Sullivan. Thank you very much.

Brilliant!

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I played Stephen Hendry and Steve

Davis, the legends of the game, and

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they've won the most, but I think

he's somebody who just makes it look

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easy, right-handed and left-handed.

He's just a one-off.

He's probably

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one of the greatest players of all

time. You know, me, John, Mark

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Williams, we've noted each other,

we've probably been good for each

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other.

Still standing indeed. Both

42 years young, O'Sullivan and

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Higgins are now very top two players

left in this Championship, at four

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and five respectively, and they both

have something in common today. They

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are fighting off the younger

generation.

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Ronnie is officially the top man

here in York now. So say both the

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rankings and the bookies, who make

him a runaway favourite for his

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sixth title. Michael Whyte is in his

way today. He has also struck

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lightning in the silverware. John

Higgins has been putting in the

0:03:130:03:15

miles ahead of his match back and

forward to be tiptop today. Because

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he faces the amazing 17-year-old

Yann Byng Tao -- Yan Bingtao, who

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reached his first semifinal. Any

questions or queries, you know where

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to send them.

These guys were once sensations

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themselves. This is a truly old

Championship. It's getting very

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precarious now all those top seeds

have gone, especially after that

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final frame decider last night.

Yes,

we all say you don't have to get

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that much from your top standard.

They think is a bit easier to win

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but you just can't let your guard

down.

We have two cracking matches

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this afternoon. That's talk about

this amazing 17-year-old, Yan

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Bingtao, against a wily John

Higgins. How much of tasks as John

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face today?

I've been watching Yan

Bingtao and he has been improving

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hand over fist and he's a top, top

competitor. Jermaine has a

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potentially very difficult

afternoon. He's incredibly talented

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and works very hard. -- John has a

potentially very difficult

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afternoon.

It was Ronnie who won

this title at 17 years of age. This

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guy is only 17 as well. Let's focus

on Ronnie and John's longevity. It's

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incredible.

I went round looking at

the junior event once and then I saw

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these two, and once these two suss

out what it it -- what is needed to

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be a professional, my goodness! And

then to still be playing 25 years

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later, remarkable. Willie is the

favourite for the event and John's

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matchplay is incredible. -- Ronnie

is the favourite.

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Will this be more of a contest for

Ronnie today?

It depends how he

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plays, because when he puts his mind

to it he has as good a safety game

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as anybody in the game and you would

expect him to dictate the exchanges.

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Michael is seriously talented and

he's going to have to play his own

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game today, so it will be

fascinated.

We are ready for it. We

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have another couple of crackers for

you as well, on tables three and

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four. A former semifinalist here.

Martin Gould, who knows there's a

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possible route back into the top 16

world rankings, if you can keep this

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one going this week, he takes on the

23-year-old Iranian player Hossein

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salsa, who has already been to a

quarterfinal of an English Open. But

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it is Ronnie's match we will be

watching festival. It has been clear

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skies and plain sailing for him but

he doesn't want to get hit by White

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lightning today.

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It would be nice to win a sort of

major tournament but I'm quite happy

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in general. I'm quite confident that

it's going to happen. If not this

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week then maybe this season may be

next season, because I'm doing all

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the right things to put myself in

the best position I can, so my game

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is in a pretty good place at the

moment and hopefully I can soon get

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back into the top 16. I've worked a

lot on my safety. It's been a bit

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inconsistent. It's going to have to

be as good as it can be. If I do get

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the chance is going to have to take

them. I need to enjoy it and not put

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too much pressure on myself, which

I'm trying not to, but it will be a

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great occasion for me. I think a lot

of pressures came when I won my

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first tournament and I don't think I

dealt with it as well as maybe I

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could have, but I was young at the

time. I'm still pretty young. I've

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got years ahead of me so, yeah, I

think I'm sort of getting back to

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playing some of my best snooker.

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COMMENTATOR: Once again, your

champion, Ronnie O'Sullivan!

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

He's the greatest player that has

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ever lived in my eyes, so he's going

to be tough to beat, especially in

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the Barbican, where he is so

comfortable. He's won numerous

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times. If I turn up and play as good

as I can, I can do myself justice.

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Well, this is the biggest stage upon

which these two have met so far. The

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two previous matches, the most who

profile of which was a tournament in

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Belgium. Michael has become a

multiple trophy winner this season,

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most notably in Germany. It might be

Ronnie's birthday but Michael would

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be in the room -- in the mood to

hand him any gifts yet! Let's get

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the show on the road.

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So many of the top 16 have gone but

many of the all-time greats are

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still in contention in this

Championship. Two of the member

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stage have amassed an incredible 59

ranking titles between them. This

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promises to be a very special

Tuesday here in Yorkshire.

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Please welcome the most exciting

teenage player we've seen for many

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years. Former world amateur champion

and World Cup winner, he was one

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frame away from becoming the

youngest ranking event champion in

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history last month in Northern

Ireland, so here comes the Chinese

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sensation Yan Bingtao!

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And his opponent, one of the finest

sportsmen Scotland has ever

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produced. He's been at the top for

well over 20 years adding yet

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another ranking title to his huge

collection in India this season.

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Four times a world champion, here

comes The Wizard of Wishaw, here

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comes John Higgins!

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About to emerge on table one, a

classy Welshman who's been banging

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in competitive centuries since the

age of nine. His senior breakthrough

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came in India two years ago and

earlier this season he doubled his

0:11:220:11:26

ranking event collection, winning

the Paul Hunter classic. Here comes

0:11:260:11:29

Michael White Lightning!

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And finally, a man who has been

thrilling snooker crowds for a

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quarter of a century. Superb form

this season has seen him win the

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English Open and the Shanghai

Masters. 30 ranking titles in all,

0:11:570:12:02

five times a champion of the world,

blink and you'll miss him, The

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Rocket, Ronnie O'Sullivan!

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So, here's how we are going to play

this. Higgins-Bingtao will be on the

0:12:210:12:28

Red Button. We'll be keeping you

updated here on BBC Two and the

0:12:280:12:32

matches are also available via the

BBC sport website. It is table one

0:12:320:12:37

where we are heading, and, Dennis

Taylor and Ken Doherty, are you

0:12:370:12:42

ready?

0:12:420:12:43

DENNIS TAYLOR: We are. We are both

looking forward to seeing how the

0:12:480:12:51

birthday boy is playing today. A top

Welsh opponent in Michael White. So

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off we go, then. Ronnie gets the

match underway. And pretty good

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break-off shot there.

Yeah, really

looking forward to this match,

0:13:080:13:19

Dennis. A classic already this

season, Michael. But other than

0:13:190:13:29

that, he hasn't played particularly

well. But he's a man for the big

0:13:290:13:36

occasions, you can certainly say

that, and this is one of those.

0:13:360:13:39

I think if he gets off to a good

start, settles down quickly, then it

0:13:430:13:49

could be a very interesting match.

But like any player playing Ronnie

0:13:490:13:54

O'Sullivan on the big stage, it

depends how fast Ronnie starts as

0:13:540:13:57

well.

0:13:570:14:01

Another pretty good safety shot.

From Ronnie. But Michael White, I

0:14:050:14:14

mean, we're looking at a player here

who made his first competitive

0:14:140:14:18

century when he was nine years of

age and won the world amateur when

0:14:180:14:22

he was 14. That's amazing.

He's got

bundles of talent, no doubt about

0:14:220:14:28

that. And he's very, very quick

around the table. Scores very fast.

0:14:280:14:36

It was quite interesting in the

intro when he was being interviewed,

0:14:360:14:41

he said his safety has to be

top-notch. It certainly has to be,

0:14:410:14:46

but also scoring has to be top-notch

as well today, to put Ronnie under

0:14:460:14:50

any pressure. It's one thing that

sometimes we forget about with

0:14:500:14:55

Ronnie O'Sullivan. For all his big

breaks and 147s, his safety is among

0:14:550:15:08

the best that there is. A match for

anybody.

0:15:080:15:13

Well, this is not the best safety

shot he's played if this red keeps

0:15:170:15:23

on running. It's pulled up just in

time. Looked like it was going to go

0:15:230:15:27

right over the corner pocket there.

And it's put Michael in a spot of

0:15:270:15:33

bother, the fact that it's finished

there, because it's not easy to

0:15:330:15:37

knock this in, and there's no easy

safety shot on. So he just might

0:15:370:15:44

have to take it on. It wouldn't

normally be his choice. He's looked

0:15:440:15:52

at the potting angle. If he doesn't

get this, you could leave Ronnie

0:15:520:15:58

right in amongst them. -- he could

leave Ronnie. And that's a terrific

0:15:580:16:06

shot. Deserves to be on the black.

Superb queueing there.

0:16:060:16:22

That's not bad.

0:16:320:16:38

Looks to be a bit straight on this

black.

0:16:470:16:55

Didn't get into the cue ball the way

he would have liked. A lot of cue

0:17:080:17:14

power but didn't use it there at

all. Trying to get onto that red

0:17:140:17:19

just below the pink. Playing at off

the cushion now at this angle makes

0:17:190:17:24

it a lot more difficult.

0:17:240:17:26

This is missable.

0:17:310:17:36

Yeah, as Ken said, it was certainly

missable from that angle. It was the

0:17:500:17:54

shot just before where it was more

of a stunned than the screw. He just

0:17:540:17:59

didn't cue it the way he normally

would have. And you can see Michael

0:17:590:18:09

looking to see what Ronnie was going

to do with that shot and he's just

0:18:090:18:14

looking around the corner, around

the back of Ronnie there.

0:18:140:18:24

Just a bit awkward on the blue and

that's the reason he's taking the

0:18:310:18:34

yellow.

0:18:340:18:37

Ooh! Now, then! He might get away

with this even if the white goes in

0:18:420:18:47

the pocket. There's a pottable red

to the middle but that was an

0:18:470:18:54

unexpected miss. No one saw that

coming.

0:18:540:19:01

He's got a couple of rates to the

left centre. -- a couple of reds.

0:19:170:19:25

Not easy with the jaws of that

pocket. But certainly worth having a

0:19:250:19:30

go at it. He's looking at the safety

shot.

0:19:300:19:36

Well, quite a long way away from

that one. Has he left it?

0:19:520:20:01

That's a bit too thin from there.

Just planning the safety shot. He

0:20:080:20:26

could do with a gap here between the

green and the blue to get down the

0:20:260:20:30

left side of the reds, and there

just might be a gap.

0:20:300:20:35

And there was, and he's played it

well. Very good shot.

0:20:390:20:45

Another mistake from Ronnie.

Unexpected. But he hasn't left

0:21:060:21:11

anything.

0:21:110:21:14

It doesn't half make a big

difference, that. That's twice

0:21:250:21:29

Ronnie's missed one pot. He got it

safe and then hitting the jaws of

0:21:290:21:35

the pocket. He could quite easily

have put Michael in on both

0:21:350:21:39

occasions.

0:21:390:21:41

This cue balls come very close to

this pocket. He's played it very,

0:21:530:21:59

very well. He has him in a spot of

bother here.

It's a bit of a messy

0:21:590:22:10

table, though, isn't it? The black

where it is. The pink off its spot,

0:22:100:22:16

the yellow up this end of the table.

You never know how it's going to pan

0:22:160:22:20

out but it's bit of -- it's a bit of

a scrappy frame. You never know how

0:22:200:22:29

the balls will finish up.

0:22:290:22:36

Well, that was a great shot. That

was an excellent return from Ronnie.

0:22:560:23:02

He duly acknowledges it.

0:23:020:23:10

It's the type of frame both players

went really enjoy very much. --

0:23:290:23:35

weren't really enjoy. A bit of cat

and mouse at the moment. Trying to

0:23:350:23:41

find the first opening.

0:23:410:23:45

He's covered most of the reds. The

one between the pink and the red and

0:24:130:24:20

the pink spot is the only one that

is possible to pot.

0:24:200:24:25

If he took that on, the white would

be going towards the right corner

0:24:330:24:37

pocket, so he's got to try to cut

this in the middle, but this is

0:24:370:24:41

awkward cueing. That wasn't easy.

The cannon on the brown has kept

0:24:410:24:48

everything safe, though.

0:24:480:24:52

But gradually they are starting to

open up.

0:24:570:25:02

There's a couple of words Michael

could have a go at here. That one is

0:25:220:25:26

almost straight. A bit of angle. But

the yellow is up this end of the

0:25:260:25:30

table. That's what he's looking

that, to see if he stopped it dead,

0:25:300:25:36

would he be on the yellow? If he

stopped it dead he would be

0:25:360:25:39

snookered on the yellow with the red

to the left of the one he would be

0:25:390:25:44

taking. Playing it with topspin,

he's got to be careful the white

0:25:440:25:49

doesn't follow it in.

0:25:490:25:51

It wasn't easy, that.

0:25:550:26:02

He was hoping to get the cue ball

behind the brown but he's left this

0:26:250:26:31

red inside the blue. A very

straightforward safety shot from

0:26:310:26:34

Ronnie here.

0:26:340:26:40

Just wondering, can he cut this one

into the right-hand corner pocket?

0:26:510:26:55

There's a couple of friends he can

go at. Maybe get back up for blue or

0:26:550:27:01

yellow. -- a couple of reds.

Some

good long balls already in this

0:27:010:27:10

frame. That's another good pot.

Trying to get back out for the

0:27:100:27:16

yellow into that corner pocket. Does

it go into the right centre? Well,

0:27:160:27:22

it's very tight.

0:27:220:27:24

No. Very tough to judge, those.

0:27:320:27:39

He let the white runaway there.

0:27:510:27:56

Good cueing. And just look at the

table. There's very few points

0:28:040:28:12

available but it's one of the

situations sometimes where Ronnie

0:28:120:28:17

O'Sullivan is good at break-building

when there's not a lot there. But

0:28:170:28:23

he's not timing the ball just as

well at the moment. He didn't get

0:28:230:28:27

into that one.

0:28:270:28:29

It is the first frame and it takes

the players just a while to settle

0:28:360:28:41

in.

0:28:410:28:42

He's got an angle on this red to

clip the black and the red on the

0:28:470:28:51

right side of the table. Doesn't

have to but it's possibly on.

0:28:510:29:00

Didn't take the opportunity. But it

worked out OK.

0:29:060:29:13

Now, he needs a nice angle after

putting this red. Hopefully for the

0:29:170:29:21

blue. Then try to go into those four

reds at the top there. It's a tough

0:29:210:29:33

target.

0:29:330:29:34

Well, he hit them OK but nothing

available.

0:29:420:29:49

Certainly not the type of framework

were expecting to start off. The

0:30:070:30:14

balls can sometimes get tied up.

0:30:140:30:16

Just got to be a bit careful here he

doesn't capture -- catch a colour on

0:30:360:30:47

the way back down. The yellow and

blue are in the way of the cue ball

0:30:470:30:56

heading back down the table, but

this will cut in. The referee,

0:30:560:31:04

Marcel Eckhardt, just removing the

foreign object of the cue ball.

0:31:040:31:14

It was a bit of a free shot, as I

say.

0:31:230:31:29

That's a few times Ronnie has put

Michael down in this position, and

0:31:470:31:55

it is always a very tough to cue.

Almost over the pocket.

0:31:550:32:04

You have got to be so precise.

0:32:120:32:16

It wasn't the best safety shot, but

he will certainly be happy with it.

0:32:240:32:28

APPLAUSE

0:32:400:32:42

Good effort.

0:32:450:32:47

Well, how many times have we seen

that white up in the jaws of that

0:33:070:33:15

top corner pocket? But this will cut

in. It is a half chance for Ronnie.

0:33:150:33:20

APPLAUSE

It has gone close on numerous

0:33:200:33:26

occasions, and there again it is in

the jaws, but he is on the brown,

0:33:260:33:31

and there is a red, the one that is

nearest the right corner.

0:33:310:33:36

The other one might possibly be.

0:33:360:33:38

He is now looking at the green. But

you would think the brown would be

0:33:490:33:54

the better one for position. Yes,

back to the brown.

0:33:540:33:57

Oh, the flick on the blue. What's

the outcome? I tell you what, it

0:34:070:34:14

might not be bad, because he flicked

the red away, and now the black is

0:34:140:34:21

available. So that could turn out to

his advantage, that flick on the

0:34:210:34:27

blue.

0:34:270:34:28

APPLAUSE

0:34:360:34:39

I tell you, that really takes superb

cueing. That was a fantastic shot.

0:34:440:34:51

The brown wasn't that easy either.

Those two shots on their own will

0:34:510:34:58

tell you how good he is cueing.

Now,

watch this, it was amazing. When he

0:34:580:35:06

flicked the blue, I thought it was

all going wrong, but look at the

0:35:060:35:10

other flick on the red to free the

black.

0:35:100:35:15

This is another tough one coming up.

It is not straightforward.

0:35:230:35:28

He doesn't want this red to knock

the black safe, he is playing a

0:35:540:35:57

safety shot, that's OK.

0:35:570:36:02

28 points, the difference. The game

has now opened up. So, one mistake

0:36:200:36:25

could be costly.

0:36:250:36:27

At the moment, he may not be timing

the ball as well as he would like,

0:36:350:36:42

but his safety so far has been

excellent.

0:36:420:36:45

And Michael's hasn't been too

shabby, either.

0:36:520:36:58

First loose one.

0:37:050:37:11

And as I say, we have had a lot of

safety, because the frame went very

0:37:150:37:20

awkward. Can Michael White convert

this long read, give himself a

0:37:200:37:24

chance?

0:37:240:37:25

Oh, dear. There was a lot of safety

play. This might be in, off the

0:37:400:37:48

brown, is it? He cued that one very

poorly, have a look at this. That is

0:37:480:37:55

not the sort of thing you want to

see happening.

0:37:550:37:58

Yes, quite a lot of movement, and

that will certainly worry him a

0:38:140:38:18

little bit.

0:38:180:38:21

Now, a chance for Ronnie to get a 28

point lead.

0:38:350:38:41

He can hold for the black here with

a little kiss on the yellow. Just

0:38:420:38:47

the black and one more red for this

opening frame, that has been a bit

0:38:470:38:50

scrappy. He won't mind, they all

count. He has got to judge a little

0:38:500:39:00

cannon into these two reds here.

0:39:000:39:06

That hasn't worked out well at all.

0:39:150:39:18

No attempt at the double there,

although the red almost went in off

0:39:410:39:49

the pink. But Michael has got to get

the white back up the table, and

0:39:490:39:56

somewhere to the right of the yellow

and towards the black, otherwise he

0:39:560:40:03

will leave that red near the pocket,

so it will be interesting to see how

0:40:030:40:07

he plays this.

0:40:070:40:09

And he did. Now he has got the white

up the table, but not the way he

0:40:130:40:17

intended. I was just about to say

that that was the frame over, until

0:40:170:40:21

he double-kissed the red.

0:40:210:40:25

Another good safety from Ronnie

O'Sullivan, still waiting for that

0:41:150:41:22

one red that he needs. This friend

coming up to almost 29 minutes.

0:41:220:41:28

He has got to be careful here that

he doesn't leave this red on.

0:41:320:41:41

REFEREE:

Foul and a miss.

He has got hit it this time, because

0:41:410:41:56

he is 40 behind.

0:41:560:41:58

It is so easy to push this red into

a portable position.

0:42:110:42:15

APPLAUSE

0:42:300:42:40

And where is the white going to

finish? On the blue spot.

0:42:480:42:53

46 ahead.

0:42:580:42:59

Bit of a scrappy opener, a lot of

safety, the balls went a bit messy.

0:43:130:43:20

Yes, you never know how the frame is

going to pan out. It will possibly

0:43:200:43:26

turn out to be the longest frame of

the match.

0:43:260:43:30

I think we spoke about Ronnie's

safety game that is up there with

0:43:390:43:46

the best as well, and a few little

shots during that frame just showed

0:43:460:43:53

how good he was, got into all sorts

of trouble a couple of times, and

0:43:530:43:57

ultimately it cost him the frame.

Yes, he has kept his focus, which

0:43:570:44:04

you have to do, when you get an

awkward frame like this. They are

0:44:040:44:10

just as important to win, probably

more important. It doesn't matter

0:44:100:44:15

about the pink wobbling in the jaws

of the pocket. It is a frame that

0:44:150:44:19

lasted just over half an hour, and

Ronnie O'Sullivan takes it, and he

0:44:190:44:23

leads one frame to nil.

Hazel IRVINE: Ronnie off and

0:44:230:44:32

running, and there were points when

the decisions needed to be made by

0:44:320:44:36

most Michael White and Ronnie. He is

in the situation, he is 30 points

0:44:360:44:43

behind, the two reds on the table, I

would have been tempted to play the

0:44:430:44:47

other one that was in the baulk

area. He plays it another way, clips

0:44:470:44:53

the red, and he is making it harder

for himself to make a clearance if

0:44:530:44:57

he gets it anyway, by potting

another red close to the cushion.

0:44:570:45:04

He clips the red like this, and now

he is snookered. It is funny how

0:45:100:45:16

people see the game differently. I'm

not saying what he did was wrong,

0:45:160:45:19

but it is the way of looking at it

and thinking, how will I get back

0:45:190:45:22

into the game?

He certainly played a

fantastic safety shot from there,

0:45:220:45:30

and it was such a difficult shot to

play, there was a chance of going in

0:45:300:45:36

off, so it was an excellent safety

shot.

You can't fault his

0:45:360:45:41

preparation, he was here for a

couple of hours, and beta you have

0:45:410:45:44

been privy to the fact that he has

been doing a lot of work recently.

0:45:440:45:50

Yes, I popped into the Academy in

Sheffield yesterday, and I had a

0:45:500:45:53

best of nine with one of the lads

before I came to York, and he was

0:45:530:45:58

practising there. He was still there

when I left, he is potting a lot of

0:45:580:46:01

hard work in.

And he is paying off,

he has been in three of the four

0:46:010:46:06

recent finals, he has two major

titles under his belt this season,

0:46:060:46:10

and he seems to be very committed.

And he was fully focused, and if he

0:46:100:46:26

keeps winning, and his attitude

there was unquestionable.

Dennis,

0:46:260:46:33

back to you.

0:46:330:46:36

That is a long pot, looks a little

quicker than the other day, but

0:46:510:47:03

playing absolutely beautiful.

0:47:030:47:05

That was a good point Peter Ebdon

made about the practice, you think

0:47:100:47:16

here's a natural player, doesn't

have to practice, there has never

0:47:160:47:20

been a player that could play and

get to the top of the game of

0:47:200:47:24

snooker without putting the hard

work in. There is no secret to

0:47:240:47:28

getting to the top of this game, you

have to put in the hours and hours

0:47:280:47:33

of practice.

A great quote from the

great Sir Alex Ferguson, he said

0:47:330:47:41

talent without hard work wins

nothing. Ronnie has got bundles of

0:47:410:47:47

talent, but he works hard to go with

it, and that's why he's been so

0:47:470:47:51

successful. 25 years ago he won this

championship, just 17 years of age.

0:47:510:47:59

And of course, he has won it five

times, he is bidding this year to

0:47:590:48:07

equal Steve Davis's six. A

remarkable career, still going

0:48:070:48:15

strong.

0:48:150:48:15

Totally the opposite to the opening

frame.

0:48:540:48:56

Just a couple more reds available.

0:49:040:49:07

Even the great players take their

eye off the pot sometimes. He

0:49:330:49:38

concentrated on the cannon into the

reds there, had to play it with

0:49:380:49:42

side, and just took his

concentration of the pot.

It is very

0:49:420:49:51

important for Michael White here to

knock a few in just settle down. But

0:49:510:49:55

in off the left jaw.

0:49:550:50:00

If he had hit this any harder, just

have a look at this. It would have

0:50:050:50:09

come back out again. But he is a

very talented player, so he could do

0:50:090:50:16

with knocking in a few here to get

right back into this second frame.

0:50:160:50:20

Yes, it is situations like this that

he really has to score from, not

0:50:260:50:30

only to give himself a bit of

confidence but just to let Ronnie no

0:50:300:50:34

that he is going to have to play

well to beat him.

0:50:340:50:40

He has to make Ronnie know that if

he misses, he is going to get

0:50:440:50:47

punished. It is an important break,

this, for Michael.

0:50:470:50:53

I think the red that is close to the

pink doesn't pot, so he might leave

0:51:200:51:27

the angle close so that he can nudge

the red into play, that looks

0:51:270:51:34

perfect.

The only awkward red would

be that one just below the black on

0:51:340:51:41

the cushion, you would have to say.

That may be the key to this frame.

0:51:410:51:47

I think he tried to move it there.

0:51:590:52:03

He definitely tried to take it off

the cushion.

0:52:080:52:12

He has changed his mind a couple of

times there. That's OK.

0:52:280:52:35

Very easy to get up for that red to

the right of the blue.

0:52:400:52:45

And he got a kick, he almost missed

the pot. That would have been

0:52:490:52:54

unlucky, he got a heavy contact

there. It just jumped a little bit.

0:52:540:53:00

Now, how is he going to go about

this red that is behind the black?

0:53:000:53:05

Is he going to play to get on it for

either corner pocket? Or if he

0:53:050:53:11

doesn't fancy that, he can leave the

white in such a position that he

0:53:110:53:15

could put Ronnie in all sorts of

trouble. It will be interested to

0:53:150:53:20

see how he goes about this and what

his decision will be. When you are

0:53:200:53:24

at the table, sometimes you think, I

am going to go for it, but that is

0:53:240:53:28

what he is already debating in his

own mind.

I think he has got to try

0:53:280:53:34

to get on that baulk, try to get

somewhere close to that red.

0:53:340:53:41

I would just put a little cue ball

up there, Dennis. If he gets

0:53:470:53:53

anywhere within that vicinity, then

he leaves a nice angle on the red.

0:53:530:53:56

Has he missed the black? Just got a

little flick on the black.

He could

0:53:560:54:07

put everything into just potting

this. He has a slight angle, but

0:54:070:54:13

that is the problem with these

pockets, if you force them...

0:54:130:54:17

It is OK we knew are just dropping

the men along the cushion, but when

0:54:210:54:24

you have to put in any pace, it is

so easy for this to happen. I mean,

0:54:240:54:29

it looked good there. But this was

the position that Michael could have

0:54:290:54:36

put Ronnie in. But you can't blame

him for trying to knock the red in.

0:54:360:54:49

Yes, maybe laying a snooker for

Ronnie O'Sullivan. If you just drops

0:54:490:54:53

the red in, the angle wasn't

fantastic to get up for the black,

0:54:530:54:57

but he could have dropped it in and

maybe played a little snooker just

0:54:570:55:00

up behind the black and put Ronnie

and a lot of trouble, and now he has

0:55:000:55:05

got to not only try and hit this

red, but get it safe, that is going

0:55:050:55:10

to be the most difficult part of

this equation.

0:55:100:55:13

He is going for the swerve shot,

right down the cue. Now, where is

0:55:220:55:29

the red going to finish? And where

is the blue going to finish? Is the

0:55:290:55:34

blue coming to the rescue on the cue

ball? It is, he holds his hand up.

0:55:340:55:40

APPLAUSE

0:55:470:55:50

You never know where they are going

to finish, and what a result there.

0:55:540:55:59

That was a case of, anything you can

do, I can do better.

0:55:590:56:03

He has to clip the edge of this red,

because if he clips it fourball, the

0:56:060:56:13

Green will take all of the pace out

of the cue ball, so he has to clip

0:56:130:56:18

the edge. That is not too bad, he

will be happy with that.

0:56:180:56:28

I don't fit Ronnie can pot this red.

If he sends it all around the angle,

0:56:310:56:39

he will get somewhere behind the

black, I would think. And here it

0:56:390:56:46

comes. He caught the jaw of the

pocket, otherwise he would have got

0:56:460:56:53

the red in behind the black. I tell

you what, if Michael can play one

0:56:530:57:00

good safety shot here, double the

red across, the white back up

0:57:000:57:04

towards yellow and brown, the red

might go close to the right corner

0:57:040:57:09

pocket.

0:57:090:57:10

Played it well, this is a very good

shot. Excellent.

0:57:150:57:19

Is there a gap?

I think there is.

0:57:260:57:31

Well, Ronnie's time to be extremely

lucky, he got the double-kiss.

0:57:410:57:45

There is a big target there, the

green, and the pink and of course

0:57:580:58:02

the blue, he can use them as

Brockers. The yellow is not a bad

0:58:020:58:07

one, either.

0:58:070:58:10

That is a great safety, and he will

need a little bit of luck, two

0:58:150:58:18

cushions.

REFEREE:

Foul, and a miss. Michael

0:58:180:58:34

White, four.

Ronnie is not playing just hit this,

0:58:340:58:41

he wants to clip it.

0:58:410:58:43

And this could be a free ball, this

could be very costly, it could have

0:58:490:58:53

cost him the frame. It is, and I

know it is the best of 11 and it is

0:58:530:58:59

early days, but this is a huge frame

for this young Welsh player.

0:58:590:59:03

REFEREE:

Yellow ball.

0:59:060:59:08

The yellow counts as one point.

0:59:200:59:23

I don't know about you, Dennis, but

I think I would like to get the

0:59:290:59:33

greenback up on its spot here, just

to make the break a bit easier. OK,

0:59:330:59:40

he is 18 points ahead, he could go

blue, red, blue or pink and then

0:59:400:59:46

yellow, and then Ronnie Wood need

snickers, but he could go for the

0:59:460:59:49

green here, if he wished.

0:59:490:59:51

No, he is going to go red, blue,

yellow. And Ronnie will need one

0:59:541:00:01

snooker. This is a frame that Ronnie

really should have won.

1:00:011:00:09

Yes, surprised he left a three ball

-- free ball there.

1:00:161:00:24

But as you can see, only one snooker

required, so this green might go

1:00:341:00:39

past the black. I'm not sure.

I

think this was the problem. By not

1:00:391:00:46

getting the greenback on its spot

he's made life a bit more difficult

1:00:461:00:49

for him. Well, just about.

1:00:491:00:54

Well, Ronnie says that's enough so

Michael White name gets his first

1:01:071:01:11

frame on the board. It's 1-1.

HAZEL IRVINE: So, one frame apiece.

1:01:111:01:22

The way he went about getting over

the line there, there was much

1:01:221:01:25

discussion between you two about

that process.

Yeah, you don't expect

1:01:251:01:30

O'Sullivan to miss the way he's done

that, miss the red and then the free

1:01:301:01:36

ball. The first shot out have been

playing was yellow off side cushion,

1:01:361:01:40

get the green, dead straight,

greenback on its spot perfect and

1:01:401:01:44

then the clearance is much easier,

but he went another way and got over

1:01:441:01:47

the line but did it the hard way.

Questions of Michael so far, Peter?

1:01:471:01:55

It's been an interesting game.

They've shared excellent safety,

1:01:551:01:58

potted a lot of balls. Michael White

now really have to play his own game

1:01:581:02:03

and he's gone out and attacked

Ronnie but he's also tried to

1:02:031:02:06

compete with him in the safety

department, which will be difficult

1:02:061:02:08

over the course of the match, but

he's doing well and that was an

1:02:081:02:12

important frame to him to win.

This

is one of the first times that he

1:02:121:02:19

opened my eyes to think he could be

one of the best players was when I

1:02:191:02:24

saw him not at his best but, boy,

did he compete. He took Selby to a

1:02:241:02:29

final frame decider. He didn't have

his best game that day but he showed

1:02:291:02:33

me that even without his best game,

he's a good competitor and he's

1:02:331:02:37

difficult to beat.

He has had a

rough time of it of late. He came

1:02:371:02:41

back and won an event in Germany. He

has taken some matches against Selby

1:02:411:02:49

this season, but even with that,

he's had some mental health issues

1:02:491:02:53

and address those and really seems

to be getting back to where he was a

1:02:531:02:56

couple of years ago, which is

fantastic to see. In terms of his

1:02:561:03:00

competitive ability, how would you

rate him as a 26-year-old in this

1:03:001:03:06

game now?

He's a very good

competitor and he such a natural

1:03:061:03:09

talent as well, isn't he? When he's

on his game he is capable of beating

1:03:091:03:13

anybody. Going back to his mental

issues, this is the most difficult

1:03:131:03:18

game in the world bar none. When you

get beat, when you sit and make a

1:03:181:03:22

mistake -- when you met mistakes,

then sit in your chair. There's so

1:03:221:03:27

much luck involved as well.

It's a

story we've heard from many players.

1:03:271:03:32

It's a hard game to master and it

does inflict psychological blows

1:03:321:03:37

upon you the longer you stay in.

Scars, too, as we talked about,

1:03:371:03:42

John. Back we go. One frame apiece.

1:03:421:03:49

DENNIS TAYLOR: Once again, another

very good break of shocked. --

1:03:531:04:00

break-off shot. Tight to the

cushion. That's what you're looking

1:04:001:04:06

for. Michael pap the table there to

acknowledge that. -- Michael tapped

1:04:061:04:12

the table.

Of course he plays it

left-handed as well. You tend to

1:04:121:04:22

forget about Ronnie breaking off

left-handed and it just becomes so

1:04:221:04:29

customary. You take it for granted.

1:04:291:04:32

Coming off two cushions to try to

get to the red.

1:04:411:04:47

REFEREE:

Foul and a miss.

1:04:551:04:59

That's the perfect line. Can he

remember where he hit the cushion?

1:05:021:05:10

Well, if he doesn't hit it this

time, this looks a bit weak as well.

1:05:141:05:23

Will it reach? Yes, well played,

well played.

1:05:231:05:31

Good pot from Ronnie into a cute

angle there -- a cued angle there.

1:05:551:06:07

This is the only other red that's

available. And those two reds are a

1:06:401:06:52

bit awkward to get a good split here

but he's so good at this type of

1:06:521:06:56

shot. And he's played that very well

indeed.

1:06:561:07:04

Just going back to what the boys and

Hazel were talking about in the

1:07:121:07:17

studio about mental strength in this

game... I haven't seen Doctor Steve

1:07:171:07:28

Peters, who arrives a lot of the

time with Ronnie. A sports

1:07:281:07:32

psychiatrist rather than

psychologist. When he's around,

1:07:321:07:37

Ronnie's always in a good frame of

mind.

1:07:371:07:42

Yeah, well, I think his good friend

Damien Hirst is here as well, the

1:07:501:07:55

artist. Always seems to have a

calming influence on Ronnie. They

1:07:551:08:01

get on very, very well together.

1:08:011:08:06

We talk about how tough this game

is. Michael White bounced out of the

1:08:131:08:18

arena after winning that close last

frame. He's in a difficult position.

1:08:181:08:26

No shot, plays out of snooker and

has been sitting in his chair for

1:08:261:08:29

the rest of the frame. Tough game.

1:08:291:08:34

This just improves the importance of

getting a good break-off shot and

1:08:391:08:43

Ronnie have the perfect one. -- had

the perfect one. I mentioned at the

1:08:431:08:52

time I thought the first frame would

be the longest of the match. It's

1:08:521:08:56

certainly proving that way at the

moment. Last frame was just 15

1:08:561:09:04

minutes.

1:09:041:09:06

Should be OK. Just need to avoid the

baulk colours and a few reds still

1:09:161:09:22

available.

That was a lovely little

shot Ronnie played there, and that's

1:09:221:09:32

part of the art of break-building.

He used the pack of reds, a bit of

1:09:321:09:36

left-hand side to bring some more

reds back into place to go up for

1:09:361:09:41

the blue. Beautiful shot. And the

control that goes with it.

1:09:411:09:49

Ronnie's up at 95%. That's

excellent.

1:09:581:10:02

Yeah, you're watching a player who's

made 908 century breaks in his

1:10:351:10:39

career. That's remarkable! He's made

two in this tournament. Made 50

1:10:391:10:47

centuries last season. 34 this

season. The highest break at the

1:10:471:10:58

moment held by Ronnie's opponent,

Michael White. 142.

1:10:581:11:05

Another marvellous century from

Ronnie. Never been out of position

1:11:271:11:31

once. A wonderful break. So

effortless, so easy. And often that

1:11:311:11:46

break off...

Just coming up to eight

minutes in this third frame. He is

1:11:461:11:56

slowing down a bit, isn't he?

Everyone always brings up the

1:11:561:12:03

maximum break in five minutes and 20

seconds! That was made in 1997 at

1:12:031:12:11

The Crucible. Can you believe it?

1:12:111:12:15

Well, what a magnificent frame from

Ronnie O'Sullivan. It was the great

1:12:231:12:28

break of shocked that opened the way

for him to get that chance, and

1:12:281:12:31

didn't he take it well? -- the great

break-off shot.

1:12:311:12:35

HAZEL IRVINE: You two were waxing

lyrical about the shot that enabled

1:12:381:12:45

him to go on and win previously.

Yeah, he plays the cannon,

1:12:451:12:53

deliberately just sending the white

through there to leave himself the

1:12:531:12:56

red into the opposite corner.

You've

got to get the correct angle

1:12:561:13:02

absolutely on that. If you don't, it

can and is the red out of the way,

1:13:021:13:09

you don't get back on the ball. But

so poetic. Every positional shot was

1:13:091:13:15

perfect, the touch, the way he works

around the break. You know they are

1:13:151:13:19

going to go in. The touch is

phenomenal.

We were saying at the

1:13:191:13:25

weekend, he crossed that 900 ton

mark and now he's going so quickly

1:13:251:13:28

to try to establish the 1000th. It's

off the chart, really, that

1:13:281:13:33

achievement, isn't it?

He is

phenomenal. I did an interview

1:13:331:13:39

recently for the BBC website and

he's a creative genius. That's

1:13:391:13:43

exactly what he is as well. Even the

red he played, the hardest on shot,

1:13:431:13:49

he didn't perfectly get on the blue,

then he played a lovely controlled

1:13:491:13:52

screw shot. Brilliant and beautiful

to watch.

The trouble is, he makes

1:13:521:13:58

it look too easy. I could do that!

You can't! Trust me, you can't!

1:13:581:14:07

There's nobody like him.

Does he see

a break differently? Does he go

1:14:071:14:13

about it in a way that is

fundamentally different?

He does,

1:14:131:14:19

and he's proved that because he's

made more centuries than anybody

1:14:191:14:23

else, but as John alluded to there,

it's his touch, on these very

1:14:231:14:29

difficult cloths. Just a genius.

Brilliant to watch.

Ronnie has given

1:14:291:14:35

us some artistry, as Peter said, and

it is Michael White with it all to

1:14:351:14:39

do as we head into the last before

the interval.

1:14:391:14:42

KEN DOHERTY:

Interesting from the

studio there. It's a great sight

1:15:121:15:20

when you see Ronnie O'Sullivan in

full flight. Particularly some of

1:15:201:15:26

the shots he sees, and he sees them

so quickly. And plays them with the

1:15:261:15:31

greatest of ease and aplomb.

1:15:311:15:35

It would be some feat when he

eventually does reach the 1000 mark

1:15:491:15:53

in the century 's department. I

don't think he's going to be too far

1:15:531:15:57

away. Already 999. A couple of

seasons, maybe.

Could well reach

1:15:571:16:09

that thousand but you never know

what's around the corner for anyone

1:16:091:16:12

in sport or life. You just enjoy it

while you're doing it.

1:16:121:16:20

And the double-kiss. Well, I thought

it might come to his rescue but he

1:16:231:16:30

can pot this one to the left corner.

Just a couple of the long pots

1:16:301:16:35

Michael's had a go but, he hasn't

queued them very smoothly. He needs

1:16:351:16:39

to get in amongst the balls but he's

not getting any chances. -- he

1:16:391:16:44

hasn't cued them very smoothly. Not

getting in at the moment. Though he

1:16:441:16:49

might get one here. Not happy with

that shot.

1:16:491:16:57

He was playing a delicate pot and

the cannon to hold the black there.

1:17:021:17:10

Well, I did mention there that

Michael needed a chance in amongst

1:17:281:17:31

the reds and he's got that. If he

can go into the mid-session interval

1:17:311:17:37

at two -- to-2, he would be a happy

bunny.

1:17:371:17:45

I like that shot. I really do. He

took the risk there to open up the

1:18:071:18:15

reds and stay on the back. Did it

perfectly. He made it look very easy

1:18:151:18:23

but could quite easily have run onto

the cushion. So the chance is there.

1:18:231:18:28

Can he knock this sizeable effort

in?

1:18:281:18:31

Just having a quick look at that top

two. Doesn't feel they are on,

1:18:361:18:45

otherwise he would have gone

straight there. Try to stay on the

1:18:451:18:50

black here. Potting this red.

1:18:501:18:55

The top red of those two, the right,

we'll popped into this pocket.

1:19:001:19:08

Really open things up for him. --

we'll popped into this pocket.

1:19:081:19:18

Ooh!

He didn't have to hold for the

blue there. By doing that it just

1:19:291:19:38

made it a bit more difficult. He

could easily have gone for a baulk,.

1:19:381:19:44

-- a baulk colour. Could cost him

dearly.

1:19:441:19:54

It certainly quickened up on this

table. A couple of the tables were

1:20:131:20:17

playing a bit heavy but not now.

Would you believe it? At first

1:20:171:20:27

glance he hasn't left anything. The

only possible red is the one up past

1:20:271:20:32

the pink into the corner but he's

down on one knee there and he

1:20:321:20:41

thought he would be in his seat for

a while! That's tight, isn't it? If

1:20:411:20:49

he was right behind the red he might

be able to take that on.

1:20:491:20:54

He tried one in the middle pocket

that caught the yellow with it and

1:21:031:21:11

that was similar to this. He's

missed it to the right.

1:21:111:21:20

He thought he would put the white in

a safe position but Ronnie can knock

1:21:301:21:35

this in. No, yes!

1:21:351:21:43

That second chance. How many can he

make this time?

1:21:511:21:58

Not gone far enough but still

pottable. Wanted to be straight on

1:22:121:22:16

this red.

1:22:161:22:17

Just makes this next positional shot

is a bit more awkward. He played a

1:22:241:22:31

nice cannon on that red to hold for

the pink.

1:22:311:22:35

Would like to get that red away from

the blue. Just sizing it up there.

1:23:001:23:08

Just trying to leave a nice little

angle on the red, and when he opens

1:23:131:23:18

the blue up it will help his cause,

back down for the black or the pink,

1:23:181:23:22

you would suggest.

1:23:221:23:24

It's not completely straightforward

to win the frame from this visit. A

1:23:461:23:55

few difficult pots to negotiate.

1:23:551:23:59

Hmm, unexpected miss there, but when

you force them into the middle

1:24:261:24:31

pocket, that can happen. The red

jumped there, so... It was in the

1:24:311:24:37

pocket for a split-second but it

jumped back out. That was the that

1:24:371:24:41

caused that. -- that was the kick

that caused that.

1:24:411:24:59

That was a careless one. Now, will

the red next to the pink... It might

1:25:061:25:17

not pot but... It will go to the

middle pocket as we look at it, so

1:25:171:25:21

that is for a few shots' time. But

not going to score many points from

1:25:211:25:27

this petition with the way the reds

are situated. He's just checking

1:25:271:25:32

whether the red next to the pink

goes to the left middle pocket. --

1:25:321:25:37

many points from this position.

1:25:371:25:40

He didn't want to be hitting the

yellow. That's very careless.

1:25:441:25:55

He had already planned his strategy

there. That yellow spoiled all that.

1:25:581:26:07

A good escape.

1:26:521:26:57

He's played that nicely. Terrific

shot there. He couldn't go down the

1:27:361:27:43

other side of the table because of

the reds near that cushion. He would

1:27:431:27:49

have cannoned into bins. -- into

those. That's opened them up. He

1:27:491:28:00

needs a good cue ball here and he's

going to come up a long way short.

1:28:001:28:07

Maybe the brown's helping him

slightly. A long, straight red. He

1:28:071:28:13

is hampered by the brown so he'll

take one of the others. Those two

1:28:131:28:18

there to the left of the pink.

Well...

1:28:181:28:27

That red, he's just had a look and

that red closest to the pink will

1:29:011:29:08

pot into the centre pocket. So he

doesn't have to nudge that. Nudge

1:29:081:29:19

that red out.

1:29:191:29:22

The black will put him 27 ahead.

Just one red and a colour to make

1:29:301:29:38

certain of this frame. A quick

glance at the score.

1:29:381:29:45

And it's a frame that Michael White,

Dennis, will feel has got away from

1:29:501:29:54

him. He had a good chance.

Yeah,

he's going to go into the middle

1:29:541:30:04

session with things not all that bad

but you can imagine if he had gone

1:30:041:30:11

two each, he would have really

enjoyed his cup of tea.

Just that

1:30:111:30:16

red to the middle that he missed to

try to hold for the blue. It cost

1:30:161:30:20

him this frame.

1:30:201:30:21

This is the one that Ken was talking

about, if he had rolled it in, it

1:30:351:30:42

would have been much easier, but

there was no way he was expecting to

1:30:421:30:46

miss that, and it cost him.

1:30:461:30:48

APPLAUSE

1:31:171:31:20

Ronnie O'Sullivan takes his chance

with a nice break of 64, and he goes

1:31:241:31:28

into the mid-session now leading

Michael white 3-1.

1:31:281:31:39

What percentage increase in Ronnie's

level do you think we are seeing

1:31:391:31:44

today?

Slightly, but Michael is a

much better player than he showed in

1:31:441:31:50

the opening session the other day,

we know that. The difference in the

1:31:501:31:54

match so far for me is the quality

of the cue ball control. It was the

1:31:541:32:00

shot before, he was perfect on the

black and shouldn't have been

1:32:001:32:03

anywhere near playing that shot. You

wouldn't expect it to miss it, but

1:32:031:32:07

when they have got in, the

difference in who has got the cue

1:32:071:32:09

ball in the best positions is

noticeable. Sullivan has got it on a

1:32:091:32:15

string.

Full of admiration for him

today, are you?

Even the positional

1:32:151:32:20

shot he played at the end from black

to yellow was just sublime.

1:32:201:32:25

More of the same possibly when we

come back after the mid-session

1:32:301:32:33

interval, but we are looking forward

to seeing John Higgins plate Yan

1:32:331:32:38

Bingtao from China, the 17-year-old

wonder kid. After his last victory,

1:32:381:32:45

he had a few problems with his cue,

specifically the tip of his cue, and

1:32:451:32:49

said he was going to go back to

Glasgow to get it fixed, but in the

1:32:491:32:53

end he went back to the eminent Les

Dodd in Southport, and you might

1:32:531:32:57

remember he did that also at the

Crucible in May. That is the kind of

1:32:571:33:03

level of attention to detail and

dedication that has brought John so

1:33:031:33:06

much success over the years. Either

that or he just likes driving!

1:33:061:33:10

John Higgins was born on the 18th of

May 1975 in Wishaw, Scotland.

He has

1:33:171:33:23

been a professional snooker player

for more than a quarter of a

1:33:231:33:28

century.

He has been in the top 16

in the world for an incredible 23

1:33:281:33:32

years.

He married Denise in 2000,

and they have three children.

The

1:33:321:33:40

couple appeared in a TV show Mr and

Mrs and won the final.

John has also

1:33:401:33:49

appeared on Celebrity mastermind,

where his specialist subject was

1:33:491:33:52

Dallas, the TV show.

His nickname is

the Wizard of Wishaw.

Last season at

1:33:521:33:59

the age of 41 he became the oldest

Crucible finalist for 35 years.

John

1:33:591:34:08

has won more than £7 million in

prize money during his career.

In

1:34:081:34:13

2008, he was awarded an MBE in the

New years Honours list.

1:34:131:34:20

He has achieved a whole lot, and

John knows he is going to have to be

1:34:201:34:24

in tiptop form today. The defeat

last month to Yan Bingtao is still

1:34:241:34:30

raw, this teenager who were still

two months away from his 18th

1:34:301:34:33

birthday is apparently afraid of no

one. He became the second youngest

1:34:331:34:37

player ever to reach the Crucible

final stages in April, and in the

1:34:371:34:41

last month, he became the youngest

player ever to reach the final of a

1:34:411:34:44

world ranking event when he appeared

in Belfast, Northern Ireland, open

1:34:441:34:49

final, beating any end by Mark

Williams. Sophie is a bull who is

1:34:491:34:54

charging headlong up the rankings

right now. The first frame of this

1:34:541:34:59

match was a 41 minute one, and was

taken in the John Higgins, and we

1:34:591:35:05

are going to pick them up in frame

two. It is Alan McManus and Steve

1:35:051:35:10

Davis in have the ringside seats for

this one.

1:35:101:35:13

STEVE DAVIS: John Higgins has looked

at the possibility of playing this

1:35:161:35:22

down into the low pocket, he will be

more concentrating on screwing the

1:35:221:35:26

whiteboard back to the black

cushion. If it goes in, what a

1:35:261:35:32

bonus.

And to big white honest, he

didn't play for the cue ball on the

1:35:321:35:41

back of the cushion. That was a very

aggressive shot.

What a pot, wasn't

1:35:411:35:44

it? I think even John will be a

little surprised he has potted that,

1:35:441:35:51

that was so difficult. We spoke

about his cue action.

1:35:511:36:00

And attacking shot from John

Higgins, nobody would have forgiven

1:36:061:36:10

him for just playing a safety shot

to the top cushion.

1:36:101:36:14

OK, but even so, you have to be

careful where these red Czar, you

1:36:211:36:25

could, Cropper. -- you have to be

careful where these reds are, you

1:36:251:36:34

could come a cropper. It is closer

than he would like to the middle.

1:36:341:36:46

That little clip on the brown was

nice, makes this yellow and little

1:36:511:36:57

straighter, more controllable.

1:36:571:36:59

That red that you mentioned earlier

by the blue, still causing John

1:37:071:37:13

Higgins some problems. The way to

open this frame up would be possibly

1:37:131:37:17

to use the blue to get into the

pack. It is not so easy from where

1:37:171:37:22

the balls are currently.

1:37:221:37:26

He can maybe get things opened up

now, little glance at the pink, I'm

1:37:461:37:50

not sure it goes to the corner.

Unless there is a plant, he is going

1:37:501:37:57

to have to develop one or two.

This

wouldn't be the most ideal way of

1:37:571:38:03

going about opening the pack off the

bat cushion. Players like to go

1:38:031:38:08

indirectly.

1:38:081:38:11

He doesn't have to open the pack,

but you feel like you would be

1:38:161:38:19

tempted. This is the experience of

John Higgins, knowing full well that

1:38:191:38:24

going into the pack doesn't always

come out correctly. And if that red

1:38:241:38:30

is now going to be cleared, that you

talked about at the start of this

1:38:301:38:35

frame, but he still needs a good

positional shot to get back on these

1:38:351:38:40

four reds at some stage. But he has

got a couple of reds to play with.

I

1:38:401:38:48

think again, not going into the pack

a couple of shots ago is out of

1:38:481:38:53

respect to his opponent. Against a

lesser player, he would think, nice

1:38:531:38:56

angle on the black, let's get them

open and win the frame in one visit,

1:38:561:39:00

but he has to build his way into the

match, build the frame if you like.

1:39:001:39:06

But if this goes wrong, then you

could make the case if you were

1:39:061:39:12

being critical that that was a

chance gone begging.

I think the

1:39:121:39:18

reason he refused the split is

simply because his opponent has got

1:39:181:39:21

him under some pressure. Just

clearly doesn't want to take any

1:39:211:39:27

undue risks come possibly having a

new tip was a factor in this shot

1:39:271:39:35

selection.

He needs an angle on this

black.

1:39:351:39:37

And he has got a nice angle, and

this time, he will go into the pack,

1:39:411:39:46

but I suppose it does beg the

question, perhaps he should have

1:39:461:39:49

gone into it last time, doesn't it?

Some fascinating shot selections

1:39:491:39:53

today.

It is an ice pack, because

they are set diagonal, you would

1:39:531:39:58

expect to get a decent split.

But

there is a situation, you are not

1:39:581:40:05

guaranteed. I think he is all right.

1:40:051:40:08

It is funny, you can see the cue

ball is actually in the way, I don't

1:40:241:40:29

know whether this goes. I think it

will. No problem.

1:40:291:40:33

And it doesn't matter how John

Higgins ever... Well, of course it

1:40:511:40:55

matters how he plays, but almost

regardless of how he is playing, he

1:40:551:40:58

is so difficult to play against, so

difficult to get on top. He keeps

1:40:581:41:05

chances at a minimum, stingy he is

as far as making mistakes.

1:41:051:41:11

But there is no player in the game

that can add class John Higgins, so

1:41:151:41:21

it's no disgrace from Yan Bingtao's

perspective to be going 2-0 down

1:41:211:41:29

here. It is going to be a good

work-out. Coming out with the

1:41:291:41:34

cliches, he has got plenty of time

and all that, he will be desperate

1:41:341:41:39

to win, get a ranking tournament

under his belt, as young as

1:41:391:41:41

possible. But it is about learning

your trade as well. And he could do

1:41:411:41:50

worse than picked John Higgins as a

master to learn from.

1:41:501:41:55

Well, no century. John Higgins goes

into a comfortable 2-0 lead.

1:42:581:43:10

Looks comfortable, as Alan said, and

Steve, too, but John was quoted as

1:43:121:43:18

saying he would have to play 100

times better to see this fellow off

1:43:181:43:23

in this match. He has great respect

for him, and as Alan says, with that

1:43:231:43:28

new tip on, he is not taking any

liberties as we head into frame

1:43:281:43:31

three.

1:43:311:43:32

STEVE DAVIS: Made that opening reds

look a lot easier than it was,

1:44:161:44:23

didn't just blast at it.

1:44:231:44:25

A couple of loose reds.

1:44:271:44:29

Nicely judged. I think he's got

enough of an angle that he can

1:44:351:44:41

bounce the cue ball off the top

cushion. And get back on that red.

1:44:411:44:46

Might be going into reds here,

though. First shot, I thought for a

1:44:461:44:55

minute, it looked like he was

setting up to disturb more. Now he

1:44:551:44:59

will need a nice angle on this black

to go into the pack, though. A

1:44:591:45:06

little flick on that red creates the

angle. And that second red of the

1:45:061:45:12

two that are at the back looks

inviting. That should disturb things

1:45:121:45:16

quite nicely. Stun into it.

1:45:161:45:22

Got a bit too low on that, I think,

didn't he? Preferred more of a power

1:45:261:45:32

stun there.

May be just felt the

shape of the wasn't conducive to

1:45:321:45:38

going in with power and deep screw,

but he has got one.

1:45:381:45:43

Tough little red to middle, but

should it going, they are opened,

1:45:431:45:48

and it has. John Higgins slowly but

surely finding his way into a bit of

1:45:481:45:53

form.

1:45:531:45:55

Yes, just sizing up the situation

here, is it worth playing for a

1:46:221:46:30

choice of pink and black?

1:46:301:46:34

I wasn't sure what she was doing,

whether he was deciding to play onto

1:46:401:46:47

the blue because he doesn't like the

shape of the pack? That is the only

1:46:471:46:51

reason I can think of that choice of

up and down. The pink as well as you

1:46:511:46:57

say, but why he kept looking at that

red in the middle pocket, I'd know.

1:46:571:47:04

Perhaps he wasn't looking at the

red, looking at the pink.

1:47:041:47:08

I never really used to like this

kind of shot, but sometimes you have

1:47:151:47:19

to play it. Not always easy to

guarantee how they are going to

1:47:191:47:24

split. Now what?

That was a

brilliant shot, actually.

It looks

1:47:241:47:34

like that pink doesn't spot.

But he

may be covered. I think it will go

1:47:341:47:40

close to it, but can he still get

the red in the middle?

1:47:401:47:45

The referee has got to make sure

this is absolutely perfect, as close

1:47:541:47:58

as possible to its own spot in a

direct line with the line of the

1:47:581:48:02

spots, but not touching the cue

ball, as close as possible to it.

1:48:021:48:05

It is actually very classy of John

to just go back to his chair and

1:48:101:48:13

have a little sip of water. Wherever

she replaces the pink, he will deal

1:48:131:48:20

with it. By his body language, he

can still get it. Tatiana there

1:48:201:48:31

doing a very good job.

1:48:311:48:33

She is doing a fantastic job, not

only is she refereeing this, she is

1:48:431:48:47

looking after two children and Ben

Woollaston as well, the ups and

1:48:471:48:54

downs of the snooker player.

1:48:541:48:57

That was a brilliant shot, he is an

lucky that he is not on one.

1:49:071:49:23

I think I am correct in saying that

Tatiana, Ben's wife, she can't

1:49:241:49:29

referee his matches. But also I

don't think she can referee matches

1:49:291:49:34

where he might have an interest.

Just to be seen to be correct, not

1:49:341:49:41

anything untoward, but correct

decisions. That was tight, but he

1:49:411:49:49

got it. So, this black is not

guaranteed, he is a little bit out

1:49:491:49:56

of position, said the biggest shot

of this frame so far for John

1:49:561:50:01

Higgins. Wouldn't want to take his

foot off the pedal here.

1:50:011:50:17

Well, after a tough start, this is

starting to look like a John Higgins

1:50:561:51:00

masterclass here today.

1:51:001:51:03

Perhaps it needed a match of this

quality for John to focus properly,

1:51:111:51:17

or it could be the fact that he has

had tip problems, one of the two.

1:51:171:51:25

Yes, we are getting the full gambit

of John Higgins' abilities. These

1:51:291:51:36

first two and a half frames, he has

toughed it out, a couple of really

1:51:361:51:41

clever shots, that red into the

yellow pocket that set up the frame

1:51:411:51:44

when in chance in frame two.

1:51:441:51:47

Yan 's highest break still only...

Higgins building up of steam. It is

1:51:501:52:03

that ability to just slip into

scoring mode, even though it appears

1:52:031:52:09

he is not quite on top of his game.

Still well capable.

1:52:091:52:15

No century, but a classy break of

80, and John Higgins is halfway

1:53:001:53:04

home. 3-0. And John impressively

freezing out this youngster for now,

1:53:041:53:13

you can keep watching this on the

red button, and we will be back for

1:53:131:53:17

more of that later on. Mark King

took the first with a break of 86

1:53:171:53:24

against Luca Brecel, and he is now

3-1 up at the break. And on table

1:53:241:53:30

four, Martin Gould lost the opening

frame, against the very impressive

1:53:301:53:42

remaining player, Vafaei, and Gould

has just taken the second. But the

1:53:421:53:47

top match we have been enjoying an

table one, Ronnie O'Sullivan's 900

1:53:471:53:53

and century, made against this man,

former world number 15, Michael

1:53:531:53:59

White, now at 26 in the world

standings. And Michael, he got a

1:53:591:54:04

handle on this match at 1-1, but

Ronnie has pushed on with a 132 and

1:54:041:54:10

a 64, and has a 3-1 advantage. So we

hand you back to Dennis and Ken.

1:54:101:54:20

DENNIS TAYLOR: Thank you, Hazel. He

has made some very good breaks so

1:54:281:54:37

far, not quite as good this time. He

has left a possible long pot to the

1:54:371:54:44

left corner pocket, but it is far

from easy, that's for sure, and with

1:54:441:54:49

the way the reds have opened up

already, it puts a lot of pressure

1:54:491:54:52

on this opening chance. Could quite

easily have been two each, he has

1:54:521:55:01

had the chances, he is just

limbering up to take this pot on.

1:55:011:55:06

He has missed a few long pots by a

long way, and where is the red going

1:55:101:55:14

to finish? Sometimes you get away

with it, but he missed that by a

1:55:141:55:20

long way.

Yes, I think there has

been a little bit of movement from

1:55:201:55:30

distance, and I think again a slight

bit of movement on the backswing

1:55:301:55:33

there. Quite a long way out, he has

put its good long balls, but some of

1:55:331:55:38

the ones he has missed, he has

missed the by quite a considerable

1:55:381:55:42

margin.

1:55:421:55:46

Not a straightforward, that red

below the black is just slightly out

1:56:081:56:12

of the way, he couldn't avoid

hitting it.

1:56:121:56:16

There is a red that will go up into

a left corner pocket, you know,

1:56:191:56:23

there is a gap between the pink and

the other red, and that is what he

1:56:231:56:27

is looking at there. He would be

able to get back for the black.

1:56:271:56:33

Oh, that jumped.

1:56:371:56:39

Maybe he didn't hit it as well as he

want, but have a look at the red

1:56:441:56:48

here. Through it off-line slightly.

1:56:481:56:54

Well, that was just the pace that

kept that in the pocket. It was

1:57:121:57:21

slightly drifting towards that near

knuckle.

1:57:211:57:24

Now, time for Michael White to fill

his boots here. He has really got to

1:57:391:57:44

make the most of these chances if he

has any ambitions to win this match.

1:57:441:57:49

Make it a contest.

1:57:491:57:52

I'm sure the red below the pink

pots, and that will free up the pink

1:58:021:58:08

into all four pockets.

1:58:081:58:09

Well, did he get a kick on that? We

will have to have a look at that

1:58:371:58:41

again. I'm not quite sure.

1:58:411:58:46

I'm going to give him the benefit of

the doubt, the way he pointed the

1:58:551:58:59

cue, I think it did just jump

slightly.

1:58:591:59:02

Well, he certainly can't grumble

about the chances he's had, Dennis,

1:59:101:59:14

in these first few frames.

1:59:141:59:17

He just hasn't made the most of

them. Ronnie O'Sullivan has been a

1:59:191:59:26

little more clinical, whereas

Michael White hasn't, and that has

1:59:261:59:28

been the difference.

1:59:281:59:32

Let's have another look to see what

happened with that black there. It

1:59:431:59:48

is hard to see the kick, but...

1:59:481:59:52

Usually the ball lifts off the bed

of the table.

I'm not convinced it

1:59:572:00:02

was a kick. I think he has just been

struggling. He didn't look

2:00:022:00:09

comfortable. Even the cannon he

played, the pot on the red before

2:00:092:00:16

the black wasn't played properly, he

wasn't even trying to get on the

2:00:162:00:19

black.

2:00:192:00:19

DENNIS TAYLOR: It's not the best of

chances here because the pink is in

2:00:452:00:49

the way of splitting the red, so he

might play for green or brown here

2:00:492:00:54

rather than the blue. Because if he

had played for the blue, the pink

2:00:542:00:59

was in the way of the cannon, so now

he's got the green off beside

2:00:592:01:03

cushion and into the reds and he

could open the whole game up here.

2:01:032:01:09

-- the green off beside cushion --

the side cushion. It couldn't have

2:01:092:01:19

played it better but has he covered

them all? I think he's having to

2:01:192:01:27

bend this. He'll have to play it

with a lot of left-hand side to

2:01:272:01:30

create the potting angle.

2:01:302:01:32

He made it look easy but he had to

bend that slightly.

2:01:392:01:45

The red just below the pink pots.

This wondered straight into this

2:01:562:02:01

corner pocket as well. -- this one

dead straight.

2:02:012:02:12

He's already 37 points to the good.

2:02:172:02:21

I think when you're playing Ronnie

O'Sullivan it doesn't half add a lot

2:02:402:02:43

of pressure to your game, because

you know if you miss he's going to

2:02:432:02:48

do this. A lot of the top players

will do this but more so if you're

2:02:482:02:53

playing and you're at the table and

you know you make a mistake, you

2:02:532:02:58

know you're really going to be

punished.

2:02:582:03:00

Yeah, and it's not only the pressure

on the balls when you're in amongst

2:03:072:03:11

them yourself and you do have

chances, its pressure on your safety

2:03:112:03:19

shots and you've got to try to cope

with it. We thought after he won the

2:03:192:03:26

second frame it might settle him

down a bit. Hasn't made the most of

2:03:262:03:31

his chances. I think you'll be

kicking himself when he looks back

2:03:312:03:35

on this match and went for micro-1

down. -- went for-1 down.

Like Ken

2:03:352:03:48

said, did have a chance there but it

was Ronnie O'Sullivan with that one

2:03:482:03:52

opportunity who made enough to

secure the frame and an advantage.

2:03:522:03:59

KEN DOHERTY: An incredible career

this man has had. Birthday boy

2:04:592:05:04

today. He was only ten or 11 years

of age when he moved over and we

2:05:042:05:20

used to practice together at the

snooker centre together. When I

2:05:202:05:24

moved over from Dublin. You could

tell how good he was going to be.

I

2:05:242:05:35

think the darling of Dublin sounds

better than the darling of

2:05:352:05:37

Guildford! You spent many years

practising there before moving back

2:05:372:05:43

home, didn't you?

Yeah. A couple of

weeks before the World Championship

2:05:432:05:53

in 97, we practised every day for

almost two weeks and of course he

2:05:532:05:58

made that magical 147 that year.

2:05:582:06:03

I was lucky enough to avoid him in

the draw and go on to win the

2:06:062:06:11

Championship! But we had a lot of

great days in Ilford practising with

2:06:112:06:16

each other. He used to beat me up

over time. I didn't like it that

2:06:162:06:22

much! But certainly good practice!

-- beat me up all the time.

That was

2:06:222:06:35

a tough enough black if he had

rolled it in but to stun it in at

2:06:352:06:41

that pace - excellent. No. He's

anxiously looking to see if he

2:06:412:06:49

covered it. And he hasn't. So a

chance for Michael. It's time for

2:06:492:06:58

the man from Neath to go to work

here. This is a must-win frame. All

2:06:582:07:09

about the cannon on the reds.

Mustn't let that white slip away.

2:07:092:07:19

That's nicely played.

2:07:192:07:25

We will just show you it again.

Still very unlucky. Wanted to screw

2:08:012:08:08

past that red. Unfortunate to stick

on them but just cannoned the wrong

2:08:082:08:13

red there. But that's normally the

case when you are struggling a bit.

2:08:132:08:16

That sort of thing happens. When

you're playing well, even if you can

2:08:162:08:21

the wrong ball, you always finish on

one. -- even if you cannon the wrong

2:08:212:08:28

ball. Where's the safety shot coming

from? Can't do much with this.

2:08:282:08:37

Might be touching both reds here. It

is. You don't see that very often.

2:09:002:09:07

At least it solves the problem.

Michael can come off this cushion

2:09:072:09:15

behind the black and back up, and

the frame will be back to normal.

2:09:152:09:20

But this is a must-win for him. You

wouldn't give him much of a hope

2:09:232:09:36

with it being 5-1.

2:09:362:09:40

That's a wonderful safety shot. Down

the right-hand side. We'll have to

2:11:012:11:16

use two cushions past the blue. --

had to use two cushions. Very well

2:11:162:11:26

negotiated indeed.

2:11:262:11:29

Might be tempted to have a go at

this red into the left corner. He

2:11:402:11:45

could get himself on the black. He's

coming round the table to see what

2:11:452:11:49

he could leave. If he takes it on

and doesn't get on the black there

2:11:492:11:54

is one available to the left middle.

Let's see how this works out. A

2:11:542:12:01

marvellous shot! I say marvellous

shot. It was a marvellous pot but

2:12:012:12:11

didn't get the cue ball where he

wanted.

2:12:112:12:15

He went full-blooded for it because

he was leaving a red to the left

2:12:292:12:34

middle pocket, but just lost the cue

ball.

2:12:342:12:38

He's left this red. You can't see a

direct but he can play the plant.

2:12:542:13:04

Put this red and still stay on the

black, I think, pocket off the

2:13:042:13:08

cushion. -- pot it off the cushion.

Wow! Over swerved it.

2:13:082:13:25

It's funny. It looked as if he could

just play it off the side of the

2:13:302:13:35

cushion but the swerve took it right

into the other red, as we will show

2:13:352:13:38

you. But the way they finished up

here, and Ronnie knows only too

2:13:382:13:46

well, that it's not easy to get good

position from. If he can use the

2:13:462:13:52

rest it might not be too bad. He

might be able to get onto the black.

2:13:522:13:57

But the spider would have been

tough. He's played that nicely.

2:13:572:14:03

It's just not happening for Michael

White. For a few shots he looks OK

2:15:192:15:28

and then like that, he just cued

across it slightly. It's tough out

2:15:282:15:39

there. Just at 79% there, as you can

see.

2:15:392:15:47

That didn't even get in the jaws of

the pocket, that one.

2:15:582:16:04

There's nothing over that side of

the table to play behind because the

2:16:432:16:48

green's off its spot. The brown's

out of commission as well. Just

2:16:482:16:54

plain to get the cue ball as close

to the cushion as possible. And

2:16:542:16:59

that's pretty good. -- just playing

to get the cue ball.

2:16:592:17:08

Doesn't want that red coming over

the left centre pocket. And it looks

2:17:492:17:54

like it's come far enough. I think

this can cut in.

2:17:542:18:00

Needs a bit of luck with the cue

ball. If it runs past the red he

2:18:102:18:14

could be on the pink... No.

2:18:142:18:19

A slightly bewildered look from

Ronnie O'Sullivan. It's not there so

2:18:282:18:38

the cue ball will be going back.

REFEREE:

A foul and a miss.

Ronnie

2:18:382:18:50

hasn't moved from the position. Just

to make sure. Let the referee know

2:18:502:18:55

exactly where the cue ball is going.

LAUGHTER

2:18:552:19:01

Never seen that before. He's staying

there! He's not moving, he's not

2:19:012:19:16

moving... He's still there.

He's not

going to play this shot again, I'm

2:19:162:19:26

sure, because he's going to get

warned. He had forgotten about that,

2:19:262:19:32

Ronnie, I think.

He can just play

the black and leave the white kite

2:19:322:19:40

on this cushion. -- the white tight

on this cushion.

2:19:402:19:54

APPLAUSE

2:20:132:20:18

He's got the white tight on the

cushion but the trouble is he's put

2:20:332:20:38

the black safe as well.

Well, that's

a poor effort from Michael. Ronnie's

2:20:382:20:52

29 points behind, and, OK, he's got

the blue in play but the pink's not

2:20:522:20:56

ideally placed.

2:20:562:21:01

There's no way he should have had a

shot at that red. A bit careless

2:21:052:21:10

from Michael there.

2:21:102:21:13

He's just lost his concentration,

Ronnie O'Sullivan, at the moment.

2:21:272:21:34

Not a chance for Michael White.

2:21:462:21:50

Normally such a proficient long

potter, Michael White, but has been

2:22:092:22:14

completely off today.

2:22:142:22:18

Delicate little shot there, nice

cannon on the blue.

2:22:272:22:31

May have to win this frame by taking

blues with the remaining reds.

Yeah,

2:23:082:23:17

that's why I mentioned when he

pushed the black safe it was going

2:23:172:23:20

to make it awkward for himself.

That's not the best. Although he's

2:23:202:23:30

on the blue. Could quite easily have

snookered himself there. Shouldn't

2:23:302:23:36

be a problem.

2:23:362:23:38

Good pot but he's going to need

another good position shot to get up

2:23:462:23:51

the top side of the blue. --

positional shot.

2:23:512:23:58

Sweet. Very sweet.

2:24:092:24:15

Seems to like that blue up into the

corner pocket.

2:24:262:24:29

Wonderful shot.

2:24:422:24:45

Well, he's had five blues up to now.

This will be number six. But at that

2:25:052:25:13

pace, it was never going to be easy.

He didn't want the cannon on the

2:25:132:25:18

pink. That was the problem. Almost

tight on the cushion to force that

2:25:182:25:29

blue in. Was always going to be

difficult.

2:25:292:25:32

The percentages against getting onto

the last red there were very low

2:25:382:25:43

indeed. As I mentioned earlier, this

is a must-win frame for Michael

2:25:432:25:50

White. He's still in it, just six

points behind.

2:25:502:25:55

Well, that's amazing. You could say

the red shouldn't have been near the

2:26:042:26:14

pink but still very unfortunate to

leave it over the pocket.

2:26:142:26:17

Had to be thin. Oh! That's a Michael

White special coming at the right

2:26:332:26:44

time! Is he going to drop nicely

onto a colour? I think he's OK. He's

2:26:442:26:51

got the yellow, which will come back

nicely onto its spot. But the

2:26:512:26:56

brown's going to be the problem

ball. But the fact that the blue is

2:26:562:27:03

up there means if he gets as far as

the brown, he won't have much to do

2:27:032:27:12

with it. But having said that, he

hasn't left himself perfectly placed

2:27:122:27:16

here by any means.

2:27:162:27:19

He's missed it. He was trying to get

through that gap.

He's struggling a

2:27:262:27:34

bit, Ken, isn't he? We've all been

there. You have to feel a bit sorry

2:27:342:27:42

for him but he's struggling with his

game at the moment.

2:27:422:27:48

When he part of the yellow after

that good opening red he just didn't

2:27:532:27:58

get into the cue ball enough to

leave himself straight on the yellow

2:27:582:28:01

again. Had to use the rest.

Struggling a bit.

2:28:012:28:09

But if you hang on in there, you

never know what can happen, because

2:28:192:28:24

Ronnie's lost a bit of focus, you

have to say.

2:28:242:28:29

That's close.

2:28:322:28:37

Does this green go past the pink? He

can play the snooker if it doesn't.

2:28:412:28:48

REFEREE:

Foul.

He had to hit it to

get it safe but to get it into the

2:29:162:29:27

corner at that pace... I mean,

goodness gracious me! You could

2:29:272:29:33

stand there for a year and not see

that happen again.

2:29:332:29:38

Well, it's not over just yet! As I

say, I think Ronnie has lost a bit

2:29:572:30:06

of focus at the moment. That was

very careless there. He only needed

2:30:062:30:10

the blue. So any distance across the

table and he was on it.

2:30:102:30:15

It's not a gimme. It's certainly

potable into the

2:30:262:30:29

It's not a gimme. It's certainly

potable into the right centre

2:30:292:30:30

pocket. He only needs the blue.

Looks like 5-1 now, Denis.

2:30:302:30:46

Two snookers has made a very tall

order.

2:30:572:31:03

And where the black is, it's highly

unlikely that he will get the two

2:31:212:31:26

snookers that's required.

2:31:262:31:28

This is not a bad effort. No, he's

decided that he wasn't going to be

2:31:332:31:38

able to get the snookers and he

concedes the frame. He had his

2:31:382:31:42

chances though, in that frame,

Michael White. But it's Ronnie

2:31:422:31:45

O'Sullivan who ends his lead. He

only needs one more frame. He leads

2:31:452:31:49

5-1.

STUDIO: It could be game over at

2:31:492:31:51

this point. Michael White clearly

not in a good place there. He had

2:31:512:31:54

chances. In fact, you called it.

There was a distinct possibility he

2:31:542:31:59

might have got back into the frame.

Yeah, there's quite a few unforced

2:31:592:32:03

errors

2:32:032:32:03

Yeah, there's quite a few unforced

errors coming into Michael's game.

2:32:032:32:04

One long red into the left hand

black pocket as we're looking at the

2:32:042:32:08

screen now. He played it with

left-hand side and just got through

2:32:082:32:12

the cue ball very quick, pushed it

thick. He's not timing the ball very

2:32:122:32:16

well at all unfortunately. He's had

plenty of chances, which is

2:32:162:32:19

disappointing.

One safety shot in

particular that left Ronnie on.

Yeah

2:32:192:32:24

there's nothing worse than when it's

an unforced error. A massive gap to

2:32:242:32:29

play the cue ball down in the area.

He hit it completely wrong and

2:32:292:32:33

nobody goes out with the intention

of playing poorly. He will be so

2:32:332:32:36

disappointed with the level he's

played because he has had chances.

2:32:362:32:40

It's been his cue ball today. He's

never had it. Three, four shots in

2:32:402:32:46

the break, he's usually lost it.

All

over by the shouting?

Yes, he's lost

2:32:462:32:52

all confidence. It's a shame,

because there was a bit of an edge

2:32:522:32:56

to this match. He's been playing

well. You thought if he holds

2:32:562:32:59

himself together but he's had

chances and not taken them

2:32:592:33:02

unfortunately. He'll be bitterly

disappointed.

Ronnie as the highest

2:33:022:33:11

seed left, Stephen said something

interesting he said in many respect

2:33:112:33:17

this is Ronnie's Championship to

lose. How do you feel about that?

I

2:33:172:33:21

wouldn't go that far. He's a

favourite. Certainly he's been the

2:33:212:33:23

best player on the circuit this year

with his form. A brave man to bet

2:33:232:33:28

against him. There's lots of good

players here. When you have best of

2:33:282:33:32

11s, we alluded at the start of the

day, they're not best of 17s any

2:33:322:33:36

more, best of 11s, some of the

players consider they have more of a

2:33:362:33:40

chance in that situation. Yes he's a

strong favourite. If you give me a

2:33:402:33:43

free fiver, I'd have it on

O'Sullivan, but there's lots of good

2:33:432:33:46

players left.

In terms of his

progress in this match. We've just

2:33:462:33:51

seen the focus dim slightly from

Ronnie's perspective. Probably no

2:33:512:33:55

wonder at this point.

No, it's

because Michael isn't taking his

2:33:552:33:59

chances. It's not surprising that

Ronnie's concentration and focus has

2:33:592:34:03

slipped a bit. If Michael were to

step up a gear, it would be there

2:34:032:34:07

again.

Is this going to be the last

one? Let's find out.

2:34:072:34:10

again.

Is this going to be the last

one? Let's find out.

2:34:102:34:15

COMMENTATOR: That's the question

Hazel, will this be the last frame

2:34:152:34:17

of the match?

2:34:172:34:23

That's certainly opened the reds up

from that break-off shot. Listen,

2:34:262:34:31

he's 5-1 down, he might as well

throw the cue at it now, try and

2:34:312:34:35

re-Alex and give it your best shot.

Sometimes you do relax and you start

2:34:352:34:39

knocking these shots in.

2:34:392:34:48

It can be the loneliest place in the

world, in front a packed house,

2:34:532:34:57

you're out there. And there's no

hiding place, is there, Ken?

No, not

2:34:572:35:00

at all.

It's not like a team game.

Sometimes you get a little bit

2:35:002:35:04

embarrassed that you're not

performing the way you know you can.

2:35:042:35:08

Particularly on the TV. And in front

of a nice, big crowd. One of the

2:35:082:35:16

biggest tournaments on the snooker

calendar. He's had a couple of good

2:35:162:35:20

wins to get here.

2:35:202:35:21

We were all expecting a lot more,

I'm sure he was as well. Just hasn't

2:35:282:35:32

happened today. His confidence has

drained as this match has gone on.

2:35:322:35:36

I mean he's tight on the cushion.

That's probably the best

2:36:562:36:59

I mean he's tight on the cushion.

That's probably the best pot he's

2:36:592:36:59

had this afternoon. Look at the kiss

he had on the black.

2:36:592:37:06

If you don't get that bit of good

fortune in this game, it's hard

2:37:062:37:10

work.

2:37:102:37:14

He may be able to screw the cue ball

back behind the black here, bring a

2:37:202:37:25

few more reds into play.

2:37:252:37:30

This is a possible little shot,

screw the cue ball off to the left

2:37:402:37:44

hand red of that pack.

2:37:442:37:47

He doesn't want this cue ball going

into the pocket. Oh, no. Well it's

2:38:402:38:43

all happening.

It's all happening for Michael

2:38:432:38:48

White.

2:38:482:38:49

That could possibly be his last shot

in this year's Championship.

2:38:542:38:59

Not sure whether the pink will

respot on its own spot. If it

2:39:352:39:39

doesn't, Ronnie would prefer it to

go onto the black spot.

2:39:392:39:44

That was possibly the reason why he

didn't go into the pack of reds from

2:39:442:39:48

the blue.

2:39:482:39:53

Nice cannon into the pack here.

2:39:592:40:03

Has he gone too far? Looks too hard.

2:40:092:40:14

Good recovery, on the yellow into

the right centre.

2:40:372:40:44

Gradually he'll work his way back up

to the scoring end of the table.

2:40:572:41:03

He's got the blue and pink

available.

2:41:052:41:09

I say the scoring end of the table,

you can score both ends of the

2:41:162:41:20

table, but the more points gained at

this end. With the high valued

2:41:202:41:28

colours. It's looking good now for

Ronnie O'Sullivan, it has to be

2:41:282:41:31

said.

I don't think he'll be overjoyed by

2:41:312:41:35

his performance today. He sets very

high standards for himself. Even

2:41:352:41:43

when you feel he's played really

well, he'll come out and say he

2:41:432:41:49

wasn't happy.

I think the fact that

Michael has struggled a bit probably

2:41:492:41:55

hasn't helped Ronnie's game. He

would have raised his game, but

2:41:552:41:58

yeah, you've got to feel a bit sorry

for Michael White. He was so looking

2:41:582:42:02

forward to playing Ronnie

O'Sullivan. It just hasn't happened

2:42:022:42:07

for the man from Neath.

I'm sure

he'll be back. There's plenty more

2:42:072:42:16

tournaments the rest of the season.

He won that Paul Hunter classic

2:42:162:42:21

earlier on this year.

Yeah, well he

has won two ranking tournaments and

2:42:212:42:29

a lot of players go through their

career without doing that.

2:42:292:42:37

60 points ahead, just this red,

leaving Michael White needing a

2:42:522:42:57

snooker.

APPLAUSE

2:42:572:43:06

Acknowledged by the crowd.

2:43:062:43:08

Yeah, I think the fourth frame

Michael could have gone to the

2:43:132:43:19

midsession interval 2-2, might have

been a different story. But he

2:43:192:43:22

hasn't really performed. Doesn't

matter about missing the pink.

2:43:222:43:34

Michael has picked up his extension

and he comes forward to congratulate

2:43:342:43:37

Ronnie O'Sullivan. He just couldn't

get going, Michael. In the end,

2:43:372:43:44

Ronnie O'Sullivan this year's

favourite, runs out a very

2:43:442:43:48

comfortable winner by 6-1.

STUDIO: Congratulations to Ronnie,

2:43:482:43:56

the birthday boy through to the last

2:43:562:43:57

the birthday boy through to the last

16 here in York. Will he have

2:43:572:44:00

enjoyed that one, because in the

end, it was a little more

2:44:002:44:05

straightforward than possibly we

expected it to be.

We all enjoyed

2:44:052:44:08

it. If you won 6-1, and you didn't

have to be at your best, we'd be

2:44:082:44:14

delighted with that. He can tell us

better in a minute. I'd be happy

2:44:142:44:18

with #6-1.

I think I would be as

well. Part of Ronnie will be

2:44:182:44:21

disappointed for Michael today. He

knows what a talented player he is.

2:44:212:44:26

Don't get me wrong, he obviously

wants to win the match. He'll be

2:44:262:44:29

delighted to win comfortably. But he

knows that Michael is a far better

2:44:292:44:33

player than he showed today. He'll

be a little disappointed for him.

2:44:332:44:37

He's coming in here shortly. Just

before we speak to Ronnie, quick

2:44:372:44:41

update on what's been happening out

there. There are dramatic events

2:44:412:44:45

here on table three.

2:44:452:44:46

there. There are dramatic events

here on table three. Mark King, this

2:44:462:44:48

is a respoted black. Mark was 3-2 up

here. It's all very dramatic of the

2:44:482:44:54

Yes, funny thing is he's played the

shot. You try to leave the cue ball

2:44:542:44:57

higher than the black. Not this.

This leaves a double and he's taken

2:44:572:45:01

this it.

Luca Brecel levels the

match. Kingy not happy. What's going

2:45:012:45:07

on? There you go, he's in a real

fight. Meanwhile table four, Martin

2:45:072:45:14

Gould in a tussle as well. Martin

was 2-1 up. A good break of 75 for

2:45:142:45:24

Vafaei in frame four has levelled it

there. It's all happening out there.

2:45:242:45:30

In fact we're hearing Gould has

taken frame five. He's

2:45:302:45:34

re-established a 3-2 advantage.

There's a lot of

2:45:342:45:36

re-established a 3-2 advantage.

There's a lot of good snooker out

2:45:362:45:37

there. That King, Brecel match, Luka

is one to be watched here.

And just

2:45:372:45:48

discovered how to win. I've watched

him in the commentary box the last

2:45:482:45:51

few years. He's got tremendous

talent. He can pop balls from the

2:45:512:45:55

lamp shade. He's playing against

certain players who wait and wait

2:45:552:45:58

and tactically they wait for chances

off him. Now he's got to grips with

2:45:582:46:01

what he needs to do. He's a

tournament winner now. That makes

2:46:012:46:05

all the difference to confidence.

He's only 22. It seems

2:46:052:46:08

extraordinary. He was such a young

man, youngest ever to play at The

2:46:082:46:13

Crucible. Turned up there 17 years

of age. I think he's established his

2:46:132:46:17

own style. He seems to be his own

man out there now.

Very much so.

2:46:172:46:21

He's one of the few players in the

game that plays with a tremendous

2:46:212:46:25

amount of side. He plays with a very

small tip. He has fantastic cue

2:46:252:46:31

power, pots incredible balls, scores

well and his safety and tactics have

2:46:312:46:34

come on a lot in the last season or

two.

They have to. The top players

2:46:342:46:39

look for your weakness. Tactically

he wasn't as adept at putting the

2:46:392:46:44

cue ball in. They're going to make

it difficult for you, put the cue

2:46:442:46:48

ball in awkward positions, try to

keep you away from potting.

Come on

2:46:482:46:52

in. Congratulations.

Good to see

you, bud.

Into the last 16, happy

2:46:522:46:58

birthday, Ronnie.

Yeah, thank you.

Cheers.

How pleased with that today?

2:46:582:47:01

We were saying that 6-1 sounds

fairly straightforward, was it

2:47:012:47:07

straightforward from your

perspective?

Michael didn't play

2:47:072:47:10

well at all. He was just struggling.

He was getting lots of bad luck as

2:47:102:47:14

well. I wasn't feeling great either.

We dragged each other down. I just

2:47:142:47:20

think I managed to scramble better

than Michael did today.

A century in

2:47:202:47:26

there, 909 centuries so far and

counting. Have you lost count, is it

2:47:262:47:30

something I take a mental note of?

No, I know each entry gets me nearer

2:47:302:47:36

the thousand, which will be nice to

do. Someone else will beat it at

2:47:362:47:39

some point.

We've talked about the

thousand, is there an expected time

2:47:392:47:44

scale for this, or you just keep

going?

I've gone past all that. I

2:47:442:47:49

just try to enjoy it if I can.

You

look like you're enjoying competing

2:47:492:47:54

I'm trying my hardest. You know,

it's just come here, have a bit of

2:47:542:47:58

fun. If I win, great. If I don't

win, you know, I've always got Plan

2:47:582:48:03

B, which is nice, so it takes the

pressure off really.

In terms of

2:48:032:48:06

what we've seen in this Championship

so far, there's been so many top

2:48:062:48:11

seeds going out, you are the top

seed left at number four. A

2:48:112:48:14

surprising Championship in some

respects.

I don't know. I've not

2:48:142:48:17

watched a lot of snooker, what I can

gather, a lot of players say they

2:48:172:48:23

haven't been playing well. It's a

tough game when you're not feeling

2:48:232:48:26

confident out there. I'm not feeling

100% with my game. This game is a

2:48:262:48:29

bit like golf. If you don't get the

line right and you know, you can put

2:48:292:48:34

the ball anywhere, so I'm a little

bit fortunate. I'm a bit like Seve

2:48:342:48:41

or Tiger, where I can manufacture

shots. Whereas the more robotic type

2:48:412:48:46

players, if they're not online, they

really struggle. With me, like Mark

2:48:462:48:51

Williams, we are shot makers as

well. We can scramble a bit better.

2:48:512:48:55

That's what you have to do

sometimes.

Do you think there's too

2:48:552:48:58

much snooker now?

No, I want to see

more. Give us some more! #

You're in

2:48:582:49:03

a fortunate position whereby you can

pick and choose your turn amounts,

2:49:032:49:06

is there a question of players

playing in everything burning out?

I

2:49:062:49:11

don't care any more.

LAUGHTER

2:49:112:49:13

I tried to get players together and

do anything, but they all just

2:49:132:49:16

bottled out in the end. I thought I

have to do my own thing, live my own

2:49:162:49:20

life. I do other bits outside of

snooker because I can. I come here,

2:49:202:49:24

have a bit of fun. This is a Brucie

bonus for me. I understand what the

2:49:242:49:29

players are going through. Until

they get some, their bottle together

2:49:292:49:34

and stand up together, then this is

going to keep moaning. I got fed up

2:49:342:49:38

with moaning. I thought I might as

go and get a great life, which I've

2:49:382:49:43

got a great life now. I don't care

what they do. They can do what they

2:49:432:49:46

like. Make us play outside, if you

like, in the freezing cold, I won't

2:49:462:49:51

ever complain about a ref or

official. They're all fantastic.

You

2:49:512:49:56

are Mr Chill at the moment, I must

say.

No, I'm not. I used to be, I

2:49:562:50:01

was ingrained in snooker, that's all

I done. Every little thing bothers

2:50:012:50:04

you. I can't. It's too painful. It's

frustrating because you want things

2:50:042:50:09

sorted and you want the players to

stick together and they never do.

2:50:092:50:13

You know, get on with, it have it.

Have you found a formula, I don't

2:50:132:50:17

know if anybody's quite got it yet.

I don't have a formula.

Seriously,

2:50:172:50:20

you're trying to come in for the

majors?

No, I don't care about the

2:50:202:50:26

majors, any tournament is a major. I

don't care. I just come up, pitch

2:50:262:50:30

up, the UK is the same as the

British Open, China, they're all

2:50:302:50:33

lovely. I take any one of them.

There isn't a formula for success?

2:50:332:50:37

No, this is a hobby. I don't care.

LAUGHTER

2:50:372:50:42

Otherwise you start to get driven

mad by it. All the players players

2:50:422:50:46

are moaning and you feel like you

want to do something, I give up.

2:50:462:50:49

They can do their thing. I do my

thing. Good luck to everybody.

2:50:492:50:52

You've just got to drive your own

car. That's what I'm doing at the

2:50:522:50:54

moment. It doesn't affect me as

much. If I win here great. If I

2:50:542:50:58

don't, I really don't care. I want

to win. Of course, I'd love to win.

2:50:582:51:03

I'm not going to drive myself mad.

If the referee has a stinker, just

2:51:032:51:07

let him have a stinker. Fair enough.

Next year, when we come to the UK

2:51:072:51:12

Championship, it has been suggested,

I know there was a lot of banter in

2:51:122:51:16

the press room the other day about

your potentially doing a stint in

2:51:162:51:19

the jungle. Jimmy has done it and

Steve has. Would you do it?

Yeah

2:51:192:51:24

million per cent, I'd do anything

now. I love it.

2:51:242:51:27

LAUGHTER

I'm up for the crack. I used to

2:51:272:51:31

think, no I couldn't do that. I've

got to be a pure snooker player. But

2:51:312:51:35

you get to a stage, where you think

this is painful. That's all fun and

2:51:352:51:38

a good laugh. Everything I do away

from snooker is great. I want to do

2:51:382:51:42

as much of that as I can. Obviously

I want to play a bit of snooker and

2:51:422:51:45

do myself justice. As long as I'm in

the top 64, being number one, number

2:51:452:51:50

four, number 64 it doesn't matter

any more. Why not, let's have a bit

2:51:502:51:55

of the jungle.

They'll think I'm a

gorilla though when they look at me!

2:51:552:52:03

As long as you don't walk round like

Steve.

No, no, please. If you are Mr

2:52:032:52:08

Chill at the moment, how do you get

the competitive head back when you

2:52:082:52:11

have to come in?

I love to win.

Simple as that?

I took up running

2:52:112:52:15

and I wanted to be like, you know,

compete for my county. I just have a

2:52:152:52:19

natural desire to want to compete.

That will never go. But I won't get

2:52:192:52:24

bothered by tables and venues and

referees and photographers.

2:52:242:52:27

Photographers, they've got to behave

themselves!

2:52:272:52:29

LAUGHTER

They have to come with a little

2:52:292:52:35

stick, you know, tripod, otherwise

no tripod, you're going. All you

2:52:352:52:40

camera guys, get your tripods out.

I'll even supply them as well.

What

2:52:402:52:46

are you going to do for the rest of

your birthday?

Go to the gym, treat

2:52:462:52:49

myself. That's my birthday present.

Then go and have some food. Then

2:52:492:52:53

watch a bit of celebrity Get Me Out

Of Here. I couldn't have done that

2:52:532:52:57

trial last night with the snakes.

No, I saw that.

Don't they them

2:52:572:53:02

that, that's what they'll give you.

Say you love snakes.

I want to start

2:53:022:53:06

getting used to snakes! I'm getting

trained.

He's in the jungle next

2:53:062:53:09

year, I'm not sure how we're going

to cope without you. There we go.

2:53:092:53:12

Ronnie, thank you very much. Enjoy

the rest of your birthday.

Cheers.

2:53:122:53:17

Ronnie is through. We will get back

into the match we've been enjoying.

2:53:172:53:20

John Higgins took a healthy lead,

taking no chances against this

2:53:202:53:27

young, ambitious 17-year-old Yan

Bingtao. We rejoin them in frame

2:53:272:53:30

four. Back to Alan with Steve Davis.

2:53:302:53:33

COMMENTATOR: Looks on. If John

Higgins goes for it, I expect him to

2:53:402:53:44

get it.

Or get on black, depending the way

2:53:442:53:49

he plays it. Oh, he's played it with

control, this is brilliant. What a

2:53:492:53:53

shot that is.

2:53:532:53:58

This is currently a master surgeon

at work.

2:54:162:54:21

Not ideally placed on the red, but

the way he started to cue, you fancy

2:54:292:54:35

this red in the middle pocket.

2:54:352:54:39

Not much of a pocket to go for, is

there? Never touched the sides. What

2:54:402:54:50

a performance so far this has turned

into. Got to say, he's got to be one

2:54:502:54:56

of the favourites for the UK

Championship this year. A few big

2:54:562:54:59

names have gone out. There's a few

still in, of course.

2:54:592:55:05

Not absolutely the way he played it.

Still on one. He's going to have to

2:55:312:55:36

put all his eggs in one basket here.

This is dead weight. The fact that

2:55:362:55:43

it's a fairly new cloth may help the

shot.

2:55:432:55:46

I fancy him to get it, but it is

missable.

2:55:462:55:50

It should go in. But no. Yan

Bingtao, sat in that chair for most

2:55:502:56:01

of the last couple of frames, has

got, at long last, a decent chance.

2:56:012:56:09

Yeah, very easy to say well, he's

got to make something from this, but

2:56:122:56:17

when you've been kept off the table

for so long, it's tough.

2:56:172:56:23

This is a difficult one to judge, to

get the correct weight. Can't argue

2:56:292:56:34

at that.

Made sure he didn't leave it short,

2:56:342:56:41

not too short. Assuming the black

does go fully.

2:56:412:56:45

Must do.

2:56:452:56:50

Be a good boost for morale now for

Yan Bingtao to win this in a classy

2:56:592:57:04

way, this frame.

Just to show John Higgins what he's

2:57:042:57:09

capable of.

2:57:092:57:11

This is not an absolute bona fide

chance to win the frame just yet. I

2:58:462:58:51

don't think any of those reds will

go to this black pocket. They have

2:58:512:58:56

to manufacture something. Wouldn't

really want to play to right middle.

2:58:562:59:04

That would be missable. He's looking

for something a bit more certain.

2:59:042:59:10

Just a little tester, just the fact

that he's not any table time, you

2:59:172:59:21

expect him to get it - nice and

straight, not a lot to do with the

2:59:212:59:25

cue ball. Just get the pot, opens

the frame up a little.

2:59:252:59:34

This is why you play eight hours a

day, or whatever you decide to play.

2:59:362:59:40

When you do get a chance, when

you've been kept off the table,

2:59:422:59:47

you're quickly into your stride.

2:59:472:59:50

It's definitely a measured approach

from Yang Bingtao.

Even a certain

3:00:183:00:23

black you'd already think he'd know

which red he's going to play but

3:00:233:00:27

he's taking his time. Average shot

time of 31 seconds, which is

3:00:273:00:31

pedestrian by modern standards.

It

is, but it's indicative of what he's

3:00:313:00:38

put up with today. I don't think

it's his natural speed. Floated

3:00:383:00:42

past, does the other red go? I think

it does. It's OK. I think if he was

3:00:423:00:52

the one dominating proceedings you'd

see faster speed.

3:00:523:00:56

That one red at the bottom of the

pack, you can't get the right side

3:01:023:01:10

of it, and maybe the other red goes.

Think is available, that helps.

3:01:103:01:20

Yeah, the pink goes on the green

spot now, so that's fine. A good

3:01:203:01:25

frame-winning chance now. Not saying

it's necessarily a bad thing, the

3:01:253:01:31

pace he's played today. It's another

strength to his bow.

Exactly, yeah.

3:01:313:01:38

You wouldn't always want to be

playing at 30 seconds a shot, it's

3:01:383:01:44

difficult to get rhythm but he's

been up against it. It's impossible

3:01:443:01:48

for him to have had any rhythm in

the match, soap understandable that

3:01:483:01:53

his shot times would be slow. Most

of his shots have been head

3:01:533:01:59

scratchers. Doesn't want to be

straight on this. Not good if it's

3:01:593:02:04

straight. He's got enough of an

angle. He's got to judge the pace of

3:02:043:02:12

this because it is he goes too far

he won't be on the red. Not far

3:02:123:02:20

enough and it's too fine Abe cut.

That's very nice indeed. Going to

3:02:203:02:26

disturb the other red now. A good

lead of the reds and guaranteed

3:02:263:02:32

position on the black, pace wise, he

could be over the line.

3:02:323:02:42

I think the other thing it tells us,

the way he's taking his time this

3:02:473:02:55

afternoon, and especially this

contribution, he thinks he can still

3:02:553:02:58

win the match. That's important.

It's not like, some players can be

3:02:583:03:04

forgiven for mentally almost giving

up, just throw their cue at Bayview

3:03:043:03:11

shots -- at a few shots.

3:03:113:03:17

He's still in line with being the

youngest ever winner of a major

3:03:223:03:28

event. Up until the German Masters I

think next year. But to be honest

3:03:283:03:34

that would be just a small record. I

think when the history books are

3:03:343:03:40

finally closed on this game of

snooker, if they are ever closed, I

3:03:403:03:47

think you'll see Yan Bingtao's name

cropping up a few times.

How can you

3:03:473:03:53

win the World Cup at 15?

3:03:533:03:58

He did that with his compatriot a

couple of years ago.

3:04:013:04:17

John Higgins may decide to come back

to the table here. Bingtao's last

3:04:263:04:32

positional shot before the red was

perhaps a bit risky. Might seem like

3:04:323:04:36

he's well clear but as we've seen,

when you look at the table, after

3:04:363:04:47

potting the black he's going to be

55 points behind. It's a tough ask

3:04:473:04:59

but not much different to the first

frame with Yan Bingtao carrying on.

3:04:593:05:08

He'll want to keep the last red on

the table. That keeps open the

3:05:083:05:13

option of free balls. That's a

quicker way to get penalty points.

3:05:133:05:23

So, no positional shot played. Can

he get in behind this black? Should

3:05:233:05:31

he so choose. He misjudged that by

miles. Poor effort really from John

3:05:313:05:42

Higgins.

3:05:423:05:46

Frame conceded.

So, Yan Bingtao gets

a frame on the board but John

3:06:003:06:10

Higgins goes into the interval

leading 3-1.

STUDIO: Looks

3:06:103:06:13

comfortable but this youngster is on

the move. He started the season as

3:06:133:06:17

the world number 56 and he's jumped

up to 27 already. He's a man on the

3:06:173:06:23

move and will he keep moving here in

frame five?

3:06:233:06:29

COMMENTATOR: Bingtao straight back

at the table. Bad timing for the ice

3:06:433:06:49

bucket to come on the table. Just

out of your picture, one of our

3:06:493:06:59

officials delivered a fresh ice

bucket to John Higgins. It was

3:06:593:07:04

nearly in Yan Bingtao's by --

eyeline.

3:07:043:07:15

Perhaps justice is served, back so

early, that miss to the right middle

3:07:233:07:34

by John.

Pretty ramrod straight

delivery of the cue. Always nice to

3:07:343:07:47

see. Not every player goes through

on a straight line. You'd think it

3:07:473:07:56

would be essential but it's really

only at the point of hitting the the

3:07:563:08:02

cue needs to be in the straight line

with the desired line to the object

3:08:023:08:06

ball. Common sense says it would be

better if it was in line all the

3:08:063:08:15

time from the back swing to the end

of the delivery. Plenty of cue power

3:08:153:08:23

to get the right side of the blue.

Excellent effort. Has he got there?

3:08:233:08:31

I don't think he's quite got the

angle. He's poker straight on it.

3:08:313:08:37

Pink is the sort of shot normally

well within his compass but he won't

3:08:373:08:43

want to play it unless he has to.

Just a case of how much he fancies a

3:08:433:08:54

long-distance red. So this is a

little tester.

3:08:543:09:03

I guess you could say a little

unfortunate there. Is there a plant?

3:09:283:09:35

Possible. Oh, fabulous shot. Well

played. That's a bonus, landing on

3:09:353:09:44

the black

3:09:443:09:47

played. That's a bonus, landing on

the black. Drop in the black and

3:09:473:09:52

he'll be back to just one frame

behind, Yang Bingtao -- Yan Bingtao.

3:09:523:10:01

That's motored up the table a bit.

He's on the red but not as he would

3:10:123:10:19

have liked. He just needs this red.

Plant as well. That's nice. A bit

3:10:193:10:34

lucky really, the plants have all

planned out for him. The pink wasn't

3:10:343:10:40

absolutely wonderful. So from being

completely outplayed and getting a

3:10:403:10:50

lifeline in the fourth frame, all of

a sudden, Yan Bingtao gets it back

3:10:503:10:56

to only one behind. Interesting

times in this match.

3:10:563:11:02

Another massive kick. What's going

on? From having none to having a

3:11:093:11:16

few.

3:11:163:11:18

A bit of general consensus that the

new brand of chalk on the market

3:11:253:11:28

reduces the amount of kicks players

get in matches. Yan Bingtao doesn't

3:11:283:11:34

use that particular brand.

3:11:343:11:40

Doesn't matter about the pink.

And

the frame.

81 break, Yan Bingtao,

3:13:523:13:59

hot on the heels of John Higgins.

3-2.

And indeed in the next frame,

3:13:593:14:06

Yan Bingtao made it all square. A

break of 37 and a pretty elongated

3:14:063:14:11

frame, 33 minutes and Yan Bingtao

getting over the line so we're into

3:14:113:14:17

a best of five. Let's rejoin in

seven. COMMENTATOR:

That could be a

3:14:173:14:26

massive error.

That one he seemed to

play a bit casually. He probably

3:14:263:14:37

didn't, it just seemed like he did.

3:14:373:14:42

The red actually moved, the other

red, when he potted that.

Yes,

3:15:033:15:09

played a combination shot there.

3:15:093:15:15

Nicely judged. Didn't go into them

too hard but he knew they'd open up

3:15:223:15:29

nicely.

A nice feeling when you play

that well, the cannon and they

3:15:293:15:35

spread open like they have. Doesn't

guarantee anything but it makes the

3:15:353:15:42

next probably 30 points fairly

straightforward, as straightforward

3:15:423:15:45

as they can ever be. Just gives you

a nice warm feeling inside, a cannon

3:15:453:15:50

like that. Works out as intended. He

needs a few good things to happen

3:15:503:16:00

right now, John Higgins.

Re-establish some authority in this

3:16:003:16:05

match.

3:16:053:16:08

He could conceivably get over the

winning post without needing that

3:16:213:16:25

red on the side cushion. Not

necessarily sure he'll have done

3:16:253:16:31

those maths. Job in hand.

That was

sloppy, he'll have to be precise

3:16:313:16:43

with this.

Wasn't the end of the

world. But as you say, there are

3:16:433:16:53

easier ways of getting on those

reds.

3:16:533:16:58

Yes, that's a good point you make

Steve, about the red on the side

3:17:153:17:19

cushion.

He needs blacks. I think he

can get away with one more extra

3:17:193:17:26

pink.

He's got two points to play

with. Two pinks and three blacks,

3:17:263:17:36

sorry, four blacks and he wouldn't

need that red.

It is something you

3:17:363:17:48

should do the maths for but there's

so much work to be done, sometimes

3:17:483:17:52

you're concentrating on keeping

position. Where these balls are,

3:17:523:17:56

you're more or less going to be

going for blacks but if he took too

3:17:563:18:00

many pinks, that is a sort of minor

mistake, isn't it?

John won't be

3:18:003:18:04

thinking about it yet.

But he should

be. The future of the game, players

3:18:043:18:10

should be aware if they need that

ball on the cushion or not.

It's

3:18:103:18:14

just we have the luxury of sitting

here and being able to count it out

3:18:143:18:18

and we don't have two pot anything.

That's a nice shot opening them up.

3:18:183:18:24

I don't know if he's checked the

school board. He's looking at it

3:18:243:18:28

now. -- the score board.

I think

he'll look at the scoreboard now.

3:18:283:18:44

Now, has he done the maths? He's

doing it now.

3:18:443:18:52

Is it the maths or is it the math?

American.

Singular is the posh way

3:18:573:19:10

of saying it.

Is there a Scottish

way?

Probably, yeah. That was a good

3:19:103:19:21

shot as well. Three blacks.

3:19:213:19:29

I think he can screw back to the

side cushion. This is dead straight.

3:20:273:20:32

Doing his job of keeping on the

black. Didn't need to screw back to

3:20:323:20:40

the side cushion.

The best way to

play for this red is the far corner

3:20:403:20:53

because he can get back to the black

for that. He doesn't want to play it

3:20:533:20:57

in the middle. That's clever, a very

clever shot. Just an indication

3:20:573:21:04

again of the shot selection being

the most important thing. The way he

3:21:043:21:09

played it, he didn't have to play

the shot perfectly. Just get top

3:21:093:21:14

side of the red and the next black

should be a formality. He's taken

3:21:143:21:17

them well.

3:21:173:21:22

After potting this black, he'd like

to get the double as well just to

3:21:423:21:48

put the lid on this frame.

3:21:483:21:56

Barring snookers, John Higgins has

his nose in front at 4-3. STUDIO: 67

3:22:113:22:20

was enough for John to retake the

lead at 4-3, the momentum back with

3:22:203:22:25

the Scotsman. They just had a

rewrite in frame eight. This is

3:22:253:22:31

early in the restart of this frame.

John has potted the red, so back to

3:22:313:22:38

Alan and Steve.

3:22:383:22:39

How is the split? Oh, this is good.

It's just beginning to happen now. A

3:22:483:22:58

big target, that. He got the pink

half all. -- half ball. He'd settle

3:22:583:23:09

for this, John Higgins.

3:23:093:23:18

John Higgins smelling blood here.

Realises the significance of Yan

3:24:183:24:27

Bingtao's shot, not punishing him

enough.

3:24:273:24:30

John doesn't want to play for the

red on the cushion. That would be

3:25:303:25:34

last resort.

3:25:343:25:41

Well, this was the shot that Yan

Bingtao played. He'd turned down a

3:25:503:25:54

pot to the left corner for the more

safe safety shot. John Higgins got

3:25:543:26:02

in from that shot.

3:26:023:26:09

Yan Bingtao bashing the table with

his cue, the modern-day sign of

3:27:113:27:16

appreciation for your opponent. He's

left a red to the middle. Can he get

3:27:163:27:33

past the lack to the red to the

corner? Doesn't look like it. -- can

3:27:333:27:41

he get past the black. You'd expect

him to get this. Wow, I thought that

3:27:413:27:52

was going in. Just a fraction too

hard. I still thought it was going

3:27:523:28:00

in, didn't you?

Yes, you could tell

by John's reaction as well. He

3:28:003:28:04

thought it was in. A puff of the

cheeks.

This is thin but I'm sure

3:28:043:28:16

he'll get it.

3:28:163:28:27

That's why they have experts in the

commentary box, Alan!

Yeah, a wry

3:28:283:28:36

smile again from John, he's somehow

covered the red with the blue, Yan

3:28:363:28:44

Bingtao.

Bingtao was trying to play

a better position or shot than just

3:28:443:28:55

potting the red -- a better

positional shot. Would have been

3:28:553:29:00

ideal place to pot the red. Not easy

to get a telling safety shot here.

3:29:003:29:17

That got a bit close to the pocket,

didn't it? Yan Bingtao tapping the

3:29:213:29:32

table. It wasn't that far off being

a mistake. Now it's caused a few

3:29:323:29:41

problems.

If he's going to play the

up and down safety he'll have to get

3:29:413:29:48

this very thin, drop the cushion

first on the left-hand red, which

3:29:483:29:56

he's doing.

Still need to give these

respect. With the baulk colours as

3:29:563:30:12

they are, not easy to sort of get

telling snookers.

Surprised here

3:30:123:30:21

that John, the loose red left of the

pink spot, slide off it, cue ball

3:30:213:30:28

over the yellow pocket and Yan

Bingtao would be in trouble. I don't

3:30:283:30:33

think John will be in masses of

trouble but he's giving up the

3:30:333:30:36

initiative. Obviously there was

thought behind it, 37 points in

3:30:363:30:43

front, tying up those three reds.

3:30:433:30:47

He doesn't make many tactical

mistakes, does he?

There's one here

3:30:533:31:00

that he could play, leave John that

tempter, get as close to the baulk

3:31:003:31:07

cushion as you can. He's shifting

that red. John's long game's not

3:31:073:31:12

been on it. Not been on song today.

I would have left him a tempter

3:31:123:31:15

there.

Possible plant to nothing.

The thing

3:31:153:31:25

about this situation now is there is

a way of getting down the table. And

3:31:253:31:30

getting a good snooker. Not easy.

From this side of the table.

3:31:303:31:43

That plant was a bit more on than

you would have thought from

3:31:523:31:55

distance. Red struggled in. But it's

definitely John Higgins with the

3:31:553:31:59

initiative.

Playing in behind the

brown here, I feel. Clever shot

3:31:593:32:07

again. It takes out of the rest of

the left side cushion. Yan's in

3:32:073:32:15

trouble.

Yan Bingtao will be seeing

if he's got any type of route to

3:32:153:32:20

those three reds on the top cushion.

3:32:203:32:24

He's looking at possibly a three

cushion escape.

3:32:323:32:38

He'll have to get close to the green

after two cushions. I don't think

3:32:433:32:53

that shot is on. Too much slide on

the cloth. He could probably try

3:32:533:32:59

this all day long and not get it.

He should know from what he's just

3:32:593:33:05

done, unless he gets stupidly close

to the green, he's not going to be

3:33:053:33:09

able to get out of it. It's going to

slide too much. I might be wrong.

3:33:093:33:20

Put the green back, though.

3:33:233:33:31

I don't think he can escape off

three cushions here.

It's not

3:33:333:33:36

possible.

Really, without being

disrespectful, he should know this

3:33:363:33:40

now. He's had one go and he must

have seen how the ball released off

3:33:403:33:45

that third cushion.

3:33:453:33:48

It's important they get the green

exactly where it was. It plays an

3:33:503:33:57

integral part of the shot.

3:33:573:33:59

He might just have made it.

Wow.

What a hit that was.

Wow!

I

3:34:123:34:25

think he's having a chuckle at

himself.

That's the best he could

3:34:253:34:28

have done to get across the table.

That's the absolute limit.

3:34:283:34:35

He obviously knows more than me!

Unless that green wasn't exactly in

3:34:413:34:49

the right place.

3:34:493:34:54

A great escape.

John will be making sure he doesn't

3:34:553:35:01

shift this brown, I'm sure.

Yeah just pushing a red safe.

3:35:013:35:11

No way John wants to get involved at

any time with having safety shots

3:35:133:35:20

that go near that brown.

3:35:203:35:24

Once again Bingtao in touch trouble.

It seems he's going off a side

3:35:283:35:31

cushion.

3:35:313:35:35

What was he lining up there? Not too

sure.

I think he was just in between

3:35:433:35:50

the top, the middle and the brown.

Just looking at the natural and

3:35:503:35:53

dropping the three reds. Obviously

didn't fancy it.

3:35:533:36:00

John playing this red near the baulk

line. It's not a double kiss. He

3:36:053:36:10

doesn't really want to shift it,

unless he absolutely has to.

3:36:103:36:16

He can just drop onto the three

reds.

3:36:203:36:24

It's Yan Bingtao who has to do the

aggressive safety.

3:36:263:36:29

Nicely judged. Bingtao can improve

the situation. Needs a thin contact

3:36:363:36:46

on the first red.

3:36:463:36:50

Is there a gap between green and

blue that he can get the black into

3:36:523:36:55

play?

3:36:553:36:57

Needed to play an aggressive one and

has done. You've got to say that

3:37:173:37:21

he's asked the best question

possible of John Higgins.

3:37:213:37:26

John's got a relatively easy path

back to balk. At least it's opened

3:37:293:37:35

the reds up and opened the colours

up.

3:37:353:37:44

There won't be many times in his

career that he'll be tapping the

3:37:543:37:59

table as many as he has done against

John Higgins here today. Great

3:37:593:38:06

judgment of weight there as well,

caused as much problems as the line.

3:38:063:38:13

Last resort shot once again? He's

just coming down to see what type of

3:38:193:38:25

shot John Higgins as got from the

jaws this afternoon top left corner.

3:38:253:38:30

-- of that top left corner. Not sure

he's got many other options. Big

3:38:303:38:34

shot to try and pot it.

3:38:343:38:37

This is one in ten for me.

Yeah, that was so difficult. He's

3:38:463:38:52

not left an absolute sitter. But

John Higgins you would expect to

3:38:523:38:59

take full advantage.

3:38:593:39:02

He obviously believes in his own

ability. He could have possibly

3:39:093:39:12

played a containing shot there.

3:39:123:39:15

The score line in the frame and

knowing how clever John Higgins is,

3:39:163:39:20

perhaps he thought that was as good

a chance as he was going to get.

3:39:203:39:24

The last frame, the first frame

really that's gone against the

3:39:363:39:39

grain.

3:39:393:39:41

Yan Bingtao couldn't successfully

negotiate the positional side of the

3:39:453:39:47

frame. John Higgins got back in. Now

looks like John Higgins has smelled

3:39:473:39:53

a bit of blood.

3:39:533:39:56

Never balks at the finishing line,

that's for certain.

3:39:593:40:04

He's checked the scoreboard.

3:40:113:40:14

Three loose reds with colours. He

should be one away from victory.

3:40:173:40:23

Would still like this red in to

completely seal the frame.

3:42:173:42:24

Striking the ball very nicely. Never

overhits a shot, John Higgins. Knows

3:42:323:42:37

when to stroke the shot, when to

punch it in. The complete

3:42:373:42:44

all-rounder.

Apart from those shots obviously!

3:42:443:42:51

And that's John Higgins. 5-3 in

front. Needing one more for a place

3:42:513:42:56

in the last 16.

STUDIO: I'm sure this will be an

3:42:563:43:03

almighty relief to John after that

barrage of breaks from Yan Bingtao

3:43:033:43:05

earlier on. This is a fascinating

match. It's a real contrast of the

3:43:053:43:11

generations. We've seen enough from

Yan Bingtao to realise this

3:43:113:43:14

generations. We've seen enough from

Yan Bingtao to realise this fellow

3:43:143:43:14

is pretty special.

Yeah a very

talented young player. John's

3:43:143:43:18

experience showed in the last frame

there. He really dug deep there. He

3:43:183:43:22

knows that he has to go up a gear

now against this young man. That was

3:43:223:43:26

impressive from John there.

He

hasn't taken him lightly. He said he

3:43:263:43:31

would have to play 100 times better

than his previous opponent. How wary

3:43:313:43:36

was John coming into this match?

Who

does he take lightly by the way? He

3:43:363:43:41

plays the right shot all the time to

an incredibly high standard. Two of

3:43:413:43:45

the lads in the commentary box are

exactly the same type of match

3:43:453:43:50

players, if you play the correct

shot and you play it to a high

3:43:503:43:53

standard every single time you play,

you are going to be a nightmare for

3:43:533:43:56

whoever you play against. The last

couple of frames, John's tightened

3:43:563:43:59

up. He's still scored well. He's

come to the table and he's tapping

3:43:593:44:03

the table all the time. He's just in

the maximum amount of trouble. Every

3:44:033:44:06

time he comes, there he's being

asked a question. It's a very stern

3:44:063:44:10

examination paper you get when you

play John. That's what he's been

3:44:103:44:12

given this afternoon.

We know that

whoever wins this match, they're

3:44:123:44:18

going to play Mark King in the next

round. Mark has come through 6-3

3:44:183:44:23

against Luca Brecel. After that

losing that respoted black earlier

3:44:233:44:27

on, he's won the last three in a row

has Mark. That's really impressive.

3:44:273:44:31

That's a great win. He's come on

leaps and bounds this season, after

3:44:313:44:36

winning in Northern Ireland last

year.

He's kicked on. All of us were

3:44:363:44:40

so pleased for him to win his first

ranking event after all this time

3:44:403:44:44

last year. He's been working with

Chris Henry for some time now. It's

3:44:443:44:48

made a massive difference to his

game. He's a tournament winner now.

3:44:483:44:52

The biggest thing for Mark, with the

greatest respect, he wasn't the

3:44:523:44:57

heaviest scorers. He didn't score

like a lot of the top boys did. He

3:44:573:45:01

nearly had a maximum the other day,

which he should have had. A nice

3:45:013:45:04

break there to win the match. His

scoring has improved.

Mark will be

3:45:043:45:08

watching the end of this one with

great interest as indeed are we. Can

3:45:083:45:12

John get over the line here?

3:45:123:45:15

COMMENTATOR: If he can Hazel, he's

still going to have to put the young

3:45:213:45:28

Chinese player away. He led 3-1

early on, John Higgins. Yan came

3:45:283:45:35

back strongly to 3-3.

3:45:353:45:41

He hasn't done a great deal wrong

today, Yan Bingtao. Last couple of

3:46:043:46:10

frames, messed up position once.

Then a sloppy safety shot. Other

3:46:103:46:22

than that it's been an impressive

performance.

3:46:223:46:27

From our perspective in the

commentary box, as players, Alan,

3:46:323:46:36

you know, it's not about if a player

just knocks him all over the place,

3:46:363:46:40

you don't get impressed by that so

much. It's shot selection,

3:46:403:46:44

decisions, demeanor at table,

temperament. That's how you judge

3:46:443:46:49

whether a player's got longevity in

the game.

Absolutely.

3:46:493:46:57

Yan Bingtao has been a wee bit more

defensive than I was expecting

3:46:593:47:03

today, I have to say that. His

all-round game is

3:47:033:47:07

-- certainly improving all the time.

Regardless of the result today, he

3:47:103:47:13

will learn plenty. He beat John

Higgins 6-2 a few weeks ago out in

3:47:133:47:20

China.

3:47:203:47:23

Good to see a Chinese player not all

about knocking in the reds all over

3:47:283:47:34

the place, playing the fancy shots.

He can get down and tough it out.

3:47:343:47:38

Yeah getting that balance right

between attack and defence is the

3:47:383:47:41

art of it. A couple of shots we

actually thought he might have gone

3:47:413:47:45

for it and he turned it down. If

you're not attacking enough you're

3:47:453:47:49

in trouble as well. Plenty of years

left to get the balance right of

3:47:493:47:55

that.

3:47:553:48:01

Just a half chance here for John to

perhaps gain the upper hand in this

3:48:433:48:48

early safety battle.

3:48:483:48:51

Just trying to miss the brown on

either side of it. Yeah, that should

3:48:583:49:01

do. That should stop the easy return

for Yan Bingtao.

3:49:013:49:07

He does have a figure eight playing

the other way.

3:49:073:49:12

He's had enough of it. He's taken

one on.

Yeah, getting more

3:49:163:49:20

aggressive here. Wouldn't say

throwing caution to the wind. He's

3:49:203:49:24

got enough screw power to stay clear

of the pink.

3:49:243:49:32

Foul.

Can't really argue with that.

He's hit it superbly well. It's just

3:49:323:49:44

screwing clear of the pink.

Unlucky.

3:49:443:49:50

Can't really say you should know

where the middle pocket is on that

3:49:503:49:53

one. He hit it too well.

Just to even get the pot doing

3:49:533:49:58

anything with the cue ball,

impressive. Amazing piece of ball

3:49:583:50:02

striking.

3:50:023:50:05

Got a good cue ball.

3:50:193:50:23

Another tap on the table from Yan.

3:50:253:50:29

If that red to the right corner is

dead straight, he could play it as a

3:50:323:50:37

sort of shot to nothing. The only

red he'd leave on is the one he

3:50:373:50:44

missed other than there's a red into

the middle pocket that would

3:50:443:50:49

possibly pot. He's got potential

with this one as well.

3:50:493:50:54

There was the potential. Never going

to be rolling it in dead weight

3:50:583:51:02

that. Was too risky.

Not far off getting the snooker.

3:51:023:51:08

Never really going to put his

opponent in too much trouble from

3:51:393:51:42

that shot. Yan Bingtao should be

able to find a path back to baulk.

3:51:423:51:55

It's been a feature of this match

and to be honest, a bit of a feature

3:51:573:52:01

of the modern game. Players are

loathe to play the safety off the

3:52:013:52:05

pack and open reds up, push a red

potentially over left corner and

3:52:053:52:10

you're sitting down the rest of the

frame. I've seen it more and more.

3:52:103:52:15

This looks good.

Not quite in behind the brown. John

3:52:153:52:21

Higgins perhaps here about to gain

the upper hand again.

3:52:213:52:25

He can't play the four cushion

safety this time. There's that red

3:52:253:52:30

between blue and pink in the way. He

can play the two cushion.

3:52:303:52:36

Slide it down to the baulk cushion,

line it up on the yellow.

3:52:443:52:50

Sound like I know what I'm talking

about there!

That was a brilliant

3:53:013:53:05

shot.

3:53:053:53:07

Can't see any return to the baulk

area. I suppose he could drop dead

3:53:123:53:17

weight into the top of the bluster

of reds, but even that has a risk

3:53:173:53:20

attached to it.

Has he got another half ball one red

3:53:203:53:25

into the pack behind the black? If

he can see enough of the right-hand

3:53:253:53:30

side of the second red on the left

of the table, if that makes sense.

3:53:303:53:35

Yeah, I think he can.

Can't see many other shots at the

3:53:373:53:41

moment.

That's a good spot that,

Steve. The reason he wouldn't like

3:53:413:53:47

really playing it, unless he can

maybe hit the red on the thin side

3:53:473:53:50

and not push too many open reds out

of the cluster.

3:53:503:53:54

What else has he got.

I think he's got to play this shot

3:53:543:53:59

and try to get in behind the black.

Thin half ball, not too thick.

3:53:593:54:06

He's looked at it there. He's going

through the same thought process

3:54:073:54:11

that we've gone through.

3:54:113:54:14

That's the shot he's going to play.

We think.

3:54:163:54:24

Unless he's seen something else. Can

he play the one nearer the blue?

3:54:243:54:32

Far enough out with the red that

didn't get the cue ball tracking

3:54:413:54:47

right. Has he left anything?

3:54:473:54:52

What he has left is not John's

favourite shot. Especially if he's

3:54:553:54:59

going to have to play it slowly. He

will come round for a choice of pink

3:54:593:55:08

or blue, makes the pop a fraction

easier. He's dribbled it. Oh, well

3:55:083:55:12

played.

3:55:123:55:16

Not as easy as it looked on the TV

that shot.

3:55:193:55:25

Frame and match winning opportunity

here.

3:55:323:55:36

The balls don't look that much out

in the open. But there's enough

3:55:403:55:44

loose reds around that a player of

the likes of John Higgins will be

3:55:443:55:50

able to orchestrate a chance.

3:55:503:55:55

Straight on this black. Would have

been a lot easier had he not been.

3:56:003:56:04

Tremendous amount of side spin on

that. Has it gone too far? Has he

3:56:103:56:14

overhit it?

3:56:143:56:16

He's just about all right.

The red

in baulk helps him as well.

3:56:263:56:32

Holding for pink though, this is a

decent position.

3:56:373:56:42

Slowly pushing other reds into

pottable positions.

3:56:473:56:48

May be a bit low on this red.

3:57:043:57:09

Very nicely judged, though.

3:57:173:57:21

He had the experience to know you

have to punch that one in.

3:57:243:57:30

Just checking to see if he can play

for two reds, when playing this.

3:57:343:57:43

Just helped him get the cue ball

high enough to be perfect on the

3:57:433:57:46

next red.

3:57:463:57:49

It's been a fascinating match to

commentate on and should John

3:57:523:58:00

Higgins convert this chance, an

excellent match for John Higgins to

3:58:003:58:05

establish his mark in this

tournament and stake a claim on

3:58:053:58:08

possibly being the champion. He's

won it three times before, I think.

3:58:083:58:13

Who's to say he won't win it again.

Still got to mind his work here

3:58:133:58:18

though. Good chance to go into the

pack here. He shouldn't lose the cue

3:58:183:58:23

ball. He can go in with a bit of

pace.

3:58:233:58:29

An outside red ah, pollees.

3:58:293:58:31

-- apologies. I didn't think that

went. Flies in. He could have gone

3:58:363:58:42

into the reds there. It was risky.

3:58:423:58:47

It's actually a clever shot heed

played. -- he's played. Position on

3:58:593:59:05

the next red is virtually

guaranteed.

3:59:053:59:09

That red next to the pink, if that

went, then a gree with not going

3:59:263:59:31

into the -- I agree with not going

into the reds.

3:59:313:59:36

Such a clever player John Higgins.

He's got that red in baulk as well.

3:59:423:59:46

That's why he wouldn't have, excuse

me, played into them.

3:59:463:59:51

He needs a red and high value colour

from the cluster.

I might have still

3:59:594:00:03

gone into them.

Wrongly! As it's proving.

4:00:034:00:16

One good positional shot. Yellow,

big area. Get that one right at

4:00:164:00:24

least. That's right, blue.

I would

have played for the yellow. This is

4:00:244:00:37

the big shot.

That's why we're in

here! He could have played this

4:00:374:00:42

earlier, God knows why he is bladed

knife. This is to effectively win

4:00:424:00:47

the match. Good split and it's all

over.

4:00:474:00:50

That red, 62, black to follow, which

is match ball. Coming up.

4:01:024:01:09

APPLAUSE

He satisfied hard all day long.

3-0

4:01:204:01:29

in front, pegged back to 3-3 but

used all his experience. He will

4:01:294:01:37

want to see this red drop just to

confirm the victory. Not been

4:01:374:01:43

vintage John Higgins but good

enough.

It has been good enough on

4:01:434:01:50

Yan Bingtao has not been found to

much wanting either. John Higgins

4:01:504:01:54

has been the stronger but Bingham

4:01:544:01:57

Yan Bingtao has not given up. I

think it's time to shake hands.

4:02:024:02:12

Victory for John Higgins and sledger

the next round where he meets Mark

4:02:124:02:16

King. APPLAUSE

4:02:164:02:19

Great victory for John Higgins today

because that was not an easy

4:02:224:02:26

prospect. This guy has been like a

charging bull over the last month.

4:02:264:02:32

He's a very dangerous opponent, John

will be delighted with that result.

4:02:324:02:35

He is just a granite match player,

one of the best match players to

4:02:354:02:39

ever play the game. The boys are

saying in commentary he hasn't been

4:02:394:02:43

in his best but I didn't see and do

too much wrong, his matchplay

4:02:434:02:47

quality, kept his opponent away from

the bowls and his safety play is

4:02:474:02:50

excellent, any time he got into

trouble. When he had a sniff of

4:02:504:02:55

victory, he just goes for it.

Stepped

4:02:554:03:08

up a was the same.

He lost interest

the last couple of frames but the

4:03:114:03:14

sinner seeking to the point where he

could win the match he went up a

4:03:144:03:17

gear. Fantastic. Well done.

Congratulations. Is that a bit of a

4:03:174:03:20

relief because you told that you

would have two radio level 100 times

4:03:204:03:22

over.

He is class. He is a future

world champion, without a doubt. He

4:03:224:03:27

nearly beat Ronnie's record, lost to

Mark Williams in Ireland, I knew it

4:03:274:03:32

was going to be a tough game but I

thought I played pretty well.

He did

4:03:324:03:37

indeed, the way you close the match

out, he came back at you to get to

4:03:374:03:40

3-3 at him you Uber and a match.

Something clicked for you and how

4:03:404:03:46

much of a relief was it to have the

new tip, that was out of your mind

4:03:464:03:50

as well, you are focused. I was

going to drive home to Scotland and

4:03:504:03:56

I

4:03:564:04:06

phoned big lies but I would you are

potting in the miles.

You have to

4:04:574:05:00

sometimes because there's no point

in going to bed. I knew it was gone.

4:05:004:05:03

When you feel OK about it.

4:05:034:05:13

I knew it was special.

4:05:134:05:15

I knew it was special.

You love

competing, love playing.

Yeah, you

4:05:154:05:20

can't beat that. I mean, I seen you

this morning and you've got a tough

4:05:204:05:25

game. I knew it was a tough game.

You love it out there in the battle.

4:05:254:05:29

Even if I lost that game, I felt

that I produced a good standard. If

4:05:294:05:35

you end up losing you shake the

guy's hand. But I felt good.

What

4:05:354:05:39

aspect of your game actually saw him

off today? Because we know how

4:05:394:05:43

dangerous he is. He's a great

scorer. And the confidence level of

4:05:434:05:48

this young man, 17, completely

fearless.

young man, 17, completely

4:05:484:05:52

fearless out there. I competed with

him with my safety game and I put

4:05:524:05:58

him under pressure. When I was out

in wasn't getting anywhere near the

4:05:584:06:04

baulk commission, leaving him with

his hand on the table and knocking

4:06:044:06:07

them in for fun. You need to get

them near the top cushion.

You are

4:06:074:06:15

through to played Mark King in the

next round. Good luck. Birthday boy

4:06:154:06:20

Ronnie O'Sullivan's day as well. Out

on the table today and there was no

4:06:204:06:25

training on his parade at all.

4:06:254:06:28

on the table today and there was no

training on his parade at all. This

4:06:284:06:28

was a 6-1 win over Michael white and

included a 132, his out of the

4:06:284:06:34

championship. He was floating on air

when he came into the studio.

4:06:344:06:40

championship. He was floating on air

when he came into the studio.

4:06:404:06:42

Into the last 16, happy birthday.

Thank you.

Pleased with that today,

4:06:444:06:51

6-1 sounds straightforward, was it

from your perspective?

Marx didn't

4:06:514:06:54

play well at all. You could see he

was a struggling and getting lots of

4:06:544:06:59

bad luck as well and I wasn't

feeling great, we kind of dragged

4:06:594:07:04

each other down. I managed to

scramble today more than Michael

4:07:044:07:10

did.

Century and then, 909 centuries

so far and counting. Have you lost

4:07:104:07:15

can, do you take a mental note of

them?

I know each century gets me

4:07:154:07:21

nearer 1000, which would be nice to

do but I'm sure someone else will

4:07:214:07:25

beat it sometime.

We talked about

the 1000, is there an expected

4:07:254:07:30

timescale for this?

I don't put time

on anything, I'm past on that, I

4:07:304:07:36

just try to enjoy it. Bagnaia look

like you're enjoying competing? I'm

4:07:364:07:39

trying my hardest, just come here,

have a bit of fun, try to win. If I

4:07:394:07:48

don't win, I've always got another

plan, it takes the pressure off.

In

4:07:484:07:53

terms of what we see in this

championship, so many of the top

4:07:534:07:56

seeds have gone now, you are the

only top seed left at number four.

4:07:564:08:00

It's been surprising in some

respects?

I've not watched a lot of

4:08:004:08:04

slick about what I gathered from a

lot of players haven't been playing

4:08:044:08:08

well and it's a tough when you are

not feeling confident. I'm not

4:08:084:08:13

feeling 100% with my game, it is a

bit like golf, if you don't get the

4:08:134:08:18

line right, you can put the ball

anywhere. I think I'm a bit

4:08:184:08:24

fortunate, a bit like Tiger Woods, I

can manufacture shots, whereas the

4:08:244:08:31

more robotic tape players, if they

are not online, these really

4:08:314:08:34

struggle. A bit like Mark Williams,

shot makers. Can scramble a bit

4:08:344:08:40

better and that's what you have to

do sometimes.

Do you think there's

4:08:404:08:43

too much slicker?

Give me some more!

You're in the fortunate position

4:08:434:08:49

where you can pick and choose your

tournaments but the players who play

4:08:494:08:52

in everything, as a of them burning

out.

I don't care any more. I try to

4:08:524:09:00

get players together but they all

just bottled out in the end and I

4:09:004:09:03

thought I had to do my own thing,

live my own life, dull and do other

4:09:034:09:08

bits outside of snooker because I

can't -- go and do. This is fun,

4:09:084:09:12

this is a bonus for me. I understand

what the players are going through

4:09:124:09:17

but until they get their bottle

together and stand up together, then

4:09:174:09:21

they will have to keep morning. I

got fed up morning so I might as

4:09:214:09:25

well get the good life, I have a

great life now and I don't care what

4:09:254:09:30

they do. They can do what they like,

make us play outside if they like in

4:09:304:09:34

the freezing cold. I would ever

complain about the referee or

4:09:344:09:39

unofficial, they are all fantastic.

You are Mr Shale at the moment.

I

4:09:394:09:45

used to be because I was ingrained

in slicker -- Mr chill. You want to

4:09:454:09:55

get things sorted and the players to

stick together but they never do, so

4:09:554:09:58

just get on with it. Have it.

Have

you found a form? Nobody has quite

4:09:584:10:04

got it, with all of these events.

You're trying to come in for the

4:10:044:10:08

major bug you have these.

I don't

care about the majors, I will take

4:10:084:10:13

any tournament, I'm not involved in

this game, I just pitch up, the UK

4:10:134:10:17

is the same as the British Open,

China, they are all lovely. I'll

4:10:174:10:21

take any one of them.

There isn't a

formula for success?

I don't care!

4:10:214:10:28

Otherwise you'd drive yourself mad.

We the players morning and you feel

4:10:284:10:32

you want to try to do something.

Give up, they can do their thing, I

4:10:324:10:35

will do my thing, good luck to

everybody and you have to drive your

4:10:354:10:39

own car and that is what I'm doing.

It doesn't affect me as much. If I

4:10:394:10:45

win, great, if I don't, I don't

care. I love to win. I will not

4:10:454:10:50

drive myself mad. Just let them have

a stinker.

Next year when we come to

4:10:504:10:58

the UK Championship, it has been

suggested, a lot of banter in the

4:10:584:11:01

press room about you doing a stint

in the jungle, Jimmy has done it,

4:11:014:11:07

Steve Davis. Would you do that?

I

will do anything now. I will do

4:11:074:11:14

anything, I'm up for it. I used to

think I couldn't do that, I have to

4:11:144:11:19

be a pure slicker player but you get

to a stage where you think this is

4:11:194:11:24

painful -- snooker player.

Everything I do away from snooker is

4:11:244:11:27

great. I want to do as much as I

can. I want to play snooker and do

4:11:274:11:33

myself justice. As long as I am 64,

it doesn't matter if it's number one

4:11:334:11:38

or number four. Let's have a bit of

the jungle!

LAUGHTER

4:11:384:11:45

They'll think I'm a gorilla when

they look at me. Walk around like

4:11:454:11:49

Steve! If you are Mr Shale at the

moment, how do you get the

4:11:494:11:57

competitive head on? -- Mr chill.

I

want to get running back. I have the

4:11:574:12:10

desire to compete. Not bothered by

tables, venues, referees,

4:12:104:12:15

photographers. They have to behave

themselves. You have to come with a

4:12:154:12:21

stick, a tripod, if they don't have

them they are going. All you camera

4:12:214:12:25

guys. I believe a supply of them.

What are you go to do for the rest

4:12:254:12:33

of your body?

And good to go to the

gym, that's my birthday present --

4:12:334:12:39

the rest of your day. Have a bit of

food and then I'm a celebrity get me

4:12:394:12:44

out of here. I'm going to get

trained for it and use to snakes.

4:12:444:12:53

You had at first, he's in the jungle

next year, I'm not sure how we're

4:12:534:12:57

going to cope in the UK Championship

without you. Thank you very much,

4:12:574:13:01

enjoy the rest of your birthday. The

world according to Ronnie O'Sullivan

4:13:014:13:06

is a fascinating place and a long

answer is drive your own car and

4:13:064:13:10

learn to love snakes. That is what

we have learnt today. We learnt

4:13:104:13:13

who's going to call through from

this evening's matches and at seven

4:13:134:13:17

o'clock you will be able to see red

button coverage and online coverage

4:13:174:13:24

of Kieron Wilson against Ricky

Walden and world number six Shaun

4:13:244:13:31

Murphy against Jamie Robinson. Jason

is here with the late shift and the

4:13:314:13:34

highlights of the evening session at

five past midnight and it will be

4:13:344:13:38

John Higgins against Mark King

tomorrow at one o'clock but running

4:13:384:13:42

is on his way to the last 16 and

apparently into the jungle. See you

4:13:424:13:45

soon.

4:13:454:13:50

After the races are won

and medals gained,

4:14:014:14:04

The third round continues at the UK Championship, the second biggest ranking event on the snooker calendar. Hazel Irvine introduces live coverage from York's Barbican Centre. Matches are the best of 11 frames.