Welsh Open 2009: Day Four News

Last 16 time in Newport and already it is looking like being the most thrilling day of the tournament yet. During the course rest of the day I will continue to update this post as the results come in so please keep checking back…


Ronnie O’Sullivan 3-5 Marco Fu
91(48)-37, 79(61)-42, 12-121(117), 70(48)-13, 45(45)-83(38,45), 27-94(93), 2-67(47), 0-120(115)
Stephen Maguire 5-4 Ding Junhui
101(101)-0, 78(64)-1, 36-73(45), 14-76(76), 43(38)-80(52), 4-110(94), 71(71c)-69(69), 73(52)-0, 75(75)-0
Allister Carter 5-4 Graeme Dott
87(74)-35, 0-85(52), 141(119)-0, 73-1, 1-105(42,63), 42-53, 73(69)-17, 19-64(64), 77(67)-32
Shaun Murphy 5-2 Mark King
128(116)-6, 110(109)-0, 36-83(56), 68(40)-31, 0-73(46), 105(105)-0, 58(53)-56
Anthony Hamilton 5-2 Michael Judge
10-71(39), 98(61)-0, 100(100)-0, 34-67, 90(67)-4, 136(136)-0, 76-27
John Higgins 4-5 Neil Robertson
70(66)-25, 76(76)-39, 43(42)-71(70), 5-101(94), 5-75(75), 54-76, 133(129)-0, 81-13, 34-61

To view the latest scores you can use either the BBC website here, the embedded live scores on the official World Snooker website here or the relaunched Global Snooker site here.


World number one Ronnie O’Sullivan was sent crashing out of the Welsh Open this afternoon following a terrific comeback from the man who beat him in the 2007 Grand Prix final, Marco Fu.

From the start Ronnie did not appear to be at the top of his game and Marco was being given several chances, but for whatever reason he could not take full advantage and soon found himself 2-0 down. In frame three he did finally manage to capitalise, making a break of 117 but as O’Sullivan took the next to move 3-1 ahead at the interval, it looked like Fu might have just missed the boat a little and that O’Sullivan was now in a match-winning position.

Marco however had other ideas and having beaten Ronnie on seven previous occasions, came out and looked much more clinical. Break s of 38, 45 and 93 brought him level before 47 and finally 115 helped to complete a terrific fightback and send the two-times Welsh Open champion out of the competition. It is obviously an excellent result for Marco who seems more than most to be capable of withstanding the pressure from Ronnie and beating him on the big stage.

On Ronnie he never really looked to be fully focused to me, perhaps unsurprisingly given his admission yesterday that he finds it difficult to be motivated for events like this given the amount of prize money on offer. I would not be too worried if I were an O’Sullivan supporter however, although Stephen Maguire now has the opportunity to make inroads into his lead at the top of the rankings, I would expect him to be back in form by the time Sheffield comes around.

Speaking of Stephen Maguire, he launched a brilliant comeback to defeat Ding Junhui 5-4 this afternoon in a pulsating clash.

It was high quality stuff from the start as the Scotsman raced into a 2-0 lead with breaks of 101 and 64, but Ding responded in fine style to take the next four frames, each courtesy of a sizeable break. In frame seven it looked like Ding would complete a confidence boosting win but at 69-0 up and needing just one more red to leave Stephen needing a snooker, he missed what looked to be a straightforward plant and gave his opponent a lifeline. Maguire duly took it, clearing with 71 to snatch the frame and he never looked back, making breaks of 52 and 75 to win as Ding was not to pot another ball.

This is a really good performance from Maguire, someone who has been known to let his head drop when finding himself behind and slipping to an unexpected defeat. Here though he maintained his focus throughout and it was Ding who could not respond. Next up for Stephen will be Joe Swail who defeated Martin Gould late last night to book his quarter-final spot. Coming into the event nearly 6,000 points behind O’Sullivan, Stephen now has a real chance to push on and make a dent in his lead going into the final two events of the season.

Table three also saw a terrific match this afternoon as Ali Carter came through a high quality clash with Graeme Dott to win 5-4. With the score standing at 3-1 to Carter at the interval, thanks in part to a century from Ali, Graeme fought back well to make it 3-3 and then 4-4 before a 67 break from Carter took him over the line.

While Carter goes on to meet Mark Selby in what is a mouthwatering clash at the top of the draw tomorrow, it is great to see Graeme Dott back to somewhere near his best as he seeks to salvage something from a poor season. While he will inevitably find himself at Pontin’s next season in the qualifiers, if his last few matches are anything to go by then it won’t be too long before he is back up in the top 16.

Shaun Murphy became the first man to win from the evening’s session with a 5-2 victory over world number 15 Mark King. It was an outstanding performance from the UK Champion who notched three century breaks as well as coming through a number of high-quality tactical exchanges. King battled hard but from 3-2 up Shaun powered away and booked his place in the quarter-final against Ali Carter who is of course playing so well himself…

And soon to follow Shaun was Anthony Hamilton who knocked two centuries past Michael Judge on the way to a 5-2 victory. After a fairly torrid season it is good to see Anthony doing well again and hopefully it will help him to remain in the top 32 for next season. It will be his first appearance in a quarter-final since the 2007 World Championship and awaiting him in the next round will be the defending champion Mark Selby, not an easy task…

Last but not least, Neil Robertson came through an absorbing match with John Higgins tonight to win 5-4 and move into the quarter-final stage.

It was another terrific contest, initially with Higgins looking the stronger as he moved into a 2-0 lead before Neil responded to send them into the interval level at two each. When they resumed though he upped his game further and for a couple of frames put on a flawless display of attacking snooker, scattering the reds from the blue with ease and leaving Higgins absolutely powerless to stop him.

Crucially however when making it 4-2, John managed to take the sting out of Neil’s play with a long tactical exchange when playing for a snooker and again the momentum switched from one player to the other. Though Robertson did win that frame, Higgins was able to hit back with 129 and soon after it became clear that we were heading for a deciding frame as Higgins took the eighth with a few smaller breaks.

The deciding frame was a predictably tense affair, both having chances until with just four reds left after half an hour, Neil decides to leave the arena for a toilet break, prompting a bit of fun with the audience from John Higgins who jokingly suggests that the white be moved was Neil was out of sight!

On Neil’s return it looked like it might be a brief comeback as a poor safety let John in, but when the Scotsman wobbled the penultimate red in the jaws of a corner pocket a few shots later it was Robertson who was presented with the best chance yet to clinch the match. This he duly did and the 2007 champion is through to play Marco Fu in the quarter-final.