China Open 2011: Higgins Edges Bond, O’Sullivan Exits

Day three from Beijing might not have been as spectacular as yesterday but it was interesting nonetheless as John Higgins won a close one with Nigel Bond, while Ronnie O’Sullivan was upset by Welshman Ryan Day for the second successive tournament…

Day Three Results:

Last 32

John Higgins 5-3 Nigel Bond
Ali Carter 5-1 Stuart Bingham
Ryan Day 5-2 Ronnie O’Sullivan
Peter Ebdon 5-2 Gerard Greene
Ricky Walden 5-4 Martin Gould
Judd Trump 5-3 Marco Fu
Robert Milkins 5-3 Jamie Cope

One of the first men through this morning was world number one John Higgins who saw off the challenge presented by an in-form Nigel Bond to move into the last 16.

Following a low-scoring couple of frames to begin the morning, Nigel reminded everyone of his class in the third as he knocked in a terrific total clearance of 138, at the time staking his claim for the tournament high break prize. Typically, Higgins eventually got in during what was initially a prolonged fourth frame to win it with 76 and level the match at the interval.

Again the next two frames were shared as Nigel remained in contention to cause another real shock this week but from there the match got away from him as Higgins won the next two with top runs of 43 and 41 to sneak through.

A big win for John this if he is to stand a chance of retaining his world number one spot at the end of the season, he now moves into the last 16 and a tie with Ricky Walden, who interestingly could also be his last 16 opponent at the Crucible next month.

Ali Carter enjoying himself in China (@mngrsteve147)

Not such a good day for another three-time world champion however as Ronnie O’Sullivan lost out 5-2 to Ryan Day as his slump continues.

At the interval the players were locked at 2-2, O’Sullivan having made a break of 123 as he looked to put on a show for his Chinese fans, but that was about as good as it would get as Day won the next three upon their resumption to progress to the next round.

Much of the attention will be on Ronnie and understandably so but take nothing away from Ryan who continues his recent renaissance with this result and makes absolutely sure of his top 32 place at the end of the season. Having not previously defeated O’Sullivan prior to their Welsh Open meeting, he has now done so twice and can only take confidence from that. Next up though will be Stephen Lee, another player on the right track and who will be looking to pick up where he left off yesterday against Mark Williams. Should be a cracker.

For Ronnie though it is a continuation of his problems this season as he has now failed to win a ranking event match since his semi-final win against Peter Ebdon at the World Open back in September! Can he turn it around in Sheffield? We shall see, I think that topic is worthy of a blog post of its own at some point though…

Elsewhere, Ali Carter came through a potential banana skin relatively comfortably as he saw off Stuart Bingham 5-1, while Robert Milkins made a fabulous break of 142 on the way to a 5-3 win against Jamie Cope. Not only does that put him top of the high break chart as it stands but it also means that if he can win his next match against Mark Selby he will move up into the top 32 of the projected seedings for the first time in several years.

There was another tight loss for Martin Gould who lost the last two frames of his match against Ricky Walden while Peter Ebdon made light work of Gerard Greene to book a tie with Neil Robertson in the last 16.


  • zabaks

    katastrophy, if Lee – Day will not be staged on TV table

  • likahokeith

    Marco Fu will get married in 30th May