O’Sullivan in command

Despite a second failed maximum attempt in as many days, world number one Ronnie O’Sullivan is well placed to claim his 22nd ranking event title later today as he leads Chinese number 2 Liang Wenbo 6-3 after the morning session…

Ronnie O’Sullivan 6-3 Liang Wenbo

70(70)-2, 66(46)-59(49), 78(46)-53(36), 27-67(41), 87(80)-0, 0-81(81), 75(75)-7, 99(91)-34, 0-89(89)

As has been the case all week, Ronnie O’Sullivan got off to a great start with a break of 70 before taking a very tight second frame with a clearance on the last four balls to give himself a 2-0 lead. The third frame was similarly close but despite Liang’s best efforts it was O’Sullivan once again who came out on top and ensured that he would go into the interval in front.

Against probably the best front-runner in the game, frame four was crucial for Liang to get off the mark which he did thanks largely to a break of 41.

After a relatively cagey start to the match, it was a completely different story after the interval as the big breaks flew in from both players in an exhibition of one-visit snooker. Frame five saw O’Sullivan in with a good chance of maximum number 10 before he lost position on the last red, but breaks of 80, 75 and 91 left him 6-2 up with just one more frame of the session. Credit to Liang however because needing that final frame to give him any sort of chance in the evening session, he made no mistake with a break of 89 and brought himself back to just three frames behind at 6-3.

No centuries but an entertaining session of snooker all the same. As an aside I have just noticed that the highest break of the tournament so far is ‘only’ a 133, surely the lowest that it has been for some time in a ranking event. What odds on that being bettered tonight?