PTC Finals 2012: Xiao Shocks Trump, O’Sullivan Withdraws

Today proved to be a dramatic day at the 2012 PTC Grand Finals, both on and off the table as Judd Trump and Ronnie O’Sullivan exited the tournament, the latter without even making it to the venue. Click below for a few thoughts as we enter the weekend and the usual links…

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The shock of the day in Galway was provided by Chinese number three Xiao Guodong who saw off world number three Judd Trump today with a 4-2 win to move into his first televised quarter-final. While I am a big fan of Xiao’s high-scoring game, I did not expect him to come through against Judd today, but with breaks of 100, 66 and 63 he duly did so to add Trump’s name to a list of scalps already including that of Ronnie O’Sullivan in the PTC events this season.

On the subject of Ronnie, the three-time world champion was a notable absentee today, advising World Snooker of his withdrawal from the tournament this morning, handing Ricky Walden a bye through to the last eight. Further was to come on Twitter from Grove Snooker who explained:

“Just had a call from a tabloid newspaper asking if Ronnie “had a row” on the plane to Ireland today. No row, he was feeling faint, wanted to sit with a friend because of this and wasn’t allowed. Decided not to proceed because of his health. Doctor confirms he’s still suffering from the effects of glandular fever. Let’s hope he’s well for China and WSC.

Ronnie’s manager is also quoted by the Mail Online as stating:

“It is a fair question to ask whether he can continue as a player.”

While O’Sullivan’s absence was inevitably a disappointment to the Irish fans with tickets for his match tonight, Ricky Walden will not be concerned about that as he moves on to a quarter-final tie with Stephen Maguire tomorrow after the Scot recovered from 2-0 down to overcome Mark Davis earlier in the day. One of the form players of 2012 so far, Maguire could be one to watch this weekend, although so too could Ricky if he can repeat the form that he displayed against Matthew Stevens in the first round.

Elsewhere, Andrew Higginson will have been pleased to have ended a five-match losing streak in ranking tournaments with a narrow victory against Jamie Jones, particularly having made a brilliant break of 95 in the decider to do so. Jamie though fought well and we will see him on our screens again shortly in Beijing following his qualification for the China Open recently.

Finally, world number one Mark Selby continued his remarkable run in opening round matches with a comprehensive 4-1 victory against Ding Junhui to move into the last eight.

The running order tomorrow is as follows:


Maguire v Walden, followed by Lee v Selby


Higginson v Xiao, followed by Robertson v Perry