It was a big afternoon today at the Shanghai Masters as some of the heavyweights were in action and most notably, Ronnie O’Sullivan who was sent packing by Michael Holt.
It was all too clear that O’Sullivan was not match ready this week, getting off the hook with his match on Tuesday against Wenbo, but today he was not so fortunate. Although O’Sullivan has been playing lots of exhibitions with Judd Trump, it would hardly constitute as match play particularly on the world stage.
Last season these two played in the Grand Prix in Wales where Holt came out victorious and there has been lots of pre match speculation about this match between these two pair and Ronnie’s match fitness.
Although Ronnie pulled off an impressive comeback from Liang Wenbo on Tuesday from 4-2 down, today’s match was a different kittle of fish for O’Sullivan of face.
Going into the mid-session interval, the frames were shared, but after the interval, O’Sullivan made too many mistakes, letting Holt in to score. Holt won the next three frames to win the match 5-2 overall.
Ronnie’s highest break of the tournament was 84 against Wenbo on Tuesday, which is hardly what we have come to expect from the most naturally gifted player in the world. O’Sullivan will have to go away from this a regroup if he wishes to maintain his top 16 spot.
Average safety play and poor break-building is not what one would expect from O’Sullivan, but today we saw a very average player.
But this is another fantastic win for Michael Holt who has come on leaps and bounds over the past couple of seasons. he will now go on and face Ding in another tough match.
Elsewhere World championship finalist Ding Junhui was in action against Northern Ireland’s Mark Allen. Despite Allen taking the first frame of the match, it was Ding who raced ahead taking the next four frames to lead 4-1. In the next frame, Ding scored a nice 56, but Allen hit back with a clearance of 64 to take the frame. It was Ding that proved too strong and won the next frame to win the match 5-2.
We were expecting lots of fireworks today between Judd Trump and Michael White, but unfortunately they didn’t come the way we were expecting. It was Trump who shot into a 3-0 lead but it was Michael White who gained advantage in the second half of the match to take 5 frames in a row to defeat Trump.
Ali Carter faced John Higgins today. It was Carter who got off to a 2-0 lead, but Higgins hit back with a 61 to take the next frame. Carter then pushed on with breaks of 58 and 64 but again Higgins back to take the 6th. Carter proved to dominant over John Higgins and closed out the match in the next frame. Final score 5-2. Ali Carter will now face Stuart Bingham next.