Thursday, 3 May 2012

Rocket leads semi-finals march...

Can anyone beat Ronnie O’Sullivan?

That’s the question being asked after he led the charge to this year’s World Championship semi-finals.

Picture by Monique Limbos
The Rocket’s 13-10 win against Neil Robertson brought strokes of genius and saw him beat the most complete player in the world.

All you could do was sit back and enjoy the show as O’Sullivan rallied from 5-3 down to beat the Aussie in fine fashion. Quickfire frames and shots of pure class left the 2010 world champion playing catch-up – and now it looks ominous for the chasing pack.

Ronnie looks in the mood and is playing his best snooker at the Crucible in years. When he’s on form, he’s got everything and was unplayable at times in his win against Robertson.

He’s recaptured his super silky touch and his presence around the table is back to its best.

The fear factor of playing Ronnie has returned and it’s difficult to see him getting beat from here.

But that's the task for the tournament’s three other semi-finalists.

First to have a crack is Matthew Stevens. The Welshman is a popular pick with the Crucible crowd but this is a welcome return to the latter stages of the tournament for him.

Stevens definitely has the class. He's still one of the most naturally-talented players in the game but will need to rise to the occasion under the pressure to stand any chance.

A run of 11 frames to win 13-5 from 5-2 down in the quarter-finals against Ryan Day shows he's playing well but he'll need to use everything in his armoury to shoot down Ronnie.

In the other semi-final, Ali Carter meets Stephen Maguire.

Captain Carter lost to O'Sullivan in the final back in 2008 but has the fight for a battle. His run to this stage is the shining moment in an otherwise terrible season that has seen him struggle badly with crohn's disease.

Ali is a determined customer as he showed to beat Judd Trump in a deciding frame in the second round. He's played some great controlled snooker in this tournament so far but will need to show some more attacking adventure to go all the way.

Maguire hasn't had any problems in the attacking department and looks in good enough form to make it to a first Crucible final. He lost in the semi-finals in 2007 against John Higgins but is playing as well as ever in Sheffield this year.

He's hitting the ball at his authoritative best and has delivered some great matchplay snooker. Keeping Ronnie on a tight leash would be his biggest challenge yet if he was to make the final but he's the form horse on that side of the draw.

The semi-finals start today as the matches switch to a gruelling four-session format.

Let the battle commence.


  1. I think only Ronnie himself can beat him, but i didn´t see taht coming, mentaly strong, relaxed like mark williams and breakbuilding, saftey shots etc... So it will be the fourth World Title for O´Sullivan i think.

    if Selby were still in this Tournament and in good Form, he had the ( in my opinion ) unfair playing to destroy the game from Sullivan. Selby is the younger Ebdon. Like the Quarter Finals 2005 Ebbo vs.Sullivan. Slow Play is the key to crack Sullivan.

    1. Amazing! that's the fighting spirit of a great player. He wins, because its for him. He play it the way it has to be. Go Ronnie O’Sullivan!