Sunday, 17 April 2011

Classy Williams confirms backers confidence

Mark Williams beat Ryan Day 10-5 - a scoreline heavily influenced by Day's contribution - he played well and stayed committed even though he could see his opponent was still playing like a champion despite the variables in the playing conditions.

Williams took many really tough pressure pots on in a game which would have felt shorter for both players than a best of 19 because as expected they both got on with it. And his touch and finesse were a real joy to watch. When the game goes scrappy his shot choice in my opinion is the best there is. With the less than perfect playing environment we've seen to date this will really help him too.

Looking forward to tomorrow afternoon. Let's hope Ronnie O'Sullivan can put his demons to bed while playing in the tournament. The BBC today made hay about O'Sullivans comments in the press at the weekend and  his reported belief that he has carried the game alone for far too long and that the burden has been too great. Chatting in the studio Ken Doherty diplomatically disputed this but before Barry Hearn took over snooker needed O'Sullivan. Hearn has let The Rocket know this is no longer the case.

There is the old adage of one man and his dog attending some qualifying matches and under the old regime this applied sometimes to TV rankings events. Though when Ronnie was playing you could almost guarantee a packed house and decent viewing figures. Now the game has a full calendar and massive interest in Northern Europe and China this is a factor in O'Sullivan strugging with not automatically being in the limelight. But he has other off table issues too for which the cumulative effect has been a burden for perhaps too long. If he starts badly tomorrow it could be really good television... Let's hope he has his head on and brings his A Game. Because he can be so brilliant.

He opens against Dominic Dale and the winner plays Shaun Murphy. If O'Sullivan does implode then anything could happen but it would obviously increase Dale's chances.

Murphy despite a heavy 10-1 win over Marcus Campbell wasn't overly impressive. He needs a silky fine cloth and glassy balls and sliding pockets to bring out his best. Tables covered in chalk dust and fingermarks with balls kicking regularly aren't his bag at all so the 14/1 still available about him is best left alone.

Regardless of O'Sullivan's comments and recent poor showings he is still serious box office.

Roll on tomorrow.

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