The story appears on

Page B16

September 14, 2009

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Sports » Snooker

Rocket tops Liang in Shanghai

RONNIE "Rocket" O'Sullivan secured his 22nd ranking tournament title by beating local hope Liang Wenbo 10-5 in the final of the Shanghai Masters at a packed Shanghai Indoor Stadium last night.

The 22-year-old Liang, who had to qualify for the main draw, made a personal breakthrough by becoming the first Chinese cueist reach the semifinals of a ranking tournament. His provisional ranking had risen to 13th place before yesterday's clash.

O'Sullivan looked in commanding form in the opening session, clinching the first frame 70-2 in 12 minutes and taking the second 73-59. Known for his attacking style of play, Liang appeared to be extremely patient, thanks to the overwhelming support from the crowd. The world No. 1 needed 50 minutes to claim the third frame after a long safety battle.

The local hero got himself on board by winning back one frame before O'Sullivan's 87 break won him a 4-1 lead. Though Liang fought back in the sixth frame with a break of 81, the Englishman further established his authority with breaks of 75 and 91 to extend his lead to 6-2. Liang refused to give up, though, compiling his most convincing break of 89 to take the ninth frame.

The Heilongjiang Province-native delighted the crowd at the beginning of the evening session by narrowing the gap to 6-4. But, O'Sullivan moved serenely to his first century break in the final, winning 109-0.

The two had some misses in turn during the 12th frame, before Liang held his nerve superbly to win 62-51, setting the score at 7-5.

From then on, however, there was not much Liang could do as he watched his opponent re-establish his three-frame cushion, Liang's miscue enabling the world No. 1 to close the frame out comfortably to lead 8-5.

The 13th frame was in the balance until Liang made an error with just the blue, pink and black balls on the table, allowing O'Sullivan to close in on the title.

The world No. 1, having taken advantage in the previous frame, closed the match with a 71-0 run to win the final 10-5.

Despite the loss, Liang, the new rising star of Chinese snooker, stole the spotlight from his same-age compatriot Ding Junhui to make it to the final overcoming David Gilbert in the qualifying round, followed by victories over Peter Ebdon, world No. 5 Ali Carter, defending champion Ricky Walden, and world No. 3 Shaun Murphy in the semifinal.

O'Sullivan got the better of Ding in the quarters and beat long-time opponent John Higgins in the semis.

The flashy Englishman's victory ensured that after two years the Shanghai Masters final did not spring a surprise.

Welshman Dominic Dale and Walden of England, respectively, won the title in the previous two years, when both were out of the top 16 and started the tournament from the qualifying rounds.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend