In a repeat of the 2000 world final, Matthew Stevens surged into a 7-2 lead over fellow Welshman Mark Williams. A scrappy opening frame went to Williams then Stevens took the next three with breaks of 111, 57 and 96. Williams pulled one back with a 65 then Stevens went 4-2 ahead with a 51.Frame seven lasted 36 minutes and came down to the colours, Stevens potting blue and pink to snatch it. And the next followed a similar pattern as Williams missed the final green and Stevens took advantage for 6-2. Williams had a chance to clear from 47-0 down in the last of the session but missed the last red to a baulk corner and his opponent went five frames up at the end of first session. The second session started with a 115 points break made by Stevens, with the second one being scrappy and won by the same Stevens, while in the 12th frame being on a maximum Williams missed the position on the black after the eighth red, pot the pink but missed the next red for a great clearance of 73 points from Stevens.
“It was most unexpected really – I don’t think I’ve beaten him since 2003,” Stevens said after the match. “But I didn’t say that to him, I was just trying to keep it out of my head. I felt comfortable out there, to beat Mark even 10-9 would be difficult. So to win 10-2 is beyond my wildest dreams really.”
“It’s not nice, we have grown up with each other since we were young. We are like brothers. It is hard but we are both professionals and luckily for me it was my turn to win.”
Five-time champion Ronnie O’Sullivan eased into a 10-3 win over Craig Steadman. O’Sullivan potted 13 reds with blacks in the opening frame before missing a difficult 14th red. A run of 61 put the world number two 2-0 up. Crucible debutant Steadman pulled one back with a 71 before O’Sullivan won the next for 3-1.The Rocket extended his lead by clearing from yellow to black in frame five, then Steadman cleared with 34 in the sixth for 4-2. A run of 59 helped O’Sullivan go 5-2 ahead, then he took advantage of a missed black from Steadman on 55 in the eighth. And UK Champion O’Sullivan knocked in 54 and 75 in the last of the session to establish a commanding lead, 7-2. The second session was scrappy, the only break of over 50 points being made by O’Sullivan in the last frame, closing the match in the same time, 10-3.
“I am hungry to win a sixth title because I am a hungry person, and I think that’s why I’ve been so successful over the years. I’m not going to beat myself up if I don’t win it. I’ve won five Worlds, five UKs and five Masters and I’m still here. I don’t know how many more times I’ll be playing here so I just want to enjoy every match.”
H2H: Ronnie 14-5
Prediction: O’Sullivan to advance.
Betting perspectives: Stevens over 0.5 firstname.lastname@example.org at
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