Thanks for your company
We'll be back with you in the morning for the resumption of the second round match between Ronnie O'Sullivan and Anthony McGill, and the rest of the action from day seven of the World Snooker Championship.
Take care out there until then, night all.
Key dates and schedule for 2022-23 snooker season as O'Sullivan defends world crown
That was B game Robertson, who was behind twice tonight but goes to bed with the lead over one of the most dangerous rising forces in the game. Lisowski will be frustrated that he couldn't take advantage of a slightly under par opponent; as for Robertson, this is why he's such a threat this year. He stayed competitive even when it wasn't happening for him, and two big clearances eased him out in front just when they were needed. These two will be back on the baize in the afternoon session tomorrow.
Robertson 5-3 Lisowski
A break of 76 secures the frame for Robertson and give him a two frame lead overnight.
Robertson 4-3 Lisowski (69-6)
This is a excellent break as this was not an easy table. Robertson runs off two cushions after potting the black to land on a simple frame ball red. He cuts that into the middle, followed by the green, and there's more coming.
Robertson 4-3 Lisowski (50-6)
Trouble here for Lisowski, as he misses a tough cut on a red to the right middle and leaves Robertson straight on a mid-range red to the bottom left. There's enough in the open to cobble a substantial lead together here, and he sets about doing so. Robertson sorts a half-century in time, and develops another red as he reaches that marker which leaves him perfect on the black.
Robertson 4-3 Lisowski (0-6)
Lisowski's break leaves a red to go at to the bottom right. It's close, but Robertson rattles the pot in the jaws and the red coughs back out. He then misses a red over the bottom left too; this is a bit of a jittery one, both players know it's a big frame. After some superb safety from both players, Robertson thin cuts a red into the bottom left, swerving the white onto the potting angle, and adds a blue. It's only a snooker behind the green thereafter; tense stuff.
Robertson 4-3 Lisowski
Robertson tons up, this is computer game stuff now with the frame long secured. He empties the table for a brilliant total clearance of 135.
Robertson 3-3 Lisowski (53-0)
He's so good. Robertson hits the 50 point mark, fair waltzing around the table and middling every pot. This is really brilliant to watch, and despite having been relatively under par tonight he looks nailed on here to get out of this session level at the least.
Robertson 3-3 Lisowski (35-0)
Lisowski goes in-off again as we get the seventh frame underway, which serves up the easiest of starters for Robertson. Points are going on by the shovel here, with Robertson clearing the area around the black spot and then splitting the pack off the blue to open this frame right up for himself.
Robertson 3-3 Lisowski
A pink to the bottom left leaves Lisowski needing a snooker, but he'll not be coming back. A break of 28 draws the scores level again.
Robertson 2-3 Lisowski (45-12)
A chance for Lisowski, as Robertson makes an utter hash of a safety, clattering the white into another red and leaving a simple starter to the bottom left. It's a great chance, but Lisowski can't take it; he misses a simple green to its own pocket and Robertson should surely dish up the necessary now.
Robertson 2-3 Lisowski (45-4)
It's only 45 for Robertson, as he misses an intended canon on the reds after potting the pink and can't convert a tough red into the bottom right after being close to the left hand rail. Lisowski then picks up four during the safety exchange that follows. It's still ongoing, and with six of the eight remaining reds in the open Lisowski is well in this.
Robertson 2-3 Lisowski (19-0)
Can Robertson respond in kind? He's in first in frame six, and early in his break affects a brilliant split on the pack after stunning into them off the blue. He'll need to do it with blues and pinks as he's tied up the black for now, but this is a great chance to reply with a big break of his own.
Robertson 2-3 Lisowski
A black puts it beyond Robertson with 67 remaining. Lisowski makes 81 in total, and this is more like what we were expecting. A quick kill, and it restores Lisowski's lead.
Robertson 2-2 Lisowski (0-57)
It's a half-ton in no time, and a brilliant recover pot on pink to left middle keeps this break going after Lisowski played a risky positional shot, going tight around the back of one red and seeing it almost go awry. He's right back in position now though.
Robertson 2-2 Lisowski (0-20)
We're back, and so's Jack; he clatters in a long red after Robertson's break and then stuns the blue into the left middle, coming off two cushions in and out of baulk to open the pack. What a shot! He's got 20 up already, and he's looking good here.
Robertson 2-2 Lisowski
In swerving to escape from a snooker, Lisowski leaves the red on to the yellow pocket. It goes, followed by the blue, and Robertson is now 36 ahead with only the colours on the table. Robertson then dumps in the yellow and then the green; we're level at the interval! See you in 15 minutes.
Robertson 1-2 Lisowski (56-26)
Robertson snicks a thin red into the green pocket. The pink follows, as does the one red still in the open followed by the blue, and Lisowski now needs a snooker. Finally, though, he gets a touch; from a routine safety, Robertson accidentally pots the black! Whatever next. Two reds and two blacks from Lisowski follow, but he can't land on the final red and nudges up to it; 30 in it with 35 out there.
Robertson 1-2 Lisowski (43-3)
Lisowski gets a red down, but after a long safety exchange the last six reds are clustered near the right rail. In an attempt to split them after potting the yellow, Lisowski sends the cue ball careering into the pink, plugging it into the bottom right. Crikey, he's not had the run tonight. Robertson gets a red down, but no more; there are five reds left out there, and this table is a mess.
Robertson 1-2 Lisowski (36-2)
'A chance for what we would call a Watford,' says Anthony Hamilton in co-comms; to explain, Robertson misses a difficult red with the rest into the bottom right, and leaves a little gap between pink and reds for the white to pass through and pick it off. As he pots it though, Lisowski topspins through the shot and sends the white in after it. Amazing! Robertson then leaves another red on for Lisowksi, who can't add to it. A scrappy one before the interval.
Robertson 1-2 Lisowski (26-1)
Lisowski clips a red into the bottom right, trusting to luck on position and getting precisely none. He plays safe, or so he thinks; Robertson kabooms a long red into the bottom left, the shot of the night so far, and he's on brown to right middle. There's a nice spread on here; the black is out of action but if he can get the pink back on its spot then this is a good opportunity.
Robertson 1-2 Lisowski (9-0)
Robertson gets a solitary red down in the fourth but now more, and then Lisowski hands him a couple of four pointers when he fails twice to deadweight onto the side of the pack off one cushion. It's cagier than we expected - everyone was expecting a box of fireworks - but it's absorbing.
Robertson 1-2 Lisowski
No century, but an 85 puts Lisowski in the lead.
Robertson 1-1 Lisowski (1-68)
Lisowski, after a sluggish start in the match, is purring now. His break hits 60 in no time, and he soon clears the winning line in the frame. The white has done very limited travel in this frame, it's been a controlled, classy break.
Robertson 1-1 Lisowski (1-22)
It's a stalled opening to the third as the players agree a re-rack. Robertson drains a long red when when we resume, but a poor safety thereafter leaves Lisowski a mid-range red into the bottom left. That goes and the black follows, rehousing it on its own spot, and this is a decent chance. A good shot on a red into the bottom right, gliding through a narrow tunnel of reds to land on the black, opens it right up for Lisowski.
Robertson 1-1 Lisowski
Lisowski leaves a long cut on the blue, but Robertson misses it to the green pocket. That leaves a chance for Lisowski, and he makes sure of it; a few shots later he gets the pink down too, and he's on the board!
Robertson 1-0 Lisowski (44-57)
Blimey, this feels big already. Lisowski only needs up to the blue, but the cue ball catches the pink on its journey round the table and he misses a long blue into the yellow pocket as a result. A crucial 18 points on the table here.
Robertson 1-0 Lisowski (44-43)
Robertson fires straight back, with a swift 19 to take the lead. He can't get on the final red though, and we're on to safety play. A superb snooker from Lisowski, trapping Robertson behind the yellow, sees a successful escape but Robertson sticks the red up over the yellow pocket. Can Lisowski dish for the frame?
Robertson 1-0 Lisowski (25-43)
Lisowski will feel better now as he glides a long red into the bottom right to land on the black. He's wiped out Robertson's lead double quick, and brings one of four reds on the left red into play while potting another, and lands on the blue. The break is getting harder though, and he misses a difficult red along the bottom cushion and into the bottom left to curtail his break on 42.
Robertson 1-0 Lisowski (25-1)
Lisowski soon goes in-off. He needs a break here and appears to get one after potting a long red and clanging into the yellow to fortuitously land on the brown. It goes the way of the pear quickly though, as Lisowski wildly misses the brown thin to the green pocket; he also goes in-off again a few shots later too. To rub it in further, a wild miss at a long red by Robertson leaves the white stranded south of the table but on none of the open reds.
On our other table, Selby has beaten Maflin 10-1 and goes through to face Mark Allen in the second round.
Robertson 1-0 Lisowski (17-0)
Lisowski misses a long red in frame two, which spits out of the bottom right and lands over the bottom left. It'll be a rough session if he serves up more chances like this. Robertson's into his rhythm quickly again, but in trying to thunder the blue into the middle and go off one cushion into the pack he watches in horror as the blue hits the back of the pocket and pinballs back onto the table. Extraordinary, and a real let off for Lisowski.
Robertson 1-0 Lisowski
Lisowski's outdoing Robertson in safety play here. Another good snooker draws four more, and when Robertson does escape he leaves the red on to the yellow pocket. It's a chance for the frame, but Lisowski goes in-off when potting the red! Oh my. With ball in hand, Robertson clears up to the green and wins the first frame.
Robertson 0-0 Lisowski (65-31)
Robertson flukes (I think) a cross double on a red when playing safe, but then plays a brutal snooker behind the yellow. Lisowski has a hit and hope thrash at an escape, and smashes right into the black. It's snookers required now but he's going for it, clearing up everything to the last red and then tucking Robertson in tight behind the black. Robertson's escape off three cushions drops millimetres short of the red, and the frame's back on!
Robertson 0-0 Lisowski (57-4)
Well, that's a surprise. Robertson loses position on a red to the bottom left; he cuts it in but it's thin, and he lands behind the baulk colours rather than on one of them. It's a 51 for him, and he'll be annoyed he didn't win the frame at that visit.
Robertson 0-0 Lisowski (36-4)
Robertson dispatches 30 in the blink of an eye, and he's still got five perfectly placed reds just above the black, which is on to both corners. You'd be amazed if he didn't bank enough to leave Lisowski needing snookers with this visit, at the very least.
Robertson 0-0 Lisowski (6-4)
Lisowski picks up four after Robertson goes in-off, but can't drive a long red in to the bottom right to get going thereafter. Instead it's Robertson that glances the loose red into the yellow pocket using the rest, but he can only make six in reply. Lisowski soon puts him back in though, catching the jaws of the bottom left with a safety and clattering reds thereafter. Robertson's really in now, and there's a load on.
Here we go...
Rob Walker is doing his boys on the baize patter, so let's get about it. We'll have eight frames in this session, with an interval after four.
The Big Lisowski
Jack might be touching 30, but he’s won of the coming players in the game. He’s been embedded in the top 16 for a couple of years now, and although he hasn’t won a ranking event to date he’s reached six finals, losing three this season alone to the formidable Trump. The long haul doesn’t bother him either; he went right to the brink to beat Ali Carter in a decider in the first round.
He’s been talked up as the favourite for this title by many people in the game, and in the first round we saw why. Neil Robertson demolished the dangerous Liang Wenbo 10-3 with a ruthless performance. He’s had some season before that too, winning the UK Championship on the pink in a decider against Judd Trump, and landing the Tour Championship just three and a half weeks ago.
Welcome to live coverage of the evening session of day six of the 2021 World Snooker Championship. Tonight, we’ll have one foot in the first round and one in the second. Mark Selby leads Kurt Maflin 8-1 in the remaining first round match, and we’ll keep you informed on that; our focus will be on an absolute doozy of a best of 25 – it’s Neil Robertson versus Jack Lisowski, coming up.
See you at 18:45 BST
That’s it for our frame-by-frame coverage of O’Sullivan-McGill. Tune in again later for this evening’s session with Michael Gibbons all set to take you through the action.
Mark Selby is 8-1 up on Kurt Maflin but our focus will be on the intriguing clash between Neil Robertson and Jack Lisowski. Don't miss it!
O’SULLIVAN 4-4 MCGILL (21-54)
All square. O’Sullivan misses a yellow and allows McGill back in to knock it into the pocket. He glances up and sees Ronnie give him the nod. He concedes the frame and we are tied at 4-4. The in-off from O’Sullivan when leading 4-1 and with a 5-1 lead on the horizon, could well prey on the six-time champion’s mind overnight. It’s a fine recovery from McGill, especially after the way the Rocket started this encounter.
O’SULLIVAN 4-3 MCGILL (9-40)
Despite those early safety wobbles, it’s McGill who seizes the initiative. He maintains his momentum with a break of 40 but can’t quite get over the line when the cue ball comes up just short trying to regain position via the brown. He settles for a lovely safety that leaves the Rocket snookered behind the brown.
O’SULLIVAN 4-3 MCGILL (9-0)
A bit of early drama in the final frame of the session! McGill misses a red to the right of the pack twice with safety attempts. It leads to a warning that another miss will result in him conceding the frame given he can see a full red on the opposite flank. He duly hits that but what a contrast from the heights of the previous frame for the Glaswegian Gladiator.
O’SULLIVAN 4-3 MCGILL (0-97)
All of a sudden there’s a very different complexion to this match. McGill finds his rhythm and gets his potting Mojo flowing in real style. He comes up short in the 147 chase as the black refuses to drop in the bottom left pocket with just two reds left and the maximum looking very much on the cards. It’s a frustrating 97 – if that exists – but the bigger picture is that he’s right back in this now.
O’SULLIVAN 4-2 MCGILL (20-58)
It’s the first real cat and mouse situation of the contest and the longest frame of the match so far coming in at 28 minutes. With the pink blocking the obvious route to attack three of the four remaining reds, both players play a succession of fine safety shots. O’Sullivan has a couple of nibbles at some difficult long-range pots before the stand-off ends when McGill’s attempt on a long red to the green pocket opens the door for his opponent. The world number two looks set to snatch it but screws back too heavily on a red tied to the baulk cushion and sees the white drop into the pocket too. McGill can only manage the yellow in reply, but it’s all he needs - and boy did he NEED that frame.
O’SULLIVAN 4-1 MCGILL (1-52)
McGill corks a red as straight as an arrow down the left flank to the bottom pocket. It deservedly earns him a round of applause and he follows it up with a snooker behind the brown that forces a miss from the six-time champion. The Scot really needed to find some of his A-game and conjures up a solid break, but it ends on 47 when he leaves a very make-able pink on the edge of the bottom right pocket. He was so close to frame ball too.
O’SULLIVAN 4-1 MCGILL (73-31)
You don’t get a third bite at the cherry! O’Sullivan slips the red McGill was so irritated by into the centre left pocket and moves through the gears to increase his lead. The world number two doesn’t bother with the black as he emphatically thunders the pink into the bottom left pocket. McGill needs to find something here as this match is beginning to run away from him. He had his chances there but couldn't take them.
O’SULLIVAN 3-1 MCGILL (23-31)
Déjà vu. O’Sullivan sees another attempt for the black jiggle with the jaws of the pocket and spin free. McGill knows he has to take advantage of these gifts when up against The Rocket but comes up short when he makes a hash of a difficult red close to the cushion by the yellow pocket. It wasn't easy but his expression suggests he is far from happy with how far off he was from potting it.
O’SULLIVAN 3-1 MCGILL (23-0)
Well, that’s a let off for McGill. O’Sullivan pounces upon a minor error to seemingly continue the potting procession from before the mid-session interval. However, a casual black to the left catches the near jaw and there’s a murmur of surprise from the audience – and perhaps from McGill too given how the match has gone so far.
O’SULLIVAN 3-1 MCGILL (138-0)
Bad news for McGill. It looks like Ronnie is well and truly in the groove. He notches up back-to-back centuries, starting with a bullet red to the bottom right pocket. It was another demonstration of super cue-action, managing to control the white despite attacking it from the baulk cushion. It sets him up for a frame-clinching sequence of shots, bursting into the pack of reds to wrap up another frame in double-quick time. How does he do it with such speed and ease? It’s a 138 clearance; a real treat for the crowd inside the Crucible.
O’SULLIVAN 2-1 MCGILL (114-1)
The decision to wait for his opportunity instead of taking on that black pays immediate dividends for The Rocket. McGill leaves an opening with a miss on a red to the bottom right and can only watch on from his seat as O’Sullivan whirls his wand of a cue to clock up another Crucible century. The rapturous applause rings in his ears as he nails the pink to claim a fourth century (105) of the tournament. He fails to complete the clearance with a miss on the black, but it matters little as he nudges the board in his favour once more.
O’SULLIVAN 1-1 MCGILL (9-1)
McGill nicks a red to the centre left and a cannon off the pack leaves him neatly on the black, but he blows the chance to make some early waves when he drags it against the near jaw. O’Sullivan looks to settle in after some ropey safety from the Scot but decides against engaging a risky black to the bottom left.
O’SULLIVAN 1-1 MCGILL (0-131)
Ronnie misses a red down the line to the bottom right pocket and a double kiss on the rebound allows McGill to swoop in and finish the job. There’s a nervy moment prior to frame ball when a difficult cut on the black threatens to catch on the jaw of the pocket, but this time it drops. The Glaswegian Gladiator doesn’t look back and concludes a 79 clearance with sublime cuts on both the pink and black.
O’SULLIVAN 1-0 MCGILL (0-52)
It's little more than a half chance, but McGill strokes in a controlled red to the bottom right pocket and works his way around the table looking for a more routine position to build a break off the black. He does it rather majestically but it comes to a sudden end on 52 when he leaves the black hovering tantalisingly close to the bottom left pocket. He shakes his head in dismay. He was within sight of taking the frame from that single visit there.
O’SULLIVAN 1-0 MCGILL (110-4)
McGill leaves a red open trying to play a safety and it proves fatal. O’Sullivan mops up with a clinical 81 to kick things off in style.
O’SULLIVAN 0-0 MCGILL (25-4)
The Rocket makes an early reach for the rest and slots home a tricky red to the bottom right corner. He screws back just enough and begins to build a break via regular use of the blue. In typical O’Sullivan fashion he makes some tough positional play look routine but eventually overruns to the baulk and ends on 25, opting for a simple enough safety.
O’SULLIVAN 0-0 MCGILL (0-4)
McGill opens with a confidence-boosting long red to the bottom right pocket. However, he doesn’t get enough roll on the cue ball after knocking in the green and is forced to end his maiden foray at the table prematurely.
Here we go!
The intros are done and the players are at their respective tables. Let battle commence! O'Sullivan will break.
Is McGill a future world champion?
O'Sullivan on McGill: "He came really close to making the final last year. He was quite unlucky to not win that last frame... He's definitely got the temperament, the bottle and has the game. He's young and has got time on his side. I wouldn't be surprised if in 10 years' time he's got his name on the trophy."
McGill on facing snooker's 'God'
McGill: "If I play like I did in the previous match, I will be happy with my performance. Ronnie might do what Ronnie does and play like God, but there's nothing I can do about that, I'll just try my best."
Lucky number seven?
World number 16, McGill has lost all of his previous meetings with O’Sullivan and he’s once again the underdog in this last 16 tie. Can he pull off a major shock or will The Rocket stay on course as he bids to retain his title and match Stephen Hendry's record haul of seven in the modern era?
Time for some snooker
Good afternoon! There’s a special buzz in the Crucible air right now and that usually means one thing; six-time champion Ronnie O’Sullivan is due at the table. The defending champion meets one of last year’s semi finalists, Anthony McGill in an eye-catching match-up.
Over on table one, number seven seed and 2005 champion Shaun Murphy resumes his round one tussle with world number 45 Mark Davis. The latter leads 5-4.
O'Sullivan on the mental challenges of competing on snooker's biggest stage
Recap: Mark Davis 5-4 Shaun Murphy
Recap: Mark Davis 5-4 Shaun Murphy
'I’m sick and tired of it' – Williams defends 'perfectly legal' break
Mark Williams has hit back in the row over his cautious break-offs at the World Championship, saying he is fed up of watching snooker’s top players punish him immediately.
The Welshman repeatedly started frames by rolling the cue ball down the table so it nestled underneath the reds during his at the Crucible, denying his opponent the chance of a long-range pot.
World number one Judd Trump has branded it “negative” and said the sport’s top players had a duty to be entertaining.
“The only reason I’m doing it is because I’m sick and tired of leaving a red on and people potting it and making breaks,” Williams said on Eurosport.
“I just thought I had to find a way to stop them doing it, which I have.”
'No one enjoys playing in a bow tie and waistcoat' – Allen
Mark Allen claims no snooker player wants to play in a waistcoat and bow tie as he urged the sport to catch up if it wanted a slice of the youth audience.
Professional snooker typically has a strict dress code – smart trousers and shoes, plus a long-sleeved shirt, waistcoat and bow tie – although it has been relaxed for some events, with the latter two items ditched for the Home Nations series.
“Barry [Hearn, snooker chief] has done an unbelievable job. But trying to modernise it to bring in younger viewers is what’s needed,” told Andy Goldstein on Eurosport’s The Break podcast.
“You look at every other sport. Young people look at TV and go ‘I want to have what they’re wearing’. And unfortunately snooker’s not like that. It could change definitely.
“You could have the three majors kept traditional and keep it the way it is. But the other tournaments… I think the Shootout is a great example, the players are just so much more relaxed and the standard of snooker when you are relaxed will go up.
“Polo T-shirts are probably more than enough. If people want to wear nice watches or have good tattoos on their arms, people can say ‘I’d love to have that’.
“At the minute, we’re just stifled in what we can do and I would be pretty confident in saying no one enjoys playing in a bow tie and a waistcoat.”
How to watch the World Championship
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