Quarter finals day at The International Championship and today we got an answer to the,"who can stop Ronnie"? question I started each of my blogs with this week. It turned out to someone whose game he knew very well.
Coming out to play today Mark Williams knew that recent history was not on his side.12 years had past since he last was victorious against The Rocket and he would,no doubt, have gotten that old familiar feeling today when Ronnie took an early 3-0 lead.This however was not the imperious O'Sullivan we had seen earlier in the week and Williams took full advantage to claw his way back.
In an extraordinary run of five frames which saw Ronnie produce a high break of just 27 Williams turned things right around to go within one of victory at 5-3.It was now all or nothing for Ronnie and to his credit he dug deep to produce his best snooker of the match to win the next two frames and force the decider.
Into that frame then and Williams was first in with a proper scoring chance,but on 50 fell out of position.From the resulting safety Ronnie doubled a red to get in but landed to close the the black and when he failed to pot it Williams produced a double of his own to claim a victory which has been a long time in the coming.
He will next face Mark Allen after the Ulsterman produced a fine comeback of his own to overturn a 3-1 deficit against Michael White to go through 6-3.Allen has been in fine form all season and will be looking here to reach his fourth final in recent monthes.
A player still hoping to reach his first final is Robert Milkins and he went one step closer to achieving that dream with a hard fought win over Marco Fu.This was a match that seemed to have decider written all over it from the beginning as they shared the first four frames to the interval 2-2.That became 3-3 and then 4-4 before Milkins moved to the brink at 5-4.Marco was not done for yet though and he leveled at 5-5 to force the decider,however Milkins would not be denied and a 70 break saw him through 6-5.
In tomorrows semi final,he will face Ricky Walden who brought the run of Jamie Burnett to an end with a straight forward 6-1 win.
Things now change to two session best of 17 matches with a full match played each day.