Rocket fires in Newport

Ronnie O’Sullivan produced a breathtaking display in Newport this week to lift his third Welsh Open title – finishing off in style with the 12th maximum break of his career to seal a 9-3 win over China’s Ding Junhui.

Ronnie O’Sullivan – Too good all week in Newport

It bodes well for snooker generally that the Rocket is more settled in his personal life and this shows on the table. Even at 38 he is playing the best snooker of his career and it is only making his opponents even more in awe of him.  Anyone who has a scientific understanding of the game and this includes all the current top professional players know that his form this week in Wales was nigh on unbeatable.

He is currently best priced for the Crucible at 7/4 favourite having shortened from the 5/1 available after his success at Sheffield last year. He is value at this price but the only caveat I would add is that the standard at the Crucible is not usually the highest. Simply because the more cramped playing conditions and the statically charged two table set-up for the first three rounds produce more kicks and bad contacts – than the nice airy arena we saw at the Masters where O’Sullivan also prevailed.

There has been a lot of talk about kicks recently which Shaun Murphy has taken a keen interest in and has clearly sided with Robert Ledger a respected university lecturer who suggests they are caused by a chemical reaction.

But they didn’t expand about one important aspect of the kick which was as clear as a bell  in Berlin at the German Masters – and where notably the players were scathing about the conditions. The more tables in an arena means more table heaters and more static charge – so more kicks. It was verging on the ridiculous the amount of kicks in Berlin yet when it came to the one table set up in the final they were virtually non-existent . I have passed on my thoughts to this effect to World Snooker.


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