UK Snooker Championship LIVE: Ronnie O’Sullivan takes on Zhou Yuelong in quarter-final

Ronnie O’Sullivan 0-0 Zhou Yuelong

The black is tied up near the right cushion but the pink is on the black spot for O’Sullivan to work with. Most of the reds providing a decent orchard in the middle of the table as well.

On 28., O’Sullivan runs slightly out of position but powers a red into the middle and plays up to baulk to take the blue, getting it back on its spot to give him a bit of margin for error.

A break of 41 and counting with a couple of obstacles cleared…

Ronnie O’Sullivan 0-0 Zhou Yuelong

Decent safety exchange to begin proceedings. First mistake from Zhou as the cue ball cannons off the blue as it comes back up the table. The reds are awkwardly placed though, covering each other over the left corner and O’Sullivan can’t get to the potting angle.

Zhou misses a mid-range red to to the right corner and this time leaves ‘The Rocket’ in with a simple starting red to right middle. First chance O’Sullivan.

Ronnie O’Sullivan 0-0 Zhou Yuelong

Here we go…

Ronnie O’Sullivan breaks off and doesn’t leave a red for Zhou to have a go at. Decent safety response by the Chinese cueman though. Who will have the first chance here?

UK Snooker Championship

The irrepressible, Energizer bunny of an MC Rob Walker brings the four players on to the baize. Table 2 sees Hossein Vafaei – who was imperious beating Matthew Selt 6-1 last night by the way – face Zhang Anda for a place in the semi-finals.

But the main event is very much ‘The Rocket’ Ronnie O’Sullivan taking on Zhou Yuelong. If Zhou plays to his best and isn’t overawed by O’Sullivan, he could make a real game of this.

Ronnie O’Sullivan vs Zhou Yuelong head to head

The players will be out on the baize shortly but firstly, here’s a look at the O’Sullivan-Zhou career head-to-head.

Unfortunately, as for many players against ‘The Rocket’, it doesn’t make for pretty reading for Zhou.

He’s lost all four career matches against O’Sullivan and, in fact, only won two frames in that time – leaving the all-time frame score between the pair at 20-2… Last time they played, O’Sullivan hammered him 6-0 in the last 16 of this very tournament, the UK Championship, back in 2021.

The 25-year-old Zhou has spoken about Ronnie being his idol and perhaps that admiration factor has hindered the Chinese cueman. He’ll have to get over that if the world No 26 want to spring the upset against the world No 1 today.

Afternoon session schedule

Here’s a reminder of the afternoon session matches in York:

The 2023/24 snooker season so far

The UK Championship is the first triple crown event of the snooker season, which began in June and runs until the World Championship in the spring.

Here’s a look at the season so far (* denotes non-ranking event):

Championship League, 26 June-21 July (Winner: Shaun Murphy)

European Masters, 22-27 August (Barry Hawkins)

Shanghai Masters, 11-17 September (Ronnie O’Sullivan) *

British Open, 25 September-1 October (Mark Williams)

English Open, 2-8 October (Judd Trump)

Wuhan Open, 9-15 October (Judd Trump)

Northern Ireland Open, 22-29 October (Judd Trump)

International Championship, 5-12 November (Zhang Anda)

Champion of Champions, 13-19 November (Mark Allen) *

Ronnie O’Sullivan on his new Amazon documentary: ‘It was harrowing watching it back’

Through the door of a swish London hotel, held open by a concierge; into the dimly lit lobby, past an open fire and smart dinner guests, into a shiny lift; down a corridor lined with abstract art, around a bend to the very end where the last door waits in semi-darkness; through to a suite with a long table scattered with sandwiches and cream scones – Ronnie O’Sullivan’s favourite food – where his agent and various publicists mill; to a leather sofa at the far end.

This is where O’Sullivan is holed up, an hour before his movie premiere in London’s Leicester Square. He emerges from another room with a smile, offers a fist bump and sits down. He is dressed in a blue jumper, dark jeans and smart shoes. Executive producer David Beckham is among the famous guests coming to celebrate O’Sullivan, journalists are here to ask questions and fans are sitting in cinemas around the country to watch the film and a live Q&A afterwards. And he’s dreading it.

“If I’d have looked at the contract before doing this and it said you’ve got to do a premiere, I’d have probably said, ‘that’s me out then’,” O’Sullivan says with a grin. “When we started, they said there’s going to be a film festival and I was like, ‘I’ve got to go to that?’ They were like, ‘yeah’. I was like, ‘f**k’.

Ronnie O’Sullivan on his new documentary: ‘It was harrowing watching it back’

The seven-time snooker world champion tells Lawrence Ostlere about letting filmmakers into his life, losing his father to prison and why he doesn’t think he’ll ever win number eight

Ronnie O’Sullivan into UK Championship quarter-finals but claims he doesn’t ‘really care’ any more

Downbeat Ronnie O’Sullivan has warned he will continue “stinking out gaffes” after he limped into the quarter-finals of the UK Snooker Championship with a 6-5 win over Robert Milkins in York.

O’Sullivan, who is playing in trainers due to suffering from the heel injury plantar fasciitis, made his frustration clear as he almost blew a 5-3 lead before rallying to earn a last-eight slot against Zhou Yuelong.

“I don’t understand how this game works,” shrugged O’Sullivan. “I gave up a long time ago. I just keep turning up and stinking out gaffes. I stunk it out today and I’ll stink it out tomorrow. You’ll have to get a mask to watch me play.”

Despite hitting a 142 in frame five, O’Sullivan, who is aiming for a record eighth UK crown, was far from his best, and expressed his irritation after serving up one of three glorious opportunities for Milkins in the decider by dropping his cue onto the table.

But Milkins, whose solitary win over O’Sullivan in 11 previous attempts had come at the single-frame Shoot-Out in 2002, failed to capitalise, missing a pink then a simple red to middle, before finally dangling a red over the bottom pocket that effectively sealed his fate.

Ronnie O’Sullivan into UK Championship quarter-finals but makes controversial claim

Ronnie O’Sullivan could only lament about how he ‘didn’t want it badly enough’ despite reaching the quarter-finals

When is the UK Championship and how much is the prize fund?

When is the UK Championship?

The UK Championship began on Saturday 25 November and will conclude with the final on Sunday 3 December at the Barbican in York. 32 players compete in the main draw.

How much is the prize fund?

Competing players share total prize money of £1,205,000, with the winner in line to receive £250,000. An additional £15,000 is available to the player who compiles the highest break, while two maximums made across any of the three Triple Crown events this season will be rewarded with a £147,000 bonus.

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