WHAT HAPPEND

'Extraordinary rollercoaster' - Higgins grabs dramatic win against Woollaston

Round two saw an extraordinary finish to a match, with John Higgins grabbing a dramatic 4-3 win against Ben Woollaston.
Northern Ireland Open
'Never seen a clearance as good as that' - O'Sullivan hails magic moment from Higgins
17/10/2021 AT 16:43
In the deciding frame, Woollaston held a 25-point lead over Higgins with just 27 left on the table. Thus, the 33-year-old cueist from Leicester needed only to pot the yellow, and commentator Phil Studd set the scene:
Woollaston - 25 ahead - only needs the yellow to win, barring snookers.
The yellow would rattle the jaws of the middle pocket, but then, excruciatingly, slide up the rail before dropping into its pocket, seemingly securing a shock win.

'I deserved to lose, he'll be gutted' - Higgins on dramatic win over Woollaston

Yet, Higgins would go on to win the match.

'I'd love a wee day out' – Maguire misses pints more than pots

After his win against Matthew Selt, Stephen Maguire admitted he would rather be enjoying a lock-in than lockdown, saying that he was unhappy he couldn't wind down away from a hotel room and adding that an occasional pint help "refresh" his mind.
"I’ll be honest, if I’m at a tournament for a week or any longer than that, you’re guaranteed I’ll be out one night," he began.
"It’s not just because I need to get out, it’s because of the social side and being locked in the room.
When you have a night out you’re refreshed again, maybe take a few hours, but you’re refreshed and regrouped again and we can’t do that.
"It’s new to me, it’s new to everyone. You need to let off steam. You need to get away. I know some boys go back and watch a game, watch the snooker at night, that’s not for me.
"I love to switch off and the best place to switch off is with a couple of mates having a couple of quiet drinks and talk about anything bar snooker."

‘That’s how you level a match!’ – Murphy makes 133 total clearance

The defending champion Shaun Murphy was in fine form in the third round, overcoming Ryan Day 4-1. And the nine-time ranking title winner laid down a marker in the second frame with a total clearance of 133 to level the match.

‘That’s how you level a match!’ – Murphy makes 133 total clearance

'Like someone down the club or worse!’ – Murphy on errant shot

As stated above Murphy was in excellent form during his 4-1 win against Day, but played one seriously errant shot. So, Andy Goldstein asked the defending champion what went awry. His response was something to behold.

‘Like someone down the club or worse!’ – Murphy on errant shot

Trump stunned by Vafaei to crash out

Judd Trump was stunned by world number 34 Hossein Vafaei in the third round, losing 4-2. The world number one said after his second round win against Si Jiahui that he had struggled with the pace of the table at the Celtic Manor Resort, and again struggled to find rhythm as he fell to a surprise loss.

Watch: Tense final moments as Vafaei stuns Trump at Welsh Open

The 2019 world champion Trump had led 2-1 following runs of 51 and 53, but again struggled for fluency and fell to a shock defeat to Vafaei.
The Bristolian had spoken of his frustrations at a “slow and sluggish” table after his second-round 4-2 win against Si Jiahui, and the match was settled by a safety exchange at the end of the sixth frame. The Iranian cueist carved out a 60 to put him in a commanding position, leaving Trump with reds on the table but needing two snookers to send the match to a decider.
However, having secured one of the required two, a loose safety allowed Vafaei in to seal the match and condemn Trump to a first defeat in a best-of-seven match since 2019.

O'Sullivan whitewashes Gould to assume favourite tag

With Trump out, Ronnie O'Sullivan put Martin Gould away 4-0 to add to the 4-0 successes he had enjoyed against Robbie Williams and Jimmy White in the previous round.

‘Brilliant stuff!’ – O’Sullivan seals Gould whitewash with ton

He sealed the win with the above ton and led Alan McManus to heap praise on the Rocket.

‘He makes you feel inferior’ – McManus on perfect O’Sullivan

The above excellence led Eurosport analyst McManus to laud O’Sullivan after the world champion had maintained his perfect record at the 2021 Welsh Open.
The win meant the Rocket had played 12 frames in three matches - against Robbie Williams, Jimmy White and Gould – winning all 12, and was again in effervescent form against The Pinner Potter and finished that match with 97% pot success.
And McManus, talking with Jimmy White and Andy Goldstein in the Eurosport studio, spoke in gilded terms about O’Sullivan.
“He makes you feel like you’re not part of the match,” began McManus.
He makes you feel inferior.

'He makes you feel like you’re not part of the match' - McManus on O’Sullivan

‘Brilliant, brilliant!’ – O’Sullivan executes perfect pot from jaws of green pocket

And here is O'Sullivan demonstrating that superiority, spying a long red with the cueball in the jaws of the green pocket during his 4-1 win against Zhou Yuelong.

‘Brilliant, brilliant!’ – O’Sullivan executes perfect pot from jaws of green pocket

Whoops! Murphy executes brilliant snooker... on himself!

The defending champion Murphy would lose at the quarter-final stage to the aforementioned alcohol aficionado Maguire - 5-4 - but that came after the 2005 world champion snookered himself.

Whoops! Shaun Murphy produces brilliant snooker... on himself!

High drama as Brown beats Selby on the black in deciding frame

The most dramatic match of the tournament also came during the last eight, with Jordan Brown, who would go on to make the final, overcoming Mark Selby in a dramatic final-frame decider. The three-time world champion Selby needed - and got - two snookers but then missed a presentable black after a lengthy safety exchange.

Watch: Tension-packed finish as Brown beats Selby on final black

'Success was sometimes a bad thing' - O'Sullivan

O’Sullivan received a bye at the quarter-final stage following Ali Carter's withdrawal with a non-Covid related illness. That meant the six-time world champion joined Andy Goldstein in the studio ahead of the final quarter-final between Tom Ford and Mark Williams. Ford had sopken of his unhappiness, at times, on the tour and O'Sullivan elaborated on that, saying that sometimes success was a bad thing.
“You get times like that when you are not enjoying your snooker,” O’Sullivan said. “Mine happened to be when I was winning virtually every tournament I played in and never got to go home. I kind of missed being at home.
I know it sounds crazy, but success was sometimes a bad thing for me.

'It sounds crazy, but it was sometimes a bad thing' - O'Sullivan on the negatives of success

'I absolutely destroyed Ronnie' - Williams relishing O'Sullivan challenge

Williams would emerge from the Ford clash a 5-4 victor to set up a semi-final showdown with fellow Class of '92 member O'Sullivan. Asked in the studio his thoughts on the clash, Williams joked that he had absolutely "destroyed" O'Sullivan last time they met - at the Championship League - and that the six-time world champion was now on his "mantelpiece".

'I absolutely destroyed him' - Williams pokes fun at O'Sullivan ahead of clash

O'Sullivan would canter to a 6-1 win against Williams.

Antrim Ferrari Brown takes Maguire apart to reach first ranking final

Brown - owner of potentially the best nickname in snooker, The Antrim Ferrari - beat Maguire 6-1, and in doing so, produced a breathtaking positional shot in the sixth frame. It was a shot of such excellence that Jimmy White re-created it.

Shots recreated: Jimmy White takes on Jordan Brown's stunning positional shot

The Ferrari takes the cup - Brown wins first ranking title

Okay so the trophy is more a jug (vase maybe?) than a cup but you get the idea, Jordan Brown beat Ronnie O'Sullivan in a deciding frame to lift the Welsh Open for his first ranking title.

'Get in there!' - The moment Brown shocked O'Sullivan to win Welsh Open title

By his own account Brown has hard a long and difficult road to get here.
“I have had some dark days in my snooker life,” Brown said in the Eurosport studio after the game. “But that is what makes you stronger as a player and a person.

'I have had some dark days' - Brown on his journey to Welsh Open title

“I just never stopped believing in myself. I was working full-time in a petrol station and was playing full-time snooker as well."

O'Sullivan gracious in defeat

For his part O'Sullivan, who had his own moments of magic in the final, was extremely gracious in his defeat and had nothing but good things to say about Brown.

'I can't believe he's played that!' – Amazing O'Sullivan shot stuns commentators

“He’s such a lovely guy and a fantastic player as well. You don’t beat Selby, you don’t beat Maguire, and I played alright today. And not many people beat me when I’m playing alright.
“He’s a proper player. It’s fantastic for Jordan, it’s his night and you couldn’t be happier for him. It’s been great.”
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Northern Ireland Open
'Messi can maybe make the game look that easy' - O'Sullivan wowed by Higgins
16/10/2021 AT 21:49
Northern Ireland Open
'Messi can maybe make the game look that easy' - O'Sullivan wowed by Higgins
16/10/2021 AT 21:44