Telford International Centre
Below is the schedule and format for the Maplin UK Championship.
Saturday 13 December
Match 1: Ronnie O'Sullivan v Rory McLeod - 6-2 (Terry Camilleri)
Match 2: Joe Perry v Mark Davis - 9-0 (Davis withdraw due to illness) (Pete Williamson)
Match 4: Ryan Day v Matthew Stevens - 3-5 (Oliver Marteel)
Match 7: Graeme Dott v Ken Doherty - 5-3 (Derek Budde)
Match 3: Marco Fu v Barry Hawkins - 3-5 (Alan Chamberlain)
Match 8: Mark Selby v Mark Williams - 3-5 (Brendan Moore)
Match 11: Mark King v Judd Trump - 5-3 (Leo Scullion)
Match 12: Stephen Hendry v Stephen Lee - 5-3 (Colin Humphries)
Match 1*: Ronnie O'Sullivan v Rory McLeod - 9-6 :-) (Terry Camilleri)
Match 2*: Joe Perry v Mark Davis - 9-0 (Davis withdraw due to illness) (Pete Williamson)
Match 4*: Ryan Day v Matthew Stevens - 5-9 (Oliver Marteel)
Match 7*: Graeme Dott v Ken Doherty - 9-4 (Derek Budde)
Sunday 14 December
Match 3*: Marco Fu v Barry Hawkins (Alan Chamberlain) - 9-6
Match 8*: Mark Selby v Mark Williams (Brendan Moore) - 7-9
Match 11*: Mark King v Judd Trump (Leo Scullion) - 9-8
Match 12*: Stephen Hendry v Stephen Lee (Colin Humphries) - 7-9
Match 6: Peter Ebdon v Andrew Higginson (Oliver Marteel) - 3-5
Match 13: John Higgins v Joe Swail (Pete Williamson) - 4-4
Match 15: Neil Robertson v Michael Holt (Derek Budde) - 4-4
Match 16: Stephen Maguire v Jamie Burnett (Terry Camilleri) - 6-2
Match 5: Ali Carter v Ian McCulloch (Jan Verhaas) - 6-2
Match 9: Shaun Murphy v Martin Gould (Eirian Williams) - 5-3
Match 10: Mark Allen v Stuart Bingham (Leo Scullion) - 6-2
Match 14: Ding Junhui v Steve Davis (Colin Humphries) - 4-4
Monday 15 December
Match 6*: Peter Ebdon v Andrew Higginson (Oliver Marteel) - 9-8
Match 13*: John Higgins v Joe Swail (Pete Williamson) - 9-7
Match 15*: Neil Robertson v Michael Holt (Derek Budde) - 9-7
Match 16*: Stephen Maguire v Jamie Burnett (Terry Camilleri) - 9-3
Match 5*: Ali Carter v Ian McCulloch (Jan Verhaas) - 9-2 (McCulloch withdraw due to illness)
Match 9*: Shaun Murphy v Martin Gould (Eirian Williams) - 9-7
Match 10*: Mark Allen v Stuart Bingham (Leo Scullion) - 9-2
Match 14*: Ding Junhui v Steve Davis (Colin Humphries) - 9-6
Match 17: Ronnie O'Sullivan v Joe Perry (Alan Chamberlain) - 5-3
Match 18: Marco Fu v Matthew Stevens (Derek Budde) - 5-3
Match 20: Graeme Dott v Mark Williams (Brendan Moore) - 5-3
Match 22: Mark King v Stephen Lee (Oliver Marteel) - 4-4
Tueday 16 December
Match 19: Ali Carter v Peter Ebdon (Colin Humphries) - 4-4
Match 21: Shaun Murphy v Mark Allen (Leo Scullion) - 4-4
Match 23: John Higgins v Ding Junhui (Jan Verhaas) - 7-1
Match 24: Neil Robertson v Stephen Maguire (Eirian Williams) - 5-3
Match 17*: Ronnie O'Sullivan v Joe Perry (Alan Chamberlain) - 5-9 :-((
Match 18*: Marco Fu v Matthew Stevens (Derek Budde)- 9-5
Match 20*: Graeme Dott v Mark Williams (Brendan Moore) - 7-9
Match 22*: Mark King v Stephen Lee (Oliver Marteel) - 5-9
Match 19*: Ali Carter v Peter Ebdon (Colin Humphries) - 9-5
Match 21*: Shaun Murphy v Mark Allen (Leo Scullion) - 9-7
Match 23*: John Higgins v Ding Junhui (Jan Verhaas) - 9-4
Match 24*: Neil Robertson v Stephen Maguire (Eirian Williams) - 8-9
Wednesday 17 December
QF1: Joe Perry v Marco Fu (Colin Humphries) - 4-4
QF2: Ali Carter v Mark Williams (Terry Camilleri) - 3-5
QF1*: Joe Perry v Marco Fu (Colin Humphries) - 7-9
QF2*: Ali Carter v Mark Williams (Terry Camilleri) - 9-8
Thursday 18 December
QF3: Shaun Murphy v Stephen Lee (Eirian Williams) - 7-1
QF4: John Higgins v Stephen Maguire (Jan Verhaas) - 4-4
QF3*: Shaun Murphy v Stephen Lee (Eirian Williams) - 9-3
QF4*: John Higgins v Stephen Maguire (Jan Verhaas) - 7-9
Friday 19 December
SF1: Marco Fu v Ali Carter (Colin Humphries) - 3-5
SF1*: Marco Fu v Ali Carter (Colin Humphries) - 9-7
Saturday 20 December
SF2: Shaun Murphy v Stephen Maguire - 6-2
SF2*: Shaun Murphy v Stephen Maguire - 9-4
Sunday 21 December
Marco Fu v Shaun Murphy (Jan Verhaas) - 3-5
Marco Fu v Shaun Murphy (Jan Verhaas) - 9-10
* denotes final session of the match
Matches played from December 13-16 are played on a rollon/roll off basis. There will be a 15 minute interval between matches. The 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th matches on these days will not start before 3pm. Evening sessions will not start before the time indicated on the format.
Tables numbers for all matches up to the quarter-finals will be determined by the Tournament Director the day before.
All matches up to and including the semi-finals will be the best of 17 frames (8/9) and the final will be the best of 19 frames (8/11).
Joe Perry produced one the best performances of his career in winning seven straight frames to beat Ronnie O'Sullivan 9-5 at the Maplin UK Championship.
Defending champion O'Sullivan looked to be in cruise control last night when he made three centuries in taking a 5-2 lead. But Perry nicked the last frame of the opening session and carried that momentum into today's conclusion.
The Crucible semi-finalist took the first frame of the day on the pink then knocked in breaks of 105 and 70 to go 6-5 ahead. He led 23-0 in the next when O'Sullivan missed a red and impetuously conceded the frame, marching out of the arena for the mid-session interval.
A run of 69 put Perry 8-5 up and he started the next with a 53 before missing a mid-range red. O'Sullivan had a chance to snatch it but missed a black off its spot off the penultimate red, allowing Perry to step in and clear to the green for victory.
"That frame to go 5-3 last night was massive," said Perry, the world No 12 from Chatteris who beat O'Sullivan in the Premier League earlier this season but had lost their six other meetings. "It gave me a fighting chance today and I felt positive.
"I could see Ronnie getting anxious tonight and running out of patience. I've played him a few times this season and I feel comfortable against him now, I'm not intimidated. When I beat him for the first time it got the fear factor out of the way."
As for O'Sullivan's concession of the 12th frame, Perry joked: "Any gifts at this time of year are gratefully received!"
World No 1 and World Champion O'Sullivan said: "I got outplayed. I felt cold and I couldn't make anything happen. Give Joe credit because he played well.
"It's been the story of my game for a while - good at times, not good at times. I've been inconsistent this season."
Defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan held off a bold fight-back from Rory McLeod to score a 9-6 victory and reach the last 16 of the Maplin UK Championship.
The Rocket appeared to be crusing towards a second round meeting with Joe Perry when he led 6-0 after top breaks of 117 and 110.
But McLeod, the world No 44 who has never progressed beyond the last 32 of a ranking event, launched a remarkable recovery, making three consecutive centuries with 108, 102 and 131, then adding the next two frames for 6-5 as he threatened what would have been one of the most surprising comeback wins in snooker history.
The Wellingborough-based cueman had chances to level the tie, but crucially played a poor positional shot from red to pink at 55-33 in frame 12, and despite potting the pink was left with a difficult long red, which he missed. O'Sullivan cleared with 38, then won the next frame with a 94 clearance for 8-5.
McLeod took the next after world No 1 O'Sullivan failed to convert three chances to win the match, but the Chigwell potter finally sealed it in frame 15 with a calm 70.
"I hate it when people say I'm a genius and I don't have to work hard at this game, because I do have to battle," said four-times UK Champion O'Sullivan. "Any win for me at this stage of my career is a result.
"It was tough. Sometimes you just have to sit it out, and you feel as if it's not going to be your day. It would have been nice to win more easily.
"Credit to Rory because at 6-0 down his head could have gone. In the end I could have been going home because it's all about form and his was stronger than mine."
O'Sullivan also responded to a question about his recent interview on BBC1's Inside Sport show by adding: "I don't normally do interviews but I knew it was a serious programme and it was a chance for me to say what I felt."
13 December 2008
Rory McLeod tells me he is looking forward to his match against Ronnie O’Sullivan in the Maplin UK Championship at Telford today.
It’s the biggest match of his career thus far as he tackles the world champion live on television in one of snooker’s oldest and most prestigious events.
Rory recognises he is not expected to win. I certainly expect O’Sullivan to progress but sport is capable of throwing up all manner of shocks so Ronnie cannot afford complacency.
(By the way, there's an excellent profile of Ronnie by my colleague Phil Yates in today's Times - see below.)
McLeod has been a professional for 17 years, although has not been on the circuit all that time.
It took him until 2002 to make his television debut. Today’s match is only his fourth appearance in the last 32 of a ranking tournament and he is yet to go further.
But he has been consistent in recent years, not losing many opening round matches, and is currently 44th in the world – his highest ever ranking.
He is Wellingborough born and bred but spends a fair amount of time in Qatar as he coaches their national team.
He has three children, the youngest just five months, and these take up much of his time.
Rory is also the only player of Afro Caribbean descent – his parents are from Jamaica – competing on the professional circuit.
Snooker is not elitist sport. Anyone can join a club so this anomaly is hard to explain.
It’s not something Rory has ever made an issue of and he was embarrassed a few years ago when the BBC put him on the trailer for the UK Championship even though he hadn’t qualified while ignoring Stephen Hendry and Mark Williams.
Players spend many often lonely hours practising and honing their skills for matches like these.
Whatever happens against O’Sullivan, Rory should enjoy his big day.
13 December, 2008
By Phil Yates
Ronnie O’Sullivan’s outlook, opinions and mood often switch as quickly as the hand with which he plays a particular shot. He has descended from the highest of highs to the most miserable of lows and rebounded, all in the time it takes to progress from the first round to a trophy.
“I might be thinking and believing something today, but tomorrow I’ll probably change my mind,” O’Sullivan, bemused that the media hangs on his every word, once said. He is a self-perceptive individual who, even after three world titles and 42 professional tournament wins, is correct in describing himself as an underachiever.
No gathering illustrates O’Sullivan’s annoying yet enthralling unpredictability more vividly than the Maplin UK Championship, which begins at the International Centre in Telford today. Snooker’s most mercurial, unfathomable entertainer and enigma defends a crown that he has captured on four occasions, including in 1993 when, a week short of his 18th birthday, he became, and remains, the youngest winner of a world-ranking tournament.
He was the UK champion again in 1997, 2001 and last year, when, after compiling a break of 147 in the deciding frame of his 9-8 semi-final win over Mark Selby, O’Sullivan dismissed Stephen Maguire, at present his closest pursuer in the world rankings, 10-2 in a processional final.
Yet O’Sullivan has also plumbed the depths in the UK Championship, such as in 1994, when a quarter-final departure prompted the teenager to issue the first of countless threats to retire. Thankfully for a sport so in need of his panache, none has been carried out.
However, four years later, in the darkest period of a career then in peril from darker addictions, O’Sullivan withdrew from the event citing depression. In York in 2006, he stunningly shook hands in concession and walked out of the arena when trailing Stephen Hendry only 4-1 in a best-of-17-frames quarter-final.
O’Sullivan has confided that it was not the first, and almost certainly not the last, time he has been tempted to down tools in a fog of frustration but, ignoring the odd lapse, the world No 1 has shown more discipline and patience this year than before, en route to collecting prize-money of £504,750.
He sailed through the World Championship in April and May, added the Northern Ireland Trophy in August and last weekend, in Hopton-on-Sea, Norfolk, maintained his domination of the Premier League, an event that he has won for five consecutive years.
Anyone suggesting that this relative on-table serenity will continue indefinitely is either brave or foolhardy, but one overriding factor does appear to be a positive influence on his continuing level of determination: the release of his father, Ronnie Sr, who is serving a life sentence for murder, in 2010.
O’Sullivan Sr was jailed in September 1992. It was an incalculable blow to his adoring son, but their relationship has remained a deeply loving one throughout the incarceration and the prospect of the pair being together again at events, as they were week-in, week-out, during the player’s junior and amateur days, drives him.
“My dad says that watching me play on television is like a visit for him,” said O’Sullivan, who craves the day when Ronnie Sr can share in person a triumph at Wembley, the Crucible or wherever.
O’Sullivan’s father will no doubt be watching from his cell today when Ronnie Jr, a short-priced favourite for the UK Championship’s £100,000 first prize, plays Rory McLeod, a qualifier, in the last 32.
McLeod, the world No 44, is an interesting character. The only player of Afro-Caribbean descent on the tour, the 37-year-old Englishman is coach to the Qatar snooker team. However, success at O’Sullivan’s expense would represent one of the most unlikely results in the 31-year history of the championship.
The likes of Maguire, Selby and Neil Robertson, who won the Bahrain Championship last month, will be among those who fancy their chances but, at his best in two-session matches, O’Sullivan is tough to oppose. As always, his biggest danger is a 33-year-old from Chigwell, Essex - himself.
Four big names in danger of making an early exit
Graeme Dott - The 2006 world champion arrives in Shropshire chronically low on confidence, having failed to survive his opening-round match in ten consecutive world-ranking events. His first opponent, Ken Doherty, has also struggled of late, but remains a wily campaigner.
Peter Ebdon - His season began with an unexpected 5-0 whitewash by Liang Wenbo in the first round of the Northern Ireland Trophy and has not improved. He has won only one match in four world-ranking events and his place in the top 16 is under threat. Andrew Higginson could add to the woes of the 2002 world champion.
Mark Selby - He could hardly have been given a more difficult initial test. The Masters champion plays Mark Williams, twice world and twice UK champion, who, having been relegated from the top 16 last season, is clearly a qualifier to be avoided.
Mark King - The No 15 seed has the unenviable task of taming Judd Trump, the 19-year-old who beat Ronnie O’Sullivan on the way to his first world-ranking tournament semi-final at the Royal London Watches Grand Prix in October. Trump also earned an invitation to next month’s Masters by winning the qualifying event.
Ronnie O’Sullivan hopes that the ‘fantastic’ Telford atmosphere will inspire him in the defence of his Maplin UK Championship title, which starts on Saturday.
World No 1 and 888.com World Champion O’Sullivan produced some stunning snooker last year, including a 147 in the deciding frame of his semi-final against Mark Selby and a 10-2 defeat of Stephen Maguire in the final.
And the Rocket hopes to produce more of the same when he starts his bid to win the title for the fifth time, on Saturday at 1pm against Rory McLeod.
"Winning the UK was a big moment for me last year,” said the 33-year-old from Chigwell, who has had a strong start to the season having won the Northern Ireland Trophy and reached the final of the Roewe Shanghai Masters. “It's one of the events I target at the start of the season.
"I remember the 147 in the last frame of the semi-final - that was a great buzz. The atmosphere at Telford was fantastic. I'm looking forward to going back this year and trying to play some good snooker again."
The Maplin UK Championship runs from December 13 to 21. Battling O’Sullivan for the trophy will be the likes of Stephen Maguire, Mark Selby, Ding Junhui, Stephen Hendry, John Higgins, Neil Robertson and Shaun Murphy.
Tickets for the venue stages start at just £10.50 (concessions £5). To book your seats call 01952 561 700 or visit www.ticuk.com
English Institute of Sport Sheffield
0114 223 5600
The format of play for this event is as follows:
Monday 1 December 2008
1 Jimmy White v David Grace - 4-4
2 Scott MacKenzie v Vincent Muldoon - 5-3
3 Jamie Jones v Robert Stephen - 4-4
4 Paul Davison v Wayne Cooper - 5-3
5 Daniel Wells v Li Hang - 2-6
6 Matthew Couch v Stefan Mazrocis - 5-3
7 James McBain v Liu Chuang - 5-3
8 Rodney Goggins v Declan Hughes - 7-1
9 Supoj Saenla v Andrew Pagett - 4-4
10 Peter Lines v Michael Georgiou - 5-3
1* Jimmy White v David Grace - 9-8
2* Scott MacKenzie v Vincent Muldoon - 9-4
3* Jamie Jones v Robert Stephen - 9-8
4* Paul Davison v Wayne Cooper - 9-5
5* Daniel Wells v Li Hang - 3-9
6* Matthew Couch v Stefan Mazrocis - 9-7
Tuesday 2 December 2008
11 Simon Bedford v Jin Long - 5-3
12 Patrick Wallace v Stephen Craigie - 5-3
13 Lee Spick v Chris McBreen - 4-4
14 Matthew Selt v Andy Lee - 5-3
15 Kuldesh Johal v Aditya Mehta - 5-3
16 Lewis Roberts v Atthasit Mahitthi - 3-5
7* James McBain v Liu Chuang - 6-9
8* Rodney Goggins v Declan Hughes - 9-1
9* Supoj Saenla v Andrew Pagett - 9-7
10* Peter Lines v Michael Georgiou - 9-3
11* Simon Bedford v Jin Long - 8-9
12* Patrick Wallace v Stephen Craigie - 9-5
13* Lee Spick v Chris McBreen - 9-6
14* Matthew Selt v Andy Lee - 9-3
15* Kuldesh Johal v Aditya Mehta - 9-5
16* Lewis Roberts v Atthasit Mahitthi - 8-9
Wednesday 3 December 2008
17 Ian Preece v Jimmy White - 4-4
18 Mark Davis v Scott MacKenzie - 6-2
19 David Gray v Jamie Jones - 4-4
20 Robert Milkins v Paul Davison - 3-5
21 Joe Delaney v Li Hang - 5-3
22 Barry Pinches v Matthew Couch - 3-5
27 Rod Lawler v Jin Long - 3-5
28 Andy Hicks v Patrick Wallace - 6-2
29 Andrew Norman v Lee Spick - 4-4
30 Liu Song v Matthew Selt - 4-3
17* Ian Preece v Jimmy White - 8-9
18* Mark Davis v Scott MacKenzie - 9-2
19* David Gray v Jamie Jones - 4-9
20* Robert Milkins v Paul Davison - 9-5
21* Joe Delaney v Li Hang - 9-7
22* Barry Pinches v Matthew Couch - 6-9
Thursday 4 December 2008
23 Mark Joyce v Liu Chuang - 3-5
24 David Roe v Rodney Goggins - 0-8
25 Martin Gould v Supoj Saenla - 7-1
26 Stuart Pettman v Peter Lines - 5-3
31 Paul Davies v Kuldesh Johal - 3-5
32 David Morris v Atthasit Mahitthi - 6-2
27* Rod Lawler v Jin Long - 6-9
28* Andy Hicks v Patrick Wallace - 9-7
29* Andrew Norman v Lee Spick - 7-9
30* Liu Song v Matthew Selt - 8-9
23* Mark Joyce v Liu Chuang - 4-9
24* David Roe v Rodney Goggins - 0-9
25* Martin Gould v Supoj Saenla - 9-1
26* Stuart Pettman v Peter Lines - 9-6
31* Paul Davies v Kuldesh Johal - 5-9
32* David Morris v Atthasit Mahitthi - 9-2
Friday 5 December 2008
35 Alan McManus v Jamie Jones - 5-3
36 Marcus Campbell v Robert Milkins - 4-4
37 Mike Dunn v Joe Delaney - 3-5
38 Andrew Higginson v Matthew Couch - 4-3
39 David Gilbert v Liu Chuang - 1-7
40 Gerard Greene v Rodney Goggins - 6-2
33 Rory McLoed v Jimmy White - 5-3
34 Ricky Walden v Mark Davis - 4-4
47 Michael Holt v Kuldesh Johal - 6-2
48 Jamie Burnett v David Morris - 5-3
35* Alan McManus v Jamie Jones - 9-4
36* Marcus Campbell v Robert Milkins - 9-4
37* Mike Dunn v Joe Delaney - 6-9
38* Andrew Higginson v Matthew Couch - 9-5
39* David Gilbert v Liu Chuang - 1-9
40* Gerard Greene v Rodney Goggins - 9-3
Saturday 6 December 2008
41 Tom Ford v Martin Gould - 4-4
42 Jimmy Michie v Stuart Pettman - 2-6
43 Judd Trump v Jin Long - 5-3
44 John Parrott v Andy Hicks - 1-7
45 Liang Wenbo v Lee Spick - 7-1
46 Adrian Gunnell v Matthew Selt - 5-3
33* Rory McLeod v Jimmy White - 9-8
34*Ricky Walden v Mark Davis - 7-9
47* Michael Holt v Kuldesh Johal - 9-5
48* Jamie Burnett v David Morris - 9-4
41* Tom Ford v Martin Gould - 6-9
42* Jimmy Michie v Stuart Pettman - 9-7
43* Judd Trump v Jin Long - 9-8
44* John Parrott v Andy Hicks - 1-7 Parrott withdraw due to illness
45* Liang Wenbo v Lee Spick - 9-1
46* Adrian Gunnell v Matthew Selt - 9-4
Sunday 7 December 2008
49 Dave Harold v Rory McLeod - 4-3
50 Nigel Bond v Mark Davis - 2-6
55 Ken Doherty v Liu Chuang - 6-2
56 Mark Williams v Gerard Greene - 5-3
57 Dominic Dale v Martin Gould - 5-3
58 Stuart Bingham v Martin Gould - 6-2
51 Barry Hawkins v Alan McManus - 5-3
52 Matthew Stevens v Marcus Campbell - 7-1
53 Ian McCulloch v Joe Delaney - 7-1
54 Anthony Hamilton v Andrew Higginson -3-4
49* Dave Harold v Rory McLeod - 6-9
50* Nigel Bond v Mark Davis - 2-9
55* Ken Doherty v Liu Chuang - 9-4
56* Mark Williams v Gerard Greene - 9-7
57* Dominic Dale v Martin Gould - 6-9
58* Stuart Bingham v Jimmy Michie - 9-3
Monday 8 December 2008
59 Michael Judge v Judd Trump - 3-5
60 Stephen Lee v Andy Hicks - 7-1
61 Joe Swail v Liang Wenbo - 4-4
62 Steve Davis v Adrian Gunnell - 5-3
63 Fergal O’Brien v Michael Holt - 3-5
64 Jamie Cope v Jamie Burnett - 4-4
51* Barry Hawkins v Alan McManus - 9-4
52* Matthew Stevens v Marcus Campbell - 9-3
53* Ian McCulloch v Joe Delaney - 9-1
54* Anthony Hamilton v Andrew Higginson - 4-9
59* Michael Judge v Judd Trump - 6-9
60* Stephen Lee v Andy Hicks - 9-6
61* Joe Swail v Liang Wenbo - 9-8
62* Steve Davis v Adrian Gunnell - 9-7
63* Fergal O’Brien v Michael Holt - 4-9
64* Jamie Cope v Jamie Burnett - 7-9
All matches are the best of 17 frames (8/9)
*denotes final session of match