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Welsh Open snooker LIVE - Neil Robertson through, Mark Williams in action now, Ronnie O'Sullivan in the studio

Welsh Open snooker LIVE  Neil Robertson through Mark Williams in action 
now Ronnie OSullivan in the studio
Welcome to our live text coverage of day one of the Welsh Open 2024 snooker main draw with Ronnie O'Sullivan in the Eurosport studio to react to all the drama.
Mark Williams - John Astley

Mark Williams - John Astley

That's us done for the afternoon

Join us again at 6.30pm GMT for Luca Brecel v Jiang Jun followed by Mark Selby v Yuan SiJun.

Around the tables

Riley Powell 0-4 Liam Davies

Mark Allen 1-1 Cao Yupeng

Mark J Williams beats John Astley 4-2!

He made hard work of it - and John played quite well - but he's through to meet Sanderson Lam next.

Williams 3-2 Astley (59-14)

Gosh, a loose shot makes a green harder than it should be, Mark can't send it down ... but then John misses a simple blue off its spot and that will surely be curtains.

Williams 3-2 Astley (37-13)

We're soon back under way and Mark is soon back potting, a decent safety yielding an opportunity. He should finish this here, but he's not quite been at it this afternoon, so.

Williams 3-2 Astley (8-13)

A poor break from Mark leaves a red to middle, if John can get through to it .. and he can. But into the reds off the yellow, he doesn't hit the pack where he's aiming to and lands on the top cushion. Mark, though, soon follows through potting a nice long starter ... then is immediatley offered another go at the table, and if he can dig into the pack successfully, he'll fancy himself to clinch f&m at this viist. But before that haoppens, he misses down the side to left corner, a screen goes off, and we have an hiatus.

Around the tables

Riley Powell 0-3 Liam Davies

Mark Allen 1-0 Cao Yupeng

Williams 3-2 Astley

Mark goes in front for the first time and needs one more to move on.

Williams 2-2 Astley (48-47)

John closes the gap and slots a fine cut-back black that takes him in and out of baulk. But disaster strikes when he not only misses the next red, he gets a double-kiss that ivites Mark to polish off a frame that looked his quite smoe time ago.

Williams 2-2 Astley (44-25)

Er, perhaos not. Mark finds himself stuck in the cluster so that's end of break, a safety leaves John a taxing starter which he takes well, and this framr is right in the balance, likewise the match.

Williams 2-2 Astley (19-9)

John's escape leaves a starter, Mark cracks it home, and I'm wondering if he's taken over this match now.

Williams 2-2 Astley (18-9)

John sends a nice mid-distance starter into right corner, but trying to open the pack, he misses the pot and leaves the white stuck inside it. Mark can't force a pot, but he does win the brief safety exchange that ensues and will pick at loose balls for a bit. But then forced to take on a plant, he can't complete it and we're back playing safety. Not for long, he slides an acute one from right side to left corner, snuggles in behind the black, and he's in control of this frame currently.

Around the tables

Riley Powell 0-2 Liam Davies

Mark Allen 0-0 Cao Yupeng

Williams 2-2 Astley

A typically gorgeous long red settles the frame and we're back level.

Williams 1-2 Astley (59-12)

Faced with another pink to right-middle, Mark goes low this time, and misses again! He doesn't, though, leave anything, and needs one more red to leave John needing two snookers.

Williams 1-2 Astley (52-12)

John sends the same pink to the same right-middle, and the same thing happens - though even if it'd rolled off, it might still've missed. Mark will surely shecure the frame at this visit.

Williams 1-2 Astley (51-12)

Now then! Expecting a pink to drop a little with the nap, he misses it to right-middle when it goes straight on, and a steal here would put John in a very strong position. The reds are far from ideally placed, but also far from horifically placed, so let's see how he gets on...

Williams 1-2 Astley (32-4)

On table two, Shaun Murphy has been beaten on the final black by Barry Pinches who, minutes earlier, needed a snooker to keep the match alive. Back to our tussle, though, left a nasty red, Mark drains it well, and though he soon runs out of position he's soon back at the table, balls all over the show.

Around the tables

Shaun Murphy 3-4 Barry Pinches

Riley Powell 0-1 Liam Davies

Williams 1-2 Astley

Mark concedes and he's in a spot of bother here.

Williams 1-1 Astley (26-68)

A lovely cannon leves a nice easy frame-ball for John, but he has to play safe with one red left, 42 in front with 35 remaining..

Williams 1-1 Astley (26-50)

Mark overcuts a red to middle and it's John in next; he should secure the lead at this visit and this is turning into a tough match for the triple worlc champ.

Williams 1-1 Astley (19-46)

John runs out of position and leaves a tempter to right-centre; naturally Mark sinks it nicely. There are still three reds under the pink and another on the side rail, but there aren't many better at sorting these affairs than TWPM.

Williams 1-1 Astley (0-20)

Mark miscues, hitting black and leaving a chance, but John capitalise? He breaks the pack nicely...

Around the tables

Shaun Murphy 3-3 Barry Pinches

Riley Powell 0-0 Liam Davies

Williams 1-1 Astley

John played well in frame one, but one error cost him his lead and it's unlikely the pressure reduces.

Williams 0-1 Astley (72-0)

Mark runs out of position, plays safe, and walking back to his seat, he has to turn because he's fluked a red. That'll keep John sat down.

Williams 0-1 Astley (44-0)

Mark calmly eliminates balls and this run should be enough to level the match, but because he'll need to go into the pack once more, you never know.

Williams 0-1 Astley (1-0)

Forced to play a swerve by some decent safety, John leaves a starter and Mark gets to work. There's no one better at picking, and that's what he'll do until the pack needs breaking.

Around the tables

Alfie Davies 4-1 Liam Graham

Shaun Murphy 3-3 Barry Pinches

Barry Hawkins 4-0 He Guoqiang

Riley powell 0-0 Liam Davies

Williams 0-1 Astley

John escapes, drains a red, and that's the frame.

Williams 0-0 Astley (23-61)

"Pretty unsavoury, that snooker," says Nealf, when Mark J leaves John to the side of the brown, red on the side; he hits, but he'll soon be in more trouble.

Williams 0-0 Astley (23-61)

John clears methodically, the misses a black, and Mark returns to the table needing a snooker that doesn't look that improbable, pink near the side rail nicely positioned.

Williams 0-0 Astley (7-30)

Not for long; Mark runs out of position and plays safe, then John gets in and the balls are pretty nicely spread.

Williams 0-0 Astley (0-4)

Oh John, He gets in, breaks the pack off the blue ... and misses the pot. Chance for TWPM!

Off we go

Coming up next

Mark Williams v John Astley

Around the tables

Alfie Davies 2-1 Liam Graham

Shaun Murphy 2-2 Barry Pinches

Barry Hawkins 1-0 He Guoqiang

Neil Robertson beats Jackson Page 4-1!

He meets Stuart Carrington next, and looks good; that win he needs looks possible, especially with no Ronnie or Judd competing. Jackson, I'm afraid, struggled today, and I hope he gets himwelf sorted because he's a talent.

Robertson 3-1 Page (73-0)

Now then! Neil has to send a pink long to the green, leaves it nice and pottable over right-middle ... then Jackon cues right across a starter. You feel for him at this point because the chance to steal was right there, but the pressure has bothered him today - or at least it looks like that - and Neil will close out from here.

Robertson 3-1 Page (44-0)

The way Neil rebounded from losing the third frame is very impressive. We can't yet say he's back, but he's on the road.

Robertson 3-1 Page (16-0)

Neil gets in and sends a glorious red long to the yellow, but ends up stuck to the pink in mid-table. So he plays a good safety, snaps in a terrific long pot when Jackson can't get everything blocked off, and this looks like the match.

Around the tables

Alfie Davies 2-1 Liam Graham

Shaun Murphy 2-1 Barry Pinches

Barry Hawkins 0-0 He Guoqiang

Robertson 3-1 Page

A clearance of 1-3, and Neil is purring now.

Robertson 2-1 Page (78-8)

Neil has a think then addresses a red he knows will send the black safe. But he's on the pink, strikes it to right-middle, and this is a terrific comeback after having the last frame picked from his pocket. He's looking much more like himself, and fancies the ton from here.

Robertson 2-1 Page (49-8)

Yup, Neil eases down the red he's left, sees away two more balls when hampered, and this a framewinning opportunity.

Robertson 2-1 Page (27-8)

Neil runs out of position but finds a plant, only to go into the pack and land on nowt. But he finds a decent safety and, with balls nea rpockets, Jackson returns to the table in trouble.

Robertson 2-1 Page (14-8)

Jackson gets in, misses, and Neil opts to take on a difficult starter to left corner ... ohhh that's glorious. But bridging awkwardly on the pink to right-middle, he rolls it so slowly that it drops in off the knuckle; shot.

picture

O'Sullivan on Welsh Open absence - 'I don't want to be on treadmill every week'

Around the tables

Alfie Davies 2-0 Liam Graham

Shaun Murphy 2-1 Barry Pinches

Barry Hawkins 0-0 He Guoqiang

Robertson 2-1 Page

Jackson is in the match! Can he build on that? Will Neil begin to wonder?

Robertson 2-0 Page (57-43)

Jackson removes balls and the colours remain for a key steal. This isn't a bad test for Neil, who will feel the familiar sense of things going against him, but he'll be raging he missed that black.

Robertson 2-0 Page (57-9)

Repreive for Jackson! Neil undercuts a black off its spot and this frame is in the balance! He breaks whats left of the pack off that black, still over the bag, the balls spread lovelily, and he must clear from here.

Robertson 2-0 Page (40-0)

Neil looks focused out there; he's making sure he takes his chances. Confidence isa brittle thing, and his isn't so ensconced that that we can say for certain he's back, but even in the depths, he insisted his opponents were producing their best against him and he wasn't actually playing badly. Well, he's doing very nicely now.

Robertson 2-0 Page (20-0)

Jackson, notes Uncle Joe, is playing like someone in fear of losing his tour card, and Neil gets in right away in frame three, which is to say he's in big trouble.

Around the tables

Alfie Davies 1-0 Liam Graham

Shaun Murphy 1-1 Barry Pinches

Robertson 2-0 Page

Jackson leaves one, Neil registers another half-ton, and he's cueing nicely.

Robertson 1-0 Page (68-4)

"He's just kept knitting, digging balls out from nowhere," says Uncle Joe of a fine run, and when Newil eventually misses, Jackson returns to the table needing two snookers, weell and truly punished for his earlier oversight.

Robertson 1-0 Page (53-4)

Two fine recovery pots, then Neil drops in a blue, develops a couple of reds, and he's resolving the puzzle of this frame very nicely. He's not quite the Neil we know - early in the run, he refused a difficult shot he'd have taken on in normal circumstances - but this is excellent work.

Robertson 1-0 Page (15-4)

Jackson misses a clip to left corner with the rest, leaving nothing, and sometime later when Neil misses a tester to right, he's got a chance. But how often do we see this?! He plays position, misses the pot, and what a let off for the Thunder, who fades a lush pot to left corner, dead slow; the ball really wanted to go into the middle, but he'd have been on nothing. So he drains the black and begins picking - there are fair few balls near the top rail, so crafting something significant will not be easy.

Around the tables

Alife Davies 1-0 Liam Graham

Shaun Murphy 1-0 Barry Pinches

Robertson 1-0 Page

A second half-ton and Neil is in front.

Robertson 0-0 Page (71-8)

Neil really wants a ton, but he jawses a red to the yellow and Jackson returns 63 behind with 51 left. Good luck with that, old mate.

Robertson 0-0 Page (65-8)

Jackson will have known he'd likely played his last shot in the frame, and so he has.

Robertson 0-0 Page (28-8)

A poor positional shot leaves a black along the top rail; Neil can't send it down and when Jackson takes on a nasty cut-back, he opts to break the pack at the same time and it works nicely. He is, though, hampered on the black, which means one more difficult red before the frame is at his merc, but he directs it straight into the far side knuckle, inciting Neil to address a table far more inviting than when he left it.

Robertson 0-0 Page (20-0)

Jackson badly needs a result or two, given he's 64th in the rankings and only the top 64 stay on tour. Anyroad, Neil - who needs to win this tournament to reach the Players Championships, which in turn might get him to the Cruce as a member of the top 16 rather than forcing him to qualify - misses a long pot but Jackson can't punish him, leaving a red over the green bag. So Neil gets to work...

Off we go!

Earlier today

Ding Junhui 4-2 Jenson Kendrick

Jack Lisowski 4-2 Oliver Brown

Robert Milkins 4-3 Jamie Jones

Zhang Anda 4-1 Ahmed Alsayed

I'm excited

Mainly to see if Neil continues his long-awaited revival. Jackson, though, is a talent, and if he's on this won't be easy, at all.

For you we have:

Neil Robertson v Jackson Page, followed by Mark Williams v John Astley.

Good afternoon!

And welcome to the Weslh Open - 2024!

Welcome

Our live text coverage of the 2024 Welsh Open will begin this afternoon with Neil Robertson and then Mark Williams in afternoon action.

To remind you about the news leading in to this tournament, Judd Trump will be absent, having withdrawn from the last of this season's Home Nations Series after his German Masters victory earlier this month. He has been replaced by Welshman Duane Jones.

Robert Milkins, who beat Shaun Murphy 9-7 in last year's final, is set to start his title defence with a first-round encounter against Jamie Jones.

Ronnie O'Sullivan dropped out of the tournament, and has been replaced by Alfie Davies, while Brecel is scheduled to come up against Jiang Jun.

O'Sullivan will, though, be treating snooker fans to his thoughts from the Eurosport studio.

picture

No Filter: Behind the scenes as O'Sullivan wins record eighth Masters crown

Stream top snooker action, including the Welsh Open, live on discovery+, the Eurosport app and at eurosport.com
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