Wembley Masters 2009: O'Sullivan battles to fourth Masters title

Mark Selby’s brilliant unbeaten run at the Wembley Arena came to an end tonight as world number one Ronnie O’Sullivan won a tense final and in the process his fourth Masters title tonight…

Ronnie O’Sullivan 10-8 Mark Selby

Having played some careless shots to lose the final frame before the interval, it was deja vu in the first tonight as again Ronnie O’Sullivan came back from needing a snooker to snatch it on the black. He must have been painfully disappointed and his break-off shot in frame ten seemed to confirm that as he left Ronnie a red to the middle-pocket.

What was to follow though for the three frames before the interval was an amazing run of the ball for Selby as despite looking out of sorts and missing a few chances, lady luck came to his rescue and left nothing on for his opponent each time. Having made it 5-5 he then went on to take the next two frames for good measure, the first with a workmanlike break of 89 and frame 12 with a much more fluent 114.

O’Sullivan just looked bemused by the whole situation and it is safe to say that the interval came at the right time for him. The first frame back was pretty much a must-win for him I think and win it he did, largely thanks to a break of 53.

Frame 14 seemed to follow the pattern of the rest of the match as it was Selby who worked himself a sizeable lead before breaking down and allowing O’Sullivan back into it. Having at one point led by 42 points with just 43 on though, Selby slowly let it slip and a tremendous clearance from O’Sullivan brought them level at 7-7 and prompted a rare fist pump from him.

He looked to have all the momentum now as he turned on the style with a century break in the next to go back into the lead at 8-7, but Selby kept on fighting and when I probably expected him to fade, he notched a break of 69 to level things up once again.

Again though his Achilles heel today of losing frames from a commanding position was to strike again and having missed a tough frame-ball brown rather than play a snooker behind the green, the chance fell to Ronnie who duly made it 9-8.

As the clock struck midnight the tension continued to mount in a bizarre 18th frame which saw not one but two re-racks! After a long safety exchange though it was Mark who cracked first, overhitting a long red and leaving O’Sullivan with a clear opportunity to take Masters title number four which he duly did.

For O’Sullivan it is yet another great title to add to his CV, particularly when you consider that he has done so with the aid of a new cue having smashed his old one to bits last Friday during practice. He did not play at his best today but he held his nerve when he had to which ultimately proved to be the difference.

Mark on the other hand will be gutted to lose in the manner that he did, having seen at least three frames slip by when he could and should have won all of them.

Ronnie O’Sullivan 9-8 Mark Selby
First Session: 69(68)-28, 88(40)-0, 4-97(82), 114(101)-1, 54-59, 0-80(76), 43-70(50), 64(48c)-58(53)
Second Session: 63-62(41), 29-109(101), 0-93(89), 19-114(114), 69(53)-9, 70(43c)-65(55), 110(110)-0, 0-76(69), 51-50(49)
  • Tania Matthys

    One of the most exciting games of snooker I’ve seen in several years. I’d like to congratulate Mark Selby on his excellent game, but I must give in to the sheer brilliance with which Ronnie O’Sullivan plays the game and stand in awe of some off the moves he makes, I sat in front of my tv with tears in my eyes ! The onely other snooker player who has ever accomplished that was Jimmy White !

    I’d like to congratulate Ronnie again, and wish him all of luck in his future career, but most off all a good health and hapinness for him and his family !


    Tania Matthys.

  • http://www.cuesport.tv Pete Williams

    A great game of snooker – who was it that said the game was dead?

    I had backed Selby from the start and felt he really had enough to beat Ronnie, that middle section of the match where Selby took a 7-5 lead was phenomenal.

    A lot of people, including myself, always say that Ronnie manages to raise his game for the big occasions. This in my opinion is the second biggest occasion in world snooker.

    Great win and futher cements Ronnie’s place amongst the all-time greats.

  • crush

    thanks Matt for your coverage of the tournament. I don’t know who was your preferable hero in the last match and it’s a pro job of you!

  • Phil

    Even better when you realise who he dislikes the most xD

    Selby basically handed it to ROS unfortunately. Far too much Gasquet.