Fifth Masters Title For Dominant O’Sullivan


Congratulations to Ronnie O’Sullivan, who has tonight defeated Mark Selby 10-4, to capture the Masters title for the fifth time in his career and with it a top prize of £200,000.

  • Click here to view all of the results from the Masters this week

You can read my frame by frame blog from today’s final here, but the short version is that the outcome was rarely in doubt from the opening frame, the tone being set for much of the match as an on-fire O’Sullivan seized upon an edgy start from Selby.

Prior to the start of the match, expectations were that this would be a close final and with Selby’s track record against O’Sullivan I expressed the view that the defending world champion was one of the few players with the belief to match him today.

From the off however, evidence of that belief was in short-supply, Selby missing his first three attempts at long pots by some distance, before O’Sullivan stepped in with a near flawless run of 97.

Try as he might, the next few frames would follow a similar pattern, an edginess from Selby, met by brilliance from O’Sullivan and that was only ever going to end one way. Selby, to his credit, never gave up, even at 8-1 down, he never let his professionalism drop and by the end looked to have settled into the match, but it was too little, too late and O’Sullivan secured victory in the 14th frame.

Having won the World Championship for the past two years, playing a relatively sparse schedule of events, when talking about who is the best player in the world, it has become easy to almost forget O’Sullivan, with so many events staged in his absence. On the big stage, with the pressure at its highest however, he has again reminded everybody as to just how good he is this week, not just today but of course in particular against Ricky Walden on Friday.ROS3

In truth I did not think that he was at his best against Robert Milkins or Stephen Maguire earlier in the week, indeed he probably wasn’t during the second half of today’s final, but such is his presence and his standard even when not at his best, is that he was still far too good for everyone else at the Alexandra Palace. It felt very much like his opponents were beaten during the tournament before their matches had even started.

As for Selby, disappointment will be inevitable following a loss in a second major final in as many months, but during this week we have seen both his trademark fighting spirit in winning two deciders, as well as examples of his very best, as he easily overcame Shaun Murphy in the semi-finals. He might not have settled until it was far too late against O’Sullivan today, but he will surely remain a threat to complete a career triple crown at the World Championship this May.

The tournament as a whole was an interesting one, in that Ronnie aside it was not the best in terms of quality, but it more than made up for that in drama, with no fewer than five matches ending in a final frame decider.

The non-ranking event snooker now continues with the Championship League and the Shoot Out this week, before the ranking events resume with the German Masters at the end of the month.