The final of snooker's Masters tournament will be a battle between two former world champions: Neil Robertson (Australia) and Shaun Murphy (England) as both players battled through tough semi-finals at London's Alexander Palace.
As the BBC reports
, Robertson beat the talented Judd Trump (the UK champion
) by 6 frames to 3. In the match Robertson made a century break (of 100) and also had runs of 89 and 69. Trump's best break was 95, which he made in coming from 1-5 down to pull back to 3-5, before Robertson clinched the ninth frame by a score of 74-24.
As the site maximum snooker
notes, in the other semi, Murphy held off a challenge from the current world champion John Higgins, where the match looked like going to a deciding frame, by clinching the match by 6 frames to 4. Murphy was in good form and made three century breaks: 101, 122 and 100. Higgins' best break was a 72 in the ninth frame.
is widely considered to be snooker's third most important tournament, after the World and UK Championships. The tournament, first won by John Spencer, has been staged since 1975. Unlike most snooker tournaments, which carry world ranking points and are open to all main tour professionals, the Master's field is limited to the 16 highest ranked players in the world. Over the years each of the sport's top players have won the Masters, including Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry, Alex Higgins, Jimmy White and Ronnie O'Sullivan. Canada's Cliff Thorburn won the event on three occasions.
This year's final offers £150,000 ($233,000) to the winner and £75,000 ($117,000) for the runner-up. The total prize money this year was £500,000 ($779,000). Neither Robertson or Murphy have won the prestigious tournament before thus ensuring that a new name will be inscribed onto the trophy. The two players clashed recently in the UK snooker semi-final
, win Murphy winning 9-7.
Given the form that both players displayed in their semi-finals, the final, contested over nineteen frames, should be a fascinating affair.