Ronnie O'Sullivan battled from 1-4 to beat Stephen Maguire by 9 frames to 7 and lift the PartyPoker.net German Masters trophy, and with it snooker's first ranking tournament of 2012.
O'Sullivan clinched his 23rd ranking tournament win by overcoming an opponent who was in superb form in the afternoon session. O'Sullivan won the first frame of the tournament with a century break (111) but then had to sit out an onslaught by Maguire as the Scot compiled three consecutive century breaks. World Snooker
, the promoters of the event, described Maguire's start to the final as "sensational". The entire match was of a very high standard with 13 breaks over 50 in the 16 frames.
The BBC match report
notes that Maguire's contributions were breaks of 130, 106 and 128, which took him into a 3 frames to 1 lead. Maguire then proceeded to extend his lead to 4-1 by taking the fifth frame by 73 points to 58. Before O'Sullivan won two of the final three frames of the afternoon session to reduce his arrears
to 3-5, clinching the last frame of the afternoon with a 75 break.
In the evening session the run of play was different. Not quite matching the afternoon session for its quality, O'Sullivan nevertheless imposed himself on the match. Although Maguire clinched the opening game in which O'Sullivan failed to pot a ball, with a break of 69 to move 6-3 ahead, O'Sullivan raced through the next five frames to lead 8-6. This impressive burst included a break of 96. Maguire then pulled one frame behind with a run of 75.
In what proved to be final frame, the pace of play slowed down and both players became tense. As the frame moved onto the final red both players missed chances. O'Sullivan took it but could not complete a clearance and, after a few colours changed hands, Maguire obtained a snooker on the blue but then failed at a length-of-the-table pot into a baulk pocket. O'Sullivan ceased the lifeline and potted the blue and pink for the match, 9-7.
This was Ronnie O'Sullivan's fourteenth victory over Maguire in eighteen major meetings. In winning the tournament O'Sullivan picked up a first prize is euro 50,000 ($65,000). The final was refereed by Michaela Tabb.
To reach the final, the Sporting Life
recounts that Maguire demolished former world champion Shaun Murphy 6-0. O'Sullivan, three times world champion, had a tougher game and came through against Stephen Lee 6-4.
Ronnie O'Sullivan is arguably the most talented player that snooker has produced. Although he won the Premier League
title a few weeks ago (where he overpowered Ding Junhui 7-1), this was his first ranking tournament victory since the 2009 Shanghai Masters. Prior to the final, O'Sullivan revealed to ESPN
that he is suffering from glandular fever.
The frame scores at this stage of the match were:
11–26 (111), 0–130 (130), 8-106 (106), 5-132 (128), 58–73 (O'Sullivan 58), 63–8, 20–69 (55), 75–24 (75), 0-115 (69), 96-40 (96), 78-0 (54), 68-59 (Maguire 52), 94–37 (67), 75–31, 43–75 (75), 66–41