is snooker’s showcase tournament. Established in 1975, it is an invitational tournament, open only to the top sixteen ranked players in the world. This year’s final saw Joe Perry
take on Ronnie O’Sullivan
To reach the final in London, Perry beat former world champion Stuart Bingham comfortably, 6 frames to 1. This was followed by wins over Ding Junhui 6-1 and Barry Hawkins 6-5. The Hawkins match proved to a tremendous battle. Perry was 2-5 down and in the next frame Hawkins potted the match ball; however, Perry obtained the snooker he needed and a free ball, and went onto to steal the frame. In the decider Hawkins was 50-0, he missed a vital ball and Perry won the match with a clearance of 70.
O’Sullivan also had a tough route to the final. He edged past Chinese player Liang Wenbo 6-5 after Wenbo had a great opportunity to win 6-4. O’Sullivan then beat former world champion Neil Robertson 6-3 and Marco Fu 6-4. Fu made highest break of the tournament, 141, in this match.
The final, refereed by Paul Collier, was a see-saw match. O’Sullivan, who was the overwhelming favorite with the bookmakers, started slowly. O’Sullivan’s hesitant start, where he missed a few long balls, was not helped by some fine cueing from England’s Perry.
Joe Perry began with breaks of 72 and 53 to lead 2-0. O’Sullivan, with a solid 58 break took the next frame, before Perry moved 3-1 ahead at the mid-session interval thanks to another big break, this time 74.
Perry then moved 4-1 up with a well-executed break of 115. A 5-1 score line looked likely until Perry missed a relatively straightforward red into the left-hand top pocket. This gave O’Sullivan a lifeline and he cleared to the pink to pull back to 2-4.
Another close frame followed which O’Sullivan clinched. He then added a quick-fire break of 55 to draw level at 4-4 at the end of the opening session.
In the evening it was a more assured O’Sullivan who stepped out into the arena and he won the opening four frames, making it seven frames in succession. This run was aided by breaks of 85, 68 and 56.
Following the mid-session break Perry emerged stronger and he produced his best spell of the match, compiling breaks of 117 and 92. Not to be out done by Perry’s break-building O’Sullivan made his first (and only) century of the match, a 112.
Perry won the next frame easily, helped by breaks of 39 and 53 and keeping O’Sullivan down to one point. However, in an edgy seventeenth frame O’Sullivan potted the last red and cleared the colors to win the frame and the match.
The frame scores were (O’Sullivan first):
24-79 (72), 16-101 (53), 86-27 (58), 31-90 (74), 0-115 (115), 67-40, 61-21, 81-23 (55)
51-14, 124-4 (56,68), 67-12, 108-15 (85), 1-117 (117), 1-92 (92), 130-0 (112), 1-106 (53), 56-39
On clinching the match O’Sullivan won an historic seventh Masters championship. O'Sullivan claimed the newly named Paul Hunter trophy - in honor of the three-time champion who died of cancer aged 27 in 2006. The first prize was £200,000 ($250,000).
O’Sullivan’s win ended a run of disappointing defeats in major finals this season.