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Last Updated: Sunday, 21 January 2007, 21:44 GMT
Superb Rocket beats Ding in final
Ronnie O'Sullivan
Magnificent O'Sullivan celebrates his third Masters victory
Ronnie O'Sullivan knocked in four century breaks as he beat Ding Junhui 10-3 to win his third Masters title in front of a raucous Wembley Arena crowd.

O'Sullivan lost the first two frames to the 19-year-old Chinese star but roared back to lead 5-3 at the interval.

The unstoppable Rocket raced through the next four frames to move 9-3 ahead, prompting Ding to offer his hand in resignation before leaving the arena.

Ding, who thought it was a best-of-17 final, returned but O'Sullivan pounced.

O'Sullivan put his arm around a visibly distraught Ding just before the players walked off for the first interval of the session after the teenager offered his hand.

606: DEBATE
BBC Sport's Alex Trickett

The Rocket himself had walked out of his UK Championship quarter-final with Stephen Hendry last month, and spectators and BBC commentators were unsure whether Ding would come back.

The players did return after a 20-minute break but Ding, who seemed particularly upset by remarks from a member of the boisterous crowd, had lost his form and was struggling to hold back the tears.

Thankfully O'Sullivan, with a break of 74, won the first frame after the interval to secure the title and end Ding's misery.

Afterwards, O'Sullivan paid tribute to his opponent and said: "Ding is one of the rarest talents that I have seen.

There is no doubt in my mind that Ding will become a multiple world champion

Ronnie O'Sullivan

"There is no doubt in my mind that he will become a multiple world champion."

Ding, speaking through a translator, he said: "It is very different to events like the China Open because the fans go in groups and I felt very alone here.

"I was a bit annoyed with some of comments because I couldn't concentrate."

Ding had started the final in impressive form and stole a two-frame lead thanks to breaks of 77 and 109.

But O'Sullivan, Masters champion in 1995 and 2005, rolled in breaks of 55, 99, 128 and 101 to power ahead.

Ding Junhai and Ronnie O'Sullivan
Shattered Ding is consoled by O'Sullivan at the final break

Ding managed to stop the rot by potting a wonderful long pink to make it 4-3 but the Englishman's third century, a rapid 116, saw him open a 5-3 lead at the end of the first session.

The two-time world champion's stunning form continued in the evening session with a brilliant 96 break and then a run of 66.

The Chinese player was struggling to keep his game together and O'Sullivan quickly made it 8-3 with another dazzling century break.

His 143 was the second highest of the tournament after Ding's 147 maximum in the wildcard round.

Ding failed to take advantage of a chance in the 12th frame and O'Sullivan got back in to take it with a 49 run and he needed just one more frame for victory.



SEE ALSO
Masters final - frame by frame
21 Jan 07 |  Snooker
The Rocket's return
16 Jan 07 |  Snooker
O'Sullivan to face Ding in final
20 Jan 07 |  Snooker
Ding compiles maximum at Masters
14 Jan 07 |  Snooker


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