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O'Sullivan reclaims Masters crown

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O'Sullivan revels in Wembley win

Ronnie O'Sullivan won his fourth Masters title with a 10-8 win over defending champion Mark Selby in a thrilling final at Wembley.

Trailing 7-5, O'Sullivan hit back and edged ahead by winning three on the trot with breaks of 69, 70 and 110.

It was only when Selby missed a long pot for a red in the 18th frame that O'Sullivan wrapped up victory.

"I was just trying to compete because Mark is a fantastic player. I'm pleased to come out on top," said O'Sullivan.

"It was always going to be tough. I wasn't getting any rhythm going. For a bit of a game I wasn't getting a run of the balls and I was fighting, but then I found a bit of form.

I'm still not fully comfortable with the cue, but I'm managing to have a heart, be determined and play with the attitude to win

Ronnie O'Sullivan

"I was just pleased to be able to compete towards the end of the final and it was nice to finish it off with decent snooker."

O'Sullivan, playing with a new cue after smashing the one he won the world championship with before his first-round match with Joe Perry, described the victory as his "best achievement in snooker".

"I only had an hour's practice," he said. "I'm still not fully comfortable with the cue, but I'm managing to have a heart, be determined and play with the attitude to win and just try to enjoy my game.

"I would like to be a bit more clinical, but I can't be too hard on myself. That was pretty decent all round."

The players were level at 4-4 after an intriguing opening session which saw O'Sullivan pegged back after being 3-1 ahead.

O'Sullivan hails his 'best achievement'

Indeed, Leicester's Selby looked set to take a 5-3 lead into the evening session, but he missed a tricky red on a break of 53 to allow the world champion to level with a 48 clearance.

O'Sullivan started in excellent form, with breaks of 69 and 88 giving him a 2-0 lead before Selby hit back with an 82 break.

The defending champion snookered himself early in the fourth frame, O'Sullivan taking full advantage with a clearance of 101.

Selby fought back with breaks of 59 and 80, going ahead for the first time in the match after a scrappy seventh frame.

In the evening session, Selby raced into a 7-5 lead with breaks of 93 and 114 but, that advantage was short lived.

O'Sullivan won the next three frames, a sublime 110 break in the 15th being the highlight of a high-quality match.

606: DEBATE
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The world number four was not to be undone and levelled the match with a knock of 76.

Nerves then seemed to get the better of both players as they missed chances on the blue during the 17th frame, but O'Sullivan put himself one frame away from victory with a cool clearance of 18.

With the clock approaching midnight and the tension increasing, both players agreed to referee Jan Verhaas' suggestion of a re-rack in the early stages of what turned out to be the final frame.

Another bout of fruitless safety shots led to another re-rack before O'Sullivan took his chance to claim the title.

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see also
Snooker finds its X Factor
19 Jan 09 |  Snooker
Higgins secures Selby semi-final
15 Jan 09 |  Snooker
Dogged Robertson sees off Hendry
14 Jan 09 |  Snooker
Murphy makes early Masters exit
13 Jan 09 |  Snooker
O'Sullivan wants X Factor glitz
12 Jan 09 |  Snooker
Masters draw
05 Jan 09 |  Snooker
Snooker on the BBC
16 Sep 08 |  Snooker


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