Mark Selby is the 2015 German Masters champion after coming from 5-2 down to beat Shaun Murphy 9-7 in front of capacity crowd at the Tempodrom in Berlin.
This was the first ranking title of the season for Selby and marked a timely return to the form that saw him battle his way to that first world title last May.
For Murphy its brought an end to the remarkable run he has enjoyed so far in 2015,but he wont be too disappointed by another fine week that saw him come through some real battles and finally lay his "Ronnie" ghost to rest.
The match itself was a real topsy-turvy affair with Selby taking a 2-1 lead before Murphy started to show the form that had brought him such great success of late to move into a 5-2 lead.He was also looking good in the next,but Selby managed to nick it to finish the afternoon session just the two behind at 5-3.
Into the night and the importance of that last frame began to show its signifigance as Selby quickly got into stride,taking the first two to level at 5-5 & then the next two to make go 7-5 ahead.
In each of his previous three matches here this week Murphy had gone through a four frame losing sequence only to rally to victory and it looked as though that may be happening here again as on the resumption of play following the interval.he took the next two to make it 7-7.
The 15th frame was a lengthy affair,but it eventually went to Selby and he made the most of his chances in the next to claim a 9-7 victory.
This was a win that looked unlikely early in the week when a tired Selby arrived in \Germany on the eve of the event having competed in a Pool tournament in China which only concluded on Monday. The wisdom of a world champion,struggling for form heading to China to play Pool a week before a big tournament was something I questioned openly during the week and had he lost that opening match decider against McGill such criticism may well have been justified.
This though is Mark Selby and as we have seen so often in the past,he has deep reserves of stamina and determination of the like we have rarely seen before.Added to that now the confidence a win like this brings and he will be hard to beat wherever he plays over the next few months ,building towards World title defence in April.
As for the tournament itself,well what can you say about an event that is so enthusiastically and respectfully greeted by the home fans.Anyone watching tonight could only have got goosebumps listening to the reception the players got entering this massive arena.If there is one minor flaw it is that we only have one tv table and so the viewers at home missed out on some great matches on the outer tables.I'm not sure if this is something that can be rectified in the future or what can be changed ,but maybe the only way to do is to stretch out into another day and thus get down to the one table for the quarter finals on..
Finally I must say a word about the Eurosport coverage. The channel has been a real Godsend for snooker fans now for many years with their continued loyalty to the sport and this week they decided to take that to the next level with a studio panel to discuss the matches. The panel itself consisted of the excellent Neal Foulds as well as Jimmy White & occasionally when available Ronnie O'Sullivan.These three were all excellent,but sadly for me,their good work was overshadowed by the poor choice of presenter in Colin Murray.
Murray has been on our screens in various guises now for a number of years and is one of these modern "Adrian Chiles" type presenters that modern tv producers seem to love.I have to say I found his chumsy old pals act cringeworthy at times and I don't think that it is suited to our game.This a real pity because as I said the others were all excellent.
Anyway this is only my opinion and I'm sure many would disagree.As for the snooker roadshow it rolls on this week with the conclusion of the Championship League & next weekend the start of the Welsh Open.