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Monday, 22 February 2016

Welsh Open,A Ronnie Masterclass

Ronnie O'Sullivan last night produced a stunning fightback to claim a fourth Welsh Open title with a 9-5 victory over Neil Robertson.

This was a final match up most snooker fans had been waiting for,with Robertsons performances in the Champion of Champions & UK Championship putting him forward as perhaps the one payer around who could challenge "the Rocket".

There seemed to be some validity to these claims as he opened up early leads of 3-1 & 5-2,but Ronnie took a vital last frame of the afternoon session to go into the evening just two behind at 5-3.

Into the night then and it was Robertson who got in first again,but when he failed to make the most of his chance in the opening frame,Ronnie capitalized and that was to be that,with O'Sullivan finding his groove again and the normally unflappable Robertson wilting a little under the pressure..All this meant was,what had looked like been a thrilling night turned into a procession as Ronnie went through the gears to secure the title.

Where exactly do you even start summing up how well Ronnie played this week? From the very first match,with all its "146" controversy,he just looked in complete control around the table.This was as close to snooker perfection as we are ever likely to see.

Last year at this event Ronnie was not a happy bunny,dismissing the venue as been like "playing in a shopping centre",but this week he just exuded confidence and calmness and really never looked in danger.

As for the tournament as a whole,it was really great week.I'm still not a fan of the best of 7's for the early rounds and some of the scheduling towards the end of the week seemed to have little logic to them,but in terms of the action we saw it was arguably the tournament of the season so far.In the end we even had our  147 as Ding produced the moment of magic in his quarter final against Robertson.Ultimately he lost the match,but after a tough season for the Chinese superstar,this may be the lift he needs to get back on track.

He though,like the others will have to find something special if they are to compete with Ronnie the way he's the moment.Last month he won a sixth Masters title without ever really been near his best,but here was practically unplayable.This may be the last time we see him before the  Crucible, if he doesn't take his place in the World Grand Prix,that this win qualified him for,but wherever it is lines up next he will start a a warm favourite and playing like this will take all the beating.

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