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Sunday, 22 January 2017

Ronnie Secures a Record 7th Masters title

Ronnie O'Sullivan now stands alone as the winningmost player at The Masters,after seeing off Joe Perry 10-7 to lift the title for a record seventh time,but boy did he have to work hard for it.

The finals of recent years have pretty much all been one sided affairs and the vast majority of snooker fans expected the same here,but the clues that this might be a little different were there early on as a nervous looking Ronnie threw in a few uncharacteristic misses and Perry punished him to take a 3-1 lead to the interval

That was to become 4-1 and really should have gone 5-1 in the next,but a missed red from Perry gave Ronnie the chance to nick it & he went on to somehow escape from an afternoon where he had a high break of 58 level at 4-4.

Into the night and still not firing on all cylinders Ronnie started to pull away,taking the first four to lead 8-4,but back came Perry with inch perfect runs of 117 & 92. to close to 8-6.

Ronnie responded with a 112 of his own to move to the brink at 9-6 & although Perry narrowed the gap to 9-7,Ronnie won a battle on the last red in the next to clear to the pink and much to his relief get over the line 10-7

If ever it was evident just what working with Dr Steve Peters has done for Ronnie,then it was today, as struggling yet again with tip problems,perhaps also a little with huge expectations and against an opponent who looked set punish any mistake,he managed to keep,a dare I say Selbyesque, level of professionalism to seal the win.

We have been so used over the years to seeing Ronnie  steamroller his way to titles,it was actually nice to see him apply himself to the task with such determination.

For far to long the sadness of Ronnie was that he didn't seem capable of getting the same level of enjoyment from playing the game that we got from watching him.That seems to have changed now,as possibly with the knowledge that his best days are not going to last forever,he is now relishing every challenge.

It would of course be remiss of me not to mention Joe Perry who has had another fabulous week and,but for a few missed chances could have pulled off one of the sports biggest shocks here today.Hopefully he can bring this form forward to claim another title somewhere soon.He's too good not to have won more in the game.

Finally though what about our record breaking champion?I have never been one of those people who believes that Ronnie has to break Stephen Hendrys world championship record in order to be considered the greatest ever.He is the best snooker we have or probably will ever see and that  for me is beyond argument.That said though I do think anytime one of Hendry's records is broken it is worth marking and  those of us who have witnessed this,will be waiting a long time to see it bettered. 

Well done snookers true Master Ronnie O'Sullivan.

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