Ronnie O Sullivan Wins Record Seventh Masters Crown
Ronnie O' Sullivan beat Joe Perry 10-7 in the final of the Masters to become the first player to take the title seven times.
The Rocket had previous shared the record of six with Stephen Hendry but now stands alone with one more crown, after coming from 4-1 down to win nine of the last 12 frames against under-dog Perry at Alexandra Palace.
O’Sullivan received a cheque for £200,000 and lifted the Paul Hunter Trophy which was named after Hunter for the first time, in memory of the three-time Masters winner who died in 2006.
Chigwell’s O’Sullivan has now won 17 Triple Crown titles in total, with five wins apiece at the World and UK Championships, which is one behind Hendry’s record of 18.
World number 13 O’Sullivan won his first piece of silverware since the Welsh Open last February, having lost in the final of the European Masters, Champion of Champions and UK Championship this season.
In fact he has produced his best snooker only in spells this week – notably in his semi-final win over Marco Fu on Saturday – but, at the age of 41, O’Sullivan remains a formidable force, particularly in London where most of the 2,000-strong crowd gets behind him. This was his 12th Masters final in all and ninth since 2004.
It was also a landmark week for Perry as he reached the final of a Triple Crown event for the first time, albeit one which finished in disappointment as he failed to capitalise on his early dominance. The 42-year-old from Chatteris receives £90,000, his second biggest career pay day after the £100,000 he banked for winning the 2015 Players Championship.
It was 4-4 at the end of the first session then O’Sullivan won a scrappy opening frame tonight to go ahead for the first time. That gave him a momentum boost and he sailed through the next three frames with top breaks of 68, 56 and 85 to lead 8-4.
Perry’s resistance appeared to be fading at that stage, having lost seven frames in a row, but the world number nine found new impetus after the interval and fired runs of 117 and 92 to close to 8-6. And he had a chance early in the next but missed a tricky opening red along the top cushion. O’Sullivan punished him with a superb 112 to get to the brink of victory.
Perry dominated the 16th frame with runs of 39 and 53 to make it 9-7. Frame 17 came down to a safety exchange on the last red. Perry went full-blooded for a pot to a baulk corner but it missed its target and that proved his last shot as O’Sullivan cleared to cross the winning line.