‘Lucky’ Ronnie O’Sullivan claims record seventh Masters title after win over Joe Perry
Snooker great wins a record seventh Masters title at London’s Alexandra Palace
Snooker great Ronnie O’Sullivan won a record seventh Masters title after beating Joe Perry 10-7 in an all-English final at London’s Alexandra Palace on Sunday.
Victory saw O’Sullivan surpass the record of six Masters titles he had shared previously with Stephen Hendry.
O’Sullivan, a five-time world champion, may have been both the fans’ and the bookmakers’ favourite but the 41-year-old still had to come 4-1 down to defeat Perry.
“Joe played a brilliant tournament, a really good match and he should’ve beaten me, I got lucky – I stole it,” O’Sullivan told the BBC.
“Joe will come again and he is a tough competitor. I’m just relieved to have got over the line. The fans have been unbelievable and I really enjoyed this week.”
As for setting a new Masters record, O’Sullivan added: “It is great to get some records, I still have the World Championship one to get (Hendry holds the modern era record of seven world titles).
“When I was younger I was just happy to win one, so to win seven, someone up there is looking after me,” explained O’Sullivan, nicknamed ‘The Rocket’ because of his attacking style round the table.
Perry, who came from 5-2 down to beat Barry Hawkins, last year’s runner-up, 6-5 in the semi-finals was proud at proving he could still be a force in the game after appearing in his first final of a ‘Triple Crown’ event – the World Championship, the UK Championship and the Masters – at the age of 42.
“I’ve proved a lot, that there is still some life left in me and it has given me the belief to go on and win a big one,” said Perry.
“I got Ronnie on a good day really. At 4-1 up I got a bit carried away and it was not until I was 8-4 down I thought, ‘I’m going for it’.”
O’Sullivan struggled in the early stages before, with Perry starting to miss important points, he ended the afternoon session all square a 4-4 following breaks of 42, 44 and 55.
O’Sullivan started the evening’s play the stronger, winning the session’s first four frames to make it seven in a row in all, including a break of 85 in the 12th.
Perry staunched the flow of frames against him with an impressive break of 117 and then closed to within two thanks to a contribution of 92.
O’Sullivan then moved to within a frame of victory courtesy of a clearance of 112 only to miss a routine black as Perry took the 16th frame.
Perry was 39-0 up in the next but O’Sullivan recovered to seal victory.