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Thursday, July 25, 2024


A good friend of mine introduced his eight-year-old son to the Masters on Saturday afternoon for the primary time – and I’ll in all probability have to inform him on the college run subsequent week it isn’t at all times that good.

Managing expectations is one thing Ronnie O’Sullivan has needed to do all his life as an adoring public, particularly on the Masters on his house patch, flip up anticipating miracles.

However towards Marco Fu they obtained one, or at the very least a near-one, because the Rocket was compelled to desert a broken tip trailing 2-1 however after having a brand new one fastened by off-duty referee Paul Collier shrugged off the numerous setback with outrageous ease.

Fu was tipped by many to assert a primary win over O’Sullivan for eight years, having proven glorious type each in profitable the Scottish Open and beating Judd Trump and Mark Allen at Alexandra Palace.

However the 39-year-old from Hong Kong, regardless of topping his personal tournament-high break with a run of 141 that would but be price one other £10,000 comfort, was blown away.

The brand new tip on O’Sullivan’s cue didn’t cease him rattling in lengthy reds for enjoyable, or making breaks of 95, 122, 55, 63, 82 and a closing 69 in a 6-4 victory to succeed in a twelfth Masters remaining.

And that retains him on observe for a report seventh title to ease him away from Stephen Hendry, who shares his mark of six.

You knew from early on there could be a pleasant story angle on this match, with the tip disaster and likewise Fu’s face lighting up as his four-year-old daughter Alicia Belle was carried to his chair with the rating at 1-1 and O’Sullivan taking a bathroom break. He was impressed to make a 110 break within the subsequent body.

However in addition to the O’Sullivan brilliance he unloaded on a few the help forged on Saturday. Referee Terry Camilleri and O’Sullivan don’t benefit from the best of relationships, with the Rocket having criticised the Maltese official previously for getting in his method and changing balls too slowly.

On Saturday he cranked that criticism up a notch, providing the opinion that Camilleri was less than taking cost of main matches within the latter phases of the largest tournaments.

World Snooker strongly backed their man, however Camilleri wasn’t the one one in O’Sullivan’s sights as afterwards he additionally launched verbal volley at a photographer who he claimed was not observing area etiquette and placing him off.

However he ought to have been grateful to a different of the photographers’ posse, who lent him a lighter that was on his desk from 2-2 to burn away unfastened strands on the brand new tip.

Most high gamers would desire a good few days, even per week to mattress in a brand new tip. However O’Sullivan is the person that after received the Masters having picked a brand new cue the Saturday earlier than, and he made it look ridiculously straightforward.

Skilled O’Sullivan watchers can simply inform when the participant himself thinks he has performed effectively, and he confirmed actual emotion in punching the air on the finish, and was buzzing in TV studio interviews with the BBC and Eurosport.

nd this was a solution to the prayers he stated he would provide as much as each God on the market after a below-par exhibiting towards Neil Robertson.

He stated: “That must be the best match I’ve received within the circumstances, towards a terrific participant in very good type and with the brand new tip. Actually, certainly one of my biggest wins.

“I had been attempting to steam the tip with a kettle beforehand, it had gone. And I used to be mis-cueing on the market, it sounded all improper chalking it.

“There was no danger altering it, I couldn’t have received that match towards Marco with the broken one. He was enjoying too effectively and scoring too closely.

“And I used to be fortunate the brand new one was first rate. These round me have been saying ‘What are you doing’ however it’s a must to make instinctive selections. Possibly I’m not a foul participant!”

Fu was left to say: “Each credit score to the best participant within the recreation at present, enjoying with a brand new tip could be tough.”


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