Post a reply

The Seventh Masters - Fillip for one last Snooker ambition?

Postby PLtheRef

The 2017 Masters triumph of Ronnie O'Sullivan, as distant as it may have seemed when Liang Wenbo settled down to sink in theory a straight forward black for a 6-4 first round victory last Sunday changed the pecking order of one of snooker's triple crown for the first time in almost eighteen years.

As modest as O'Sullivan may have been in his pleasure at defending the title and picking up the trophy which carries the name of the last player to achieve this, the late Paul Hunter, fifteen years ago, there'll be no doubt that inwardly he will be delighted to have won a seventh Masters title to eclipse the record of Stephen Hendry which had held and progressively increased since eclipsing the record of Cliff Thorburn eighteen days shy of a quarter of a century ago.

The question remains now that will this success be a springboard to one final ambition in snooker, that is to go on and eventually eclipse the one record which was Hendry's final ambition - an eighth World Championship title?

Ronnie's recent Triple Crown Record is as impressive as any major record in sport, In the past five years, he has won six triple crown events, and has been the runner-up in two others - both being thwarted by Mark Selby. The success has been shared around - Three Masters titles, two Crucible triumphs as well as a UK Championship win in 2014. That is not to say his record could have been improved - he was defeated by players in the 2015 and 2016 World Championships he would have started favourite against, indeed both had relatively fresh memories of pastings by O'Sullivan within the last couple of years - and in the case of Hawkins just a few months - although both produced terrific performances to knock O'Sullivan out.

Will the seventh Masters title prove the springboard? It remains to be seen. He seems more comfortable in the matches over one session i.e. the best of 11 frame contests with the odd best of 19 frame final thrown in. If that remains the case, an eighth World title seems unlikely. (I always said back in 2014 he would finish on five) - But should a sixth arrive on May 1st - we could possibly see Hendry's main record, under serious threat.

Thoughts?

Re: The Seventh Masters - Fillip for one last Snooker ambiti

Postby TheRocket

I can't see him winning more than one World title. 5 or 6 will be his final number.

You summed it up quite well there. The Masters with its shorter format has always suited him more than the World Championship. I can even see him winning it in his late 40's.

But the World Championship is a totally different calibre.

And its just a matter of fact, that especially now, at this stage of his career and at the age of 41 the long format in the World Championship is just a killer. Every single session feels like a new match.

And I feel that Ronnie is much more vulnerable of having really really bad days or sessions nowadays and he can miss so many balls.

The first session of the UK Championship final was just a prime example. That would cost him dearly in the World Championship against a good opponent.

And unlike in the past he isn't capable of playing his very best game consistently now. So it will be really tough for him once his opponent is 2 or 3 frames ahead.

I think, if he wants to get to six, it has to happen this year or next year at the latest. Otherwise it could be too late.

Re: The Seventh Masters - Fillip for one last Snooker ambiti

Postby Andre147

I actually disagree that the longer the format nowdays, the more likely Ronnie is to produce ore mistakes. If Ronnie was playing a 3 session match at the Crucible against Selby and had a start like he did in the 1st at the UK Final, in the 2nd session he would have been right back in the match.

He would have been 9-7 down heading into the 3rd and final session, and 9-7 down is definately recoverable.

I think the longer formats will suit his game more now purely because he can "allow" himself to have one bad session. This isn't to say it wouldn't cost him, of course it would, against the top players mostly.

What I'm trying to say is Ronnie is more accepting of his mistakes nowdays than he has ever been, and his temperament is as good as it's ever been. Sure, his Snooker isn't as good as it was 3 or 4 years ago, but the Crucible wil suit his game even if he isn't firing on all cylinders.

His main problem is how long the World Champs is, he hates the waiting around between matches and sessions, and that hinders is overall game, even when he's won the title. The only World Champs he's won playing great from start to finish was the 2012 one. He was superb in the whole 2 weeks.

If he can cut some of his missed sitters in recent times, even if some still creep in his game, then Selby and Ronnie surely are the 2 main contenders for the World Title.

Re: The Seventh Masters - Fillip for one last Snooker ambiti

Postby KrazeeEyezKilla

PLtheRef wrote:Ronnie's recent Triple Crown Record is as impressive as any major record in sport, In the past five years, he has won six triple crown events, and has been the runner-up in two others - both being thwarted by Mark Selby. The success has been shared around - Three Masters titles, two Crucible triumphs as well as a UK Championship win in 2014. That is not to say his record could have been improved - he was defeated by players in the 2015 and 2016 World Championships he would have started favourite against, indeed both had relatively fresh memories of pastings by O'Sullivan within the last couple of years - and in the case of Hawkins just a few months - although both produced terrific performances to knock O'Sullivan out.


Never though of this but Ronnie has now won six of his last twelve Triple Crown events which is incredible considering how open Snooker is perceived to be now. Out of the 16 events held since the start of 2012 14 of them have gone to either O'Sullivan, Selby or Robertson which shows in the biggest tournaments those are ahead of the rest. Of course other players have beaten them in big events, particularly Hawkins.

What draw he gets would be important. Avoiding any dangerous opponents or someone who could peak against him would give him a passage to the one table stage.and at that point he could get a Selby where he'd be underdog or he could get the kind of line up that Selby himself got last year where he would be strong favourite. Right now he'd want to improve his ranking as he's in the spot that could lead to a second round match with Higgins or Trump.

Re: The Seventh Masters - Fillip for one last Snooker ambiti

Postby The Herminator

I think he could get one more but like you say will need some help with the draw and other results. He'll also need a bit of luck when he has some of his wobbles that will inevitably come along. The dominating periods of Davis and Hendry made it look like the WSC was pretty easy to win but the short list of multiple winners tells you that it's actually pretty damn hard!

I'm happy with what Ronnie has achieved but if I was to have my shopping list before he retires it would be 1 more WC, 1000 career centuries, most ranking title wins and 1 more 147 as a little bonus. Is that too much to ask?! I do have a prediction that Ronnie will disappear for 3 years and then suddenly turn up for the WSC playing vintage snooker, cruising to the final...and then getting beat by some young whipper snapper.

Re: The Seventh Masters - Fillip for one last Snooker ambiti

Postby Cheshire Cat

You'd have to say, barring the S/F with Marco Fu, O'Sullivan was Selby-esque in winning the Masters this year. Looked down and out once or twice, but if you can't be clinical and finish him off, he's going to punish you, even if that means scrapping out the victory. Some of the safety play against Joe Perry in the second session was sublime, particularly the opening frame.

Mark Selby is a master of coming back from the brink. I find it to be such an admirable trait in a snooker player, it's probably one of the reasons i've warmed up to Ronnie more this season. His desire to win even when he isn't playing well is the strongest i've ever seen it. A Selby, or a Higgins, or a Trump playing well can still beat him, I don't think Ronnie can just scrap his way past them, but at least you know he's not just going to implode anymore at the first sign of a mistake or playing under par like the Ronnie of old.

Re: The Seventh Masters - Fillip for one last Snooker ambiti

Postby Andre147

Yes amazing Ronnie won 6 of the last 12 TC events he's competed in!

Selby Ronnie and Robbo are a cut above the rest in what concerns those Big 3 events. Robbo, despite not playing well this season, I think will have a deep run in Sheffield, been sating this for a while now...

Hopefully Ronnie's game will come together and he can win a 6th Worlds this season, he's never won The Masters and Worlds on the same season, this could be the one, I'm hoping.

Re: The Seventh Masters - Fillip for one last Snooker ambiti

Postby Andre147

Plus I agree the way he won the Masters was very Selby esque, he only played one good match against Fu, the other 3 he really had to dig deep to carve a win, just like Selby so often does.

Re: The Seventh Masters - Fillip for one last Snooker ambiti

Postby Andy Spark

snookerguy wrote:I find it hilarious that the man who used to pan Selby now plays like Selby.
He confirmed in the after match interview for Eurosport that he's still cueing very well, it was just a problem with his tip.

So occasionally, for whatever reason, Ronnie is forced to play like Selby to win tournaments; here he's proved he can! The problem for Selby is that when he needs to play like Ronnie to win tournaments...he can't.

Re: The Seventh Masters - Fillip for one last Snooker ambiti

Postby Andre147

Andy Spark wrote:
snookerguy wrote:I find it hilarious that the man who used to pan Selby now plays like Selby.
He confirmed in the after match interview for Eurosport that he's still cueing very well, it was just a problem with his tip.

So occasionally, for whatever reason, Ronnie is forced to play like Selby to win tournaments; here he's proved he can! The problem for Selby is that when he needs to play like Ronnie to win tournaments...he can't.


And what makes you think Selby cares about playing care Ronnie?

He cant play like him, nor does he need to. His style is good enough to win him any title he wants.

Re: The Seventh Masters - Fillip for one last Snooker ambiti

Postby Andre147

TheSaviour wrote:There were everything.
At the same time there were nothing but there were everything!
Beat that!


There was everything.

At the same time there was nothing, then there was everything, but nothing in between, only to be filled with everything.
I beat you! :wave:

Re: The Seventh Masters - Fillip for one last Snooker ambiti

Postby PLtheRef

Andre147 wrote:I actually disagree that the longer the format nowdays, the more likely Ronnie is to produce ore mistakes. If Ronnie was playing a 3 session match at the Crucible against Selby and had a start like he did in the 1st at the UK Final, in the 2nd session he would have been right back in the match.

He would have been 9-7 down heading into the 3rd and final session, and 9-7 down is definately recoverable.

I think the longer formats will suit his game more now purely because he can "allow" himself to have one bad session. This isn't to say it wouldn't cost him, of course it would, against the top players mostly.

What I'm trying to say is Ronnie is more accepting of his mistakes nowdays than he has ever been, and his temperament is as good as it's ever been. Sure, his Snooker isn't as good as it was 3 or 4 years ago, but the Crucible wil suit his game even if he isn't firing on all cylinders.

His main problem is how long the World Champs is, he hates the waiting around between matches and sessions, and that hinders is overall game, even when he's won the title. The only World Champs he's won playing great from start to finish was the 2012 one. He was superb in the whole 2 weeks.

If he can cut some of his missed sitters in recent times, even if some still creep in his game, then Selby and Ronnie surely are the 2 main contenders for the World Title.


Ronnie's recent match wins in the World Championship have either been by big margins I.e. Beating Murphy and Hawkins by sessions to spare but it seems more recently that unless he has that impregnable lead that he's vulnerable to recoveries much more. (The obvious I know)

The last really close match he won at the Crucible came against an opponent - no disrespect, who he would've been expected to beat by a more comfortable margin. Would that have been a victory had it been against a player more experienced in beating him?

Re: The Seventh Masters - Fillip for one last Snooker ambiti

Postby Andre147

We will never know if he hadn't faced Perry in that round that he won 13-11 but instead a top player, we could never know if he would lose it... he might have raised his game, or he might have lost.

The last close match he won at the Crucible playing a top player and playing superb was the 2012 Quarters v Robbo. His Final in 2013, despite not being so close, he had to play his very best to beat Beast mode Barry. Knocking in 6 tons and other big breaks, that was one of his best match performances in my view.