Snooker: O’Sullivan clinches fifth Masters title

Ronnie O'Sullivan celebrates with the trophy watched over by World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn, (right) following his victory over Mark Selby during the 2014 Dafabet Masters at Alexandra Palace, London. Photo: John Walton/PA Wire
Ronnie O'Sullivan celebrates with the trophy watched over by World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn, (right) following his victory over Mark Selby during the 2014 Dafabet Masters at Alexandra Palace, London. Photo: John Walton/PA Wire
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World champion Ronnie O’Sullivan added a fifth Masters title to his resume as he ended Mark Selby’s final hoodoo over him last night.

O’Sullivan is regarded by many as the greatest snooker player of all-time and his trophy cabinet is starting to reflect that, but a failure to get a grip on Selby had been one thing hanging over him. There is a clear contrast in their style and little love is apparently lost either, with O’Sullivan referring to Selby as ‘The Torturer’ in his recent autobiography.

He has good reason to feel that way with Selby having pipped him in three last-frame deciders in finals over recent years, but barring a flicker of a comeback, he resisted that at Alexandra Palace to record a thumping 10-4 win.

“Mark loves coming from behind, you never feel you’re at the winning line,” O’Sullivan said after picking up the £200,000 prize and taking the title Selby won last year off the defending champion. “Ninety-nine per cent of players would give up; he’s made of metal.”

The damage for Selby was done in a catastrophic afternoon session which ended with O’Sullivan 7-1 in front. O’Sullivan had four of those frames in the bag by the mid-session interval, with scores of 97, 70 and 96 going alongside a scrappy fourth.