European Masters 2016 – Day 6 – Semi Finals

So yesterday, we expected two close semi finals, and we got two one-sided masterclasses:

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The report by Worldsnooker:

Saturday 8 Oct 2016 03:05PM

j2Judd Trump reached the final of the European Masters in Romania with a 6-2 defeat of Mark Selby.

Trump will face Ronnie O’Sullivan or Neil Robertson on Sunday for the trophy and 75,000 Euro top prize. Victory would give him the sixth world ranking title of his career and second of the year having won the China Open in April.

Bristol’s 27-year-old Trump made a blistering start today as breaks of 135 and 72 gave him the first two frames. He made a 56 in the next but Selby hit back to win it by potting pink and black. World Champion Selby then led 30-0 in the next, but Trump’s run of 66 helped him go 3-1 ahead at the interval.

He extended his lead to 4-1 with breaks of 58 and 27, then Selby snatched the next by clearing from yellow to pink. But the world number one’s hopes of a fight back soon ended as Trump made 70 to go 5-2 ahead then got the better of a scrappy eighth frame, potting blue and pink to book his 11th ranking event final appearance.

“I scored well as I have done all week,” said Trump. “I’m not making any silly mistakes or missing anything easy. That puts your opponent on the back foot and puts pressure on them. Mark won a big frame to go 2-1 and there were a couple of times where I could have got a bit down on myself but I managed to stick in there.jtms

“I never used to enjoy the tactical frames but now I enjoy the challenge and I feel I can compete against Mark, who has taken over from John Higgins as the best safety player.  If I can win an equal share of those frames, I think my break building is just as good if not better, so that will always give me a chance.

“This run has come from nowhere because I wasn’t in good form at all, but since I got my new cue my game clicked. Beating Ben Woollaston in my first match here gave me a lot of confidence. To win this tournament would be a great achievement as I’ve beaten Higgins and Selby and now I have to beat O’Sullivan or Robertson.”

The match if you haven’t seen it, or want to watch it again:

And Judds’s press conference after the match:

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The report by Worldsnooker:

Saturday 8 Oct 2016 07:58PM

Ronnie O’Sullivan produced a virtuoso performance in his last four match with Neil Robertson, winning 6-0 to reach the European Masters final in Bucharest.

ronnie-1Victory on Sunday would give O’Sullivan the 29th ranking title of his career which would put him ahead of John Higgins and Steve Davis on the all-time list, behind only Stephen Hendry who has 36.

In what was a star studded Saturday line up at the Circul Globus, Judd Trump defeated Mark Selby in the afternoon match to clinch the first place in tomorrow’s final.

The evening game between world number seven Robertson and the five-time World Champion O’Sullivan promised to be a tight encounter. Instead what was produced was a dominant masterclass from the Rocket.

O’Sullivan came out of the traps quickly with two magnificent 118 and 79 breaks, to go 2-0 ahead.

Robertson’s performance was hallmarked by some uncharacteristic misses and a few unlucky rolls of the ball.

In a tight third frame, which the Australian looked likely to snatch, he jawed a relatively straightforward green to the middle which left O’Sullivan with a chance from middle range. He swallowed it up and cleared to deliver a hammer blow and take the frame on the black.

The 40-year-old O’Sullivan was equally ruthless in the following frame. He made an effortless contribution of 92 after Robertson had missed when among the reds and went into the mid-session interval 4-0 up.

When the players returned, the Rocket was at his opportunistic best once more. After making the opening red, Robertson smashed the pack open from the blue, only to sink a red and hand O’Sullivan a return to the table. He took advantage and made 63 to rack up his fifth frame in a row.

It wasn’t long before the game was over, another sublime run of 96 from O’Sullivan saw him progress with a 6-0 win in just under one and a quarter hours.

“For me to get a result like that against Neil is quite amazing,” said O’Sullivan. “I feel a bit more into the match zone. Even if I’m not playing well, I still feel I can compete and not get totally thrown out of the match. I feel a bit sharper in that way but there’s still a long way to go.

“I’ve started practising a lot more with Judd. I think he’s got the talent to probably not dominate snooker, but to be the best in the world.  He’s got age on his side. If me and him can practise a bit more he’ll definitely benefit from that.

“I’m 40 now and I’m just enjoying every tournament and every year I get. I’ve maybe got three or four years competing. I’m not saying I’ll be the best player in the world, but I still think I can nick a few tournaments.”

The match if you haven’t seen it, or want to watch it again:

And Ronnie’s press conference after the match:

All detailed results are on Cuetracker as always.

Official match photography from the European Masters in Bucharest. All photos by Lewis Ward

So today this is what we get, a match between two practice partners … and the decider of the Eleven30 series as both managers bantered about?

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But today of course, we will remember this man, who left us far too young exactly ten years ago and there is not more fitting tribute, nor a better way to celebrate Paul Hunter’s life and passion, than to honour him with a great match here in Bucharest.

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