Ronnie beat Shaun Murphy by 11-9 to win the Shanghai Masters 2019.
He has now won this title three years in a row, and four times in total.
Those are the frames scores
Ronnie came back from 3-0 down to finish the first session at 5-5. Just as it had been the case all week, his long potting was the weak part in his game, whilst Shaun was potting nearly everything at distance. Ronnie could have been ahead at the intersession but missed the frame ball in frame 9, allowing Shaun to clear and steal it. He did it again in frame 10, but this time, Shaun couldn’t get ideal position on the last yellow, missed it, and Ronnie needed no second invite.
Ronnie O’Sullivan and Shaun Murphy have shared the first ten frames of the Shanghai Masters final to emerge from the opening session locked together at 5-5.
They will return this evening to play the best of 21 encounter to its conclusion. There is a top prize of £200,000 up for grabs, with the runner-up taking home £100,000.
O’Sullivan is competing in the final of this event for the third consecutive year, having won the title in 2017 and 2018. Murphy is aiming for a maiden Shanghai Masters title in his first appearance in the final.
2005 World Champion Murphy got off to just the start he needed when he took the first three frames. He then looked to be in position to add a further frame to his lead, before breaking down on a run of 43. That gave O’Sullivan the chance to establish a foothold in the match. He did just that by making a break of 61 to get his first frame on the board at 3-1.
The Rocket won an additional three frames on the bounce to turn the match on its head and lead 4-3.
From that point both players started to miss more balls as the tension grew. Murphy levelled with a break of 61, before dramatically retaking the lead at 5-4 on the final black.
The Magician then had the first opportunity in the session’s concluding frame. However, he missed and allowed O’Sullivan to take it and head into this evening level at 5-5.
Shanghai Masters 2019 – The Final – session 1
And some great images taken by Tai Chegzhe during the first session. Thanks Tai!
There was nothing between the players at the start of the second session and they found themselves locked at 7-7 at the MSI. At the resumption, Ronnie started to take the upper hand, he won three frames in a row to go 10-7 up, only to see Shaun peggingg him back to 10-9, with two big breaks. Really it was punch and counter-punch all along. Crucially though, Ronnie managed to take advantage of his opponent last error with a break of 86 and secured the title … on the same score as last year.
It wasnt perfect snooker from either, they both made mistakes, but they both played positively and attacked. Both played a lot of fantastic shots and constructed great break. As Dave Hendon put it, both were playing to win as opposed to playing not to lose. It was eventful and entertaining.
Ronnie O’Sullivan was victorious in a thrilling final with Shaun Murphy 11-9 to win the Shanghai Masters for a third year in a row.
O’Sullivan, who in total has four Shanghai Masters titles to his name, has now won 15 consecutive matches in the city.
His victory last season came after defeating Barry Hawkins by an 11-9 scoreline in the final. While his win two years ago was sealed with a 10-3 defeat of Judd Trump.
This was 43-year-old O’Sullivan’s first appearance on the circuit this season and it has proved to be a lucrative one, with the Rocket picking up a winner’s cheque for £200,000.
Murphy leaves with the consolation of the £100,000 runner-up prize, but this season represents a dramatic return to form for the world number 14.
His place in this week’s event had come under threat after a difficult 2018/19 campaign, which saw him lose nine first round matches. However, Murphy solidified his ranking with a trip to the final of the recent International Championship, where he lost out to Judd Trump.
This afternoon’s play had seen the pair share the opening ten frames and emerge locked together at 5-5.
Murphy got off to the perfect start this evening. He took the opening frame courtesy of a break of 66 and moved 6-5 up.
The Magician had looked set to move two frames ahead when he was on a break of 61 in the next. However, a miscued blue allowed O’Sullivan back in. He punished Murphy with a run of 66 which saw him steal the frame on the black.
The pair then traded centuries as they went into the mid-session all square. Murphy composed a break of 111, with O’Sullivan responding by firing in a sublime contribution of 130 to make it 7-7.
When they returned O’Sullivan made a charge for victory. He claimed three consecutive frames, including a break of 124, to move one from victory at 10-7.
Murphy wasn’t finished and battled to stay in contention. Breaks of 82 and 90 saw him close within a single frame at 10-9. He then had an opportunity to force a decider but broke down on 29. O’Sullivan stepped up with a break of 86 to seal the title.
O’Sullivan said: “I always just try to hang in there. It is a bit like Seve Ballesteros or Tiger Woods with how they play golf. They are never out of it because every now and then they can produce a little bit of magic. That is the hallmark of my game really.
“I was very very pleased to win. Shaun has been cueing well. He looks like he has turned a corner and I think he will do some damage this season because he is in good touch. For me to be able to beat someone of Shaun’s calibre was great. Overall it was a very good match and I am pleased to be able to get my hands on another trophy.
“I just play in events when I feel like it, so I don’t class myself with the guys that are out there. They have a lot to prove and a lot to achieve. I don’t have anything to prove to anyone. I think it is just nice for snooker fans to see me play and they want me to keep going for as long as I can. They don’t expect me to prove myself anymore so I have a different model which is more about enjoying it. For the other guys like Shaun, Judd Trump and Neil Robertson they still have to try and chase the records that I have got if they want to go down as one of the greats. It is alright doing it in a season or two or three years. You have to do it over a decade or two decades. I’ve done that.”
Murphy said: “I thought I performed quite well. I was pleased with my performance. There were just a couple of mistakes here and there, but it was high quality. In sport there is always a winner and a loser. Unfortunately today I was on the wrong side.
“It was a very high standard. I think against most other players I would have won today and took home the trophy, but Ronnie is Ronnie.”
Shanghai Masters 2019 – The Final – session 2
Big thanks to Tai Chengzhe for those images of the Trophy ceremony
Shanghai Masters 2019 – Trophy Ceremony
Ronnie’s reaction after the match
And to finish with the fun part …. some images of thr Trophy Ceremony (source weibo)
Yes, Laila was there and very proud of her man too …
This victory from Ronnie means that Reanne Evans is now certain to play in the Champion of Champions 2019.