Sunday, 5 February 2012

Comeback king Ronnie wins German Masters

Ronnie O'Sullivan produced an inspired comeback to steal the German Masters title from Stephen Maguire in an epic final.

The flying Scotsman found himself with a commanding 6-3 lead after the first frame of the evening session but the Rocket conjured up a great fightback, winning six of the next seven frames en route to a special 9-7 win.

Picture by Monique Limbos
This is O'Sullivan's first major ranking title since he won the Shanghai Masters back in September 2009 but, this may rank as highly as many of his previous 22.

His clenched fist after he knocked in the championship ball painted that picture very clearly.

Ronnie has waited a long, long time to get back into snooker's winning circle but you could just see the delight as he got his hands back on a trophy. It just shows that when he's motivated, he still loves playing snooker and, more importantly, can still be a winner.

In the end, he rose to the occasion in this superb final at an excellent venue. 

His form has fluctuated this week but the one consistency has been his great combative skills. He's had to dig in deep at times, battling against glandular fever and the prospect of potentially losing his place among the world's top 16.

None of this deterred him though. He didn't want to lose this week and it was great to see him competing and up for the fight.

In the short-term, this gives O'Sullivan the vital ranking points he needs in his bid to stave off falling into the qualifiers. He's still not totally safe but this win does go a long way to securing his automatic qualification at the World Championship.

Picture by Steve Kent
But in the slightly longer term, this is proof Ronnie can still challenge for major titles.

It would have been easy for Ronnie to roll over in the packed Tempodrom arena. After winning the opening frame of this great final, he had to sit back and watch Maguire flick into top gear and storm to a 4-1 lead with the aid of three century breaks.

He kept clinging on before finding some rhythm of his own. A run of five straight frames hauled him back in the match.

At that point, he was hitting the cue ball sweetly and knocking in some terrific long pots.

That's why the fans love Ronnie but he was about more than that in Germany.

Earlier in the week, Ronnie was forced to battle back from 4-0 down against Andrew Higginson in the first round before recording a dramatic 5-4 win.

That was the platform for this win and his tenacity has been spot on all week. He's showed bottle and fought hard throughout. That will make him feel good and will be especially sweet for his legion of passionate fans.

Ronnie can fly back to England feeling like a real winner again but the same should be said of the German hosts. The informed and enthusiastic crowd were fantastic all week and this event is quickly becoming one of the best on the snooker calendar.

Maguire should take heart from this tournament too. The Scot outplayed Ronnie for large chunks of this final and is playing arguably as well as when he won the UK Championship back in 2004.

The tournament - and in particular the final - was a great spectacle.

The game has a very bright future in Germany.

2 comments:

  1. nice to read that people outside Germany feel the same as we did and do - having enjoyed it THIS much and can't wait for next year to find ourselfes again in this nice venue with this cracking atmosphere!!!

    ...and Ronnie - there's no more to be said about him, I think - he was brillant!
    ...and I called Stephen "the Chuck Norris of Snooker" in the first frames!!!

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