Saturday, 4 February 2012

Final orders in Berlin

The support at this year's German Masters has been sensational.

Both of today's semi-finals at the Tempodrom - in Berlin - have drawn in sell-out crowds of 2,500.

Picture by Monique Limbos
Now, these superb German fans can look forward to the terrific final they deserve.

In the red corner, it's three-time world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan. His form has fluctuated over the last few days. He had to recover from 4-0 down to get past the first hurdle of Andrew Higginson, but produced an impressive comeback under pressure.

His 5-1 win against Joe Perry round two was excellent, he then beat Matthew Stevens in the quarter-final but laboured to a 6-4 win against Stephen Lee in the last four.

Ronnie - battling against glandular fever - doesn't come into this match on top of his game but would dearly love to return tob the sport's winner's circle.

This is his first major ranking final since he lost to Neil Robertson in 2010 World Open and you have to go back as far as the 2009 Shanghai Masters to find his last major win.

It's great to see O'Sullivan back in a final.

Although he may say differently, it's obvious his battle to cling onto his top 16 status ahead of the next seedings revision ready for the World Championship, is providing him with great motivation in Germany.

Ronnie has often produced his best snooker when his back is against the wall, and has fought admirably in Berlin when, at other times, he may have thrown in the towel.

He's played some important matches this week and, despite his ups and downs, is still here to tell the tale.

His fighting attributes have been second to none. He's showed excellent know-how.

He looks like he wants to prove a point this week but how he feels in the morning could yet have a massive impact on the outcome of this final.

On the other side of the fence, Stephen Maguire - in the blue corner - will come into the match brimming with confidence.

The Scot arrived in Germany in excellent form in the recent ranking events.

He enjoyed a run to the quarter-finals of the UK Championship after beating defending champion John Higgins and won his first trophy for more than three years when he picked up the PTC12 title in Germany last month.

Tonight, he put on a real classy performance to beat Masters finalist Shaun Murphy 6-0.

He can also take heart from a dramatic 5-4 win on the final black against Judd Trump, after trailing 4-2.

It's fair to say Maguire couldn't be happier. He's cueing well, scoring heavily and in bullish mood.

He's got his killer winning edge back and has returned to show every inch of the top player he is. He's enjoyed a lengthy stint among the world's top eight ranked players but will know the importance of returning to winning ways with titles.

The head-to-head statistics between the two players doesn't make for good reading for Mags though. He's lost 13 times against Ronnie in their 16 meetings.

But although the bookmakers suggests otherwise, in my opinion, Maguire is the man to beat tomorrow. His form is too difficult to argue against.

We all know Ronnie loves the big occasion though. His run this week has already put him provisionally back inside the top 16 so, in theory, he can let loose enjoy himself.

Whatever happens, it should be a corker.

1 comment:

  1. Snooker The Fine Art © Method
    Dear Snooker Buffs
    Pro’ Snooker players are a breed apart and incapable of logic or applying Plain Common Sense.
    The old expression of “What am I doing wrong” is now banned as it reflects a limitation in good coaching certificates; probable on sale tomorrow.

    Whether a defeat is marginal or a white wash; players will come back with the same game tomorrow but with more hope after a good practice session of many century breaks.

    Logic tells us that snooker practice only creates “Form” and form is really a myth that can’t be grasped or recalled from the practice table.

    The most strange anomaly amongst snooker players is that no 20 highest break player would accept “Snooker Tips” from a mere 19 break player and the same attitude applies to 140 break players and the lesser 135 player.

    All snooker professional players gauge there ability on the best “Frame” they have ever played and believe “Snooker Coaching” is only a money making spin off and tax free bonus for losers that creates the winners. Mr Hey You