Ronnie O'Sullivan
Ronnie O'Sullivan reached the final of the Masters for a record tenth time with a 6-2 victory over Stephen Maguire at the Dafabet-sponsored event.

 

While he didn't replicate the scintillating form of yesterday's 6-0 thrashing of Ricky Walden, O'Sullivan still had far too much fire power as he blew away world number five Maguire in 107 minutes. The Rocket will meet Mark Selby tomorrow over 19 frames, with the winner to take the trophy and £200,000 top prize. It will be their third meeting in the final, O'Sullivan winning 10-8 in 2009 and Selby gaining revenge with a 10-9 success the following year.

 

Chigwell's 38-year-old O'Sullivan previously shared the record of nine finals with Stephen Hendry so is now the first player to appear at the conclusion of snooker's biggest invitation event ten times. Tomorrow he'll be chasing his fifth title, which would bring him within one of Hendry's record of six.

 

Glasgow's Maguire made a fine start tonight with a break of 98, and he had chances in most of the frames but made too many unforced errors. O'Sullivan took the next three frames with a top break of 73 to lead 3-1 at the interval. Maguire looked favourite to win frame five until he missed the last red along the top cushion at 44-39, and his opponent cleared to the pink to extend his lead.

 

A run of 59 put O'Sullivan 5-1 up and he looked to be cruising over the winning line in the next until he missed an easy blue to a centre pocket on 57. Maguire cleared impressively with 48 to add some respectability to the scoreline, but that's all it was as O'Sullivan wrapped up victory in style in frame eight with a 129.

 

"It was decent stuff tonight although we both missed a few," said World Champion O'Sullivan, who has conceded just three frames en route to the final. "It's easy to get sucked in by the crowd so you have to keep your focus on the job. I've got 20 years experience at this event, which helps. If you miss balls you have to put it to the back of your mind.

 

"Finals are great occasions, but I would rather have the record for winning the most titles. I lost 10-9 to Paul Hunter, John Higgins and Mark Selby so I could have had seven or eight titles.

 

"Mark always seems to be at the later stages of tournaments. It will be tough and I'll have to take it one ball at a time. I have admiration for his game. Before I started working with Steve Peters I used to get frustrated when I played Mark because he's a bit like Andy Murray - he makes you play a lot of shots and puts you out of your rhythm, whereas I like to make things happen. Since I have worked with Steve I have been better at handling my emotions and not looking for the exit door."

 

O'Sullivan's ten Masters finals:

1995 Ronnie O'Sullivan bt John Higgins 9-3
1996 Stephen Hendry bt Ronnie O'Sullivan 10-5
1997 Steve Davis bt Ronnie O'Sullivan 10-8
2004 Paul Hunter bt Ronnie O'Sullivan 10-9
2005 Ronnie O'Sullivan bt John Higgins 10-3
2006 John Higgins bt Ronnie O'Sullivan 10-9
2007 Ronnie O'Sullivan bt Ding Junhui 10-3
2009 Ronnie O'Sullivan bt Mark Selby 10-8
2010 Mark Selby bt Ronnie O'Sullivan 10-9
2014…..?