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The Masters: 15-22 January 2012, London

15 January 2012 No Comment

Semi finals:

Australia’s Neil Robertson put an end to Judd Trump’s progress after beating him 6-3 in an easy semi-final encounter at Alexandra Palace. The match was expected to be one of the toughest encounters of the event but it finished in quite similar fashion to earlier games. The young Trump had no chance to unsettle his Aussie opponent and tumbled down by three frames.

Snooker Masters 2012, one of the Triple Crowns of world snooker featured some of the best snooker matches which included a couple of major upsets. The semi-final clash between the Englishman and Australian produced an unexpected result featuring the former World Snooker Champion as the winner.

The Robertson/Trump clash was one of the major upsets because the Bristolian executed outstanding pots from the beginning and was in a strong shape to claim the title. On the other hand, the Aussie potter had a bit of mixed luck during his campaign but he held his nerves and played sensibly during the semi-final to outplay his opponent.

Before the match, the odds were stacked heavily in favour of Trump as he had defeated Robertson at the 2011 UK Championship and the 2011 World Snooker Championship. The young Bristolian was considered to be one of the favourites to claim the 2012 Masters trophy. However, luck was favouring the Thunder from Down Under this time and he made his way straight to the finals.

The 29-year-old Robertson stunned his opponent with a superb 2-0 lead in the match after he grabbed the first two scrappy frames by 65-11 and 144-0, firing a couple of cracking knocks including a century clearance in Frame 2. Trump replied with his 76 knock and took the third set to move within one frame up at 2-1.

Robertson gave no further hope to Trump and won three consecutive frames by the score line of 89-0, 61-53 and 63-1. He was able to nudge the Englishman down by four frames at 5-1.

The 22-year-old Trump tried his best in the next session and clinched two straight frames but it was not enough from him, as Robertson secured the ninth frame in his favour by 74-24 and claimed the semi-final win. The World Number Four will be meeting England’s Shaun Murphy in the finals.

Last 8:

Judd Trump advanced into the last four of the Masters after a 6-2 win over Ronnie O’Sullivan at Alexandra Palace.

Trump, 22, raced into a 4-0 lead going into the mid-session interval, which included a tremendous 140 break.

The four-time champion came out and rallied, winning two out of three frames and scoring a 141 break, the highest of the tournament so far.

But Trump held his nerve with a 65 break in the eighth frame, and will face Neil Robertson or Mark Williams.

Trump came into the tournament as UK champion, having beaten Mark Allen 10-8 in last month’s final.

And the man from Bristol said he felt the result was never in doubt.

“I came into the tournament full of confidence thinking I can win it and all the other players want to beat me,” he said.

“I didn’t miss many balls [although] I got a little impatient towards the end to try and get over the winning line, but Ronnie had the crowd on his side.

“He has done what few in the game have done and I look up to him.”

Three-time world champion O’Sullivan reciprocated the praise, saying of Trump: “Judd scored heavily and played a fantastic match. He put in some good breaks under pressure.

“All you can do is sit there and hope for your chance but it’s difficult to stop someone with so much confidence.

“I couldn’t give any more out there and he played better on the day.”

A nervous opening frame saw both players miss opportunities, with O’Sullivan failing to sink an easy cut on the black off its spot. He was duly punished by his opponent who knocked in a break of 39 to clinch the frame.

O’Sullivan found himself snookered from the break-off in frame two and missed the reds, leaving world number five Judd a free-ball, from which a 66 break gave him the frame.

With play proceeding at a frantic pace and Trump taking every chance that came his way, he was soon 3-0 ahead and the 22-year-old looked a picture of composure as he notched a tournament highest-break 140 in the fourth.

O’Sullivan’s 67 in the next got him on the board, and preserved his record of never having been whitewashed at the Masters.

Trump, who also defeated O’Sullivan at the UK Championship last month, emerged from a tactical battle in the sixth frame to lead 5-1 but his opponent was not going down without a fight, and was cheered on by the boisterous London crowd as he stroked in a 141 clearance, snatching the tournament’s highest break from Trump by a single point.

But he broke down on 54 in the next frame and Trump held his nerve to clear the table and go through.

Last 16:

Ronnie O’Sullivan survived a fightback from defending champion Ding Junhui to advance to the second round of the Masters with a thrilling 6-4 victory.

The four-time Masters champion settled the quicker of the two players at the tournament’s new venue, Alexandra Palace, to take a 4-1 lead.

Ding hit back to win the next three frames, but O’Sullivan found some form and sealed the match with a 125 break.

O’Sullivan will face either Judd Trump or Stuart Bingham, who play on Monday.

O’Sullivan, who beat Ding 6-2 in the 2005 quarter-finals as well as his 10-3 demolition of the youngster in the 2007 final, surprisingly missed a black off its spot in the opening frame, allowing Ding a great chance to take it.

But the defending champion broke down on 58, and a brilliant long red saw O’Sullivan clear up with a break of 36.

Chinese star Ding, who beat Marco Fu 10-4 to win his maiden Masters title last year, was first in in the second with 21, but O’Sullivan responded with 57, which proved sufficient for a 2-0 lead.

O’Sullivan sunk another long red and made 48, but broke down when trying to split the reds. Ding, who was looking to reach the Masters final for the third time, hit back with breaks of 45 and 31 to get a score on the board.

O’Sullivan restored his two frame advantage with a beautifully constructed break of 76 to lead 3-1 going into the mid-session interval and then extended that lead with a break of 62.

In frame six, the momentum appeared to shift when Ding, who had come to the table 45-10 down after O’Sullivan broke down on 36, fluked a red which rattled the top left pocket’s jaws before sliding across the top cushion and dropping in the top right pocket.

The Chinese player cleared up to win the frame and then mistakes from O’Sullivan, who appeared to suffer a lapse in concentration after losing the previous frame, in the next two allowed Ding to level the match at 4-4.

Ding, who arrived at Alexandra Palace having lost his last four matches against ‘The Rocket’, had the first chance in frame nine, but breaks of 51 and 20, which included a long red under pressure, allowed O’Sullivan to stop the rot.

Winning frame nine appeared to settle O’Sullivan as the world number 16 fired in a break of 125, the highest of the match, his 50th Masters century and the first ton to be compiled at Alexandra Palace, to progress to the last eight.

Judd Trump won four frames in a row to beat Stuart Bingham 6-3 and secure a quarter-final tie against Ronnie O’Sullivan on Thursday.

Bingham went 2-1 up in the best of eleven match but Trump levelled with a 107 break in the fourth frame.

Despite Bingham then taking a 3-2 lead, Trump took control in a run of four frames which included a 121 break in the seventh frame.

“I’ll have to improve probably 50% if I want to beat Ronnie,” admitted Trump. “I felt relaxed and I felt after the first frame that I’ve got a lead and I thought I could run away with it, but I just kept giving him chances.

“I cannot give Ronnie those chances I was giving Stuart.

“The first round can be the hardest round. You want to get it out of the way, no matter how you do it.”

Despite his two centuries the 22-year-old from Bristol was prone to errors that Australian Open champion Bingham was quick to capitalise on.

World number eight Trump looked at ease as he compiled a confident 87 in the opener, but made just 19 at the start of the second before a hasty blue paved the way for Bingham to hit a 69 and pull level.

Bingham prevailed in a scrappy third by hitting breaks of 24 and 25 in a close tussle before an emphatic 107 in the next improved Trump’s mood.

The pair exchanged frames again as Basildon potter Bingham re-established his lead at 3-2.

Trump responded with gritty breaks of 25 and 29 to level before a break of 121 moved him ahead for the first time since the opening frame.

A 37 at the start of the eighth frame put Trump in charge but a superb long red triggered a run of 32 from Bingham before a missed pink let his opponent back in.

Leading 52-49 with the colours remaining, Trump was given half a chance on a long yellow after a period of cat-and-mouse and duly fired home before slotting in the remaining colours for a 5-3 lead.

Bingham hit breaks of 24 and 26 in response to Trump’s 50 in the next to leave the frame delicately poised.

The players slugged it out for several shots before Bingham finally opened the door for Trump, who smashed in the green and the remaining colours to take the victory.

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