Tuesday, 20 January 2015

2015 Masters - The Highlights

Eight days of wonderful snooker finished on Sunday night with Shaun Murphy getting all the glory after a pretty on-way traffic final against Neil Robertson.

But this year's Masters had a lot of splendid moments, each day the players writing another important page in the snooker's Big Book of History.

I have selected a few of the highlights of this 2015 Masters championship so I invite you to take a walk with me and re-live some of the greatest moments. Are you in?


1. Marco Fu masters 147 break 

It was the first day of the Masters and Marco Fu was in the spot-light after hitting a marvellous 147 in the match played against Stuart Bingham. He also beat his opponent with a determined 6-3 scoreline.

Marco's maximum break at the Masters puts him on a famous pedestal where only Kirk Stevens (1984) and Ding Junhui (2008) reside.

Only two players have managed to hit a prefect 147 during the history of the Masters and Fu became the third.


 2. Record making, record breaking 

It was the 2014 UK Championship when Ronnie O'Sullivan first talked about matching Stephen Hendry's record of 775 century breaks so it was really no surprise to see him actually doing it.

During the opening round of the Masters O'Sullivan took on Ricky Walden, frame six being won with a crystal clear 100 break (this was his 774th century break) while frame 10 was conquered with a 116! The record was now matched!

Sure, a fluked yellow was partly responsible for keeping the break going, but it was a victory, nonetheless.

The quarter-finals started and O'Sullivan scored from the very first frame against Marco Fu, a break of 101 setting a new record of 776 century breaks that the Englishman hopes to turn it into 1.000 in a few years.

At this moment Ronnie has 777 century breaks in his pocket, due to another 101 break made when he played against Neil Robertson in the semis, so we are still counting.


3. Green baize welcomes back Captain Carter 

After a terrible battle against lung cancer, Ali Carter returned to doing what he knows best: play tremendous snooker.

When he marched down the stairs at Alexandra Palace, the crowd gave him a standing ovation for several minutes (*goosebumps) and you could see how much it meant for him.

He was quite emotional, but still went on and won his first match in great style, beating Barry Hawkins by a merciless 6-1 scoreline.


4. Murphy fulfils Triple Crown Dream 

In recent years it’s been no bed of roses from Shaun Murphy the player struggling to re-conquer his beautiful fighting-form, but he did it.

And if a year ago he was seriously considering retiring from professional snooker, now he couldn’t be more relieved that he said pas on that thought.

After a great run, the Magician lifted the Masters crystal trophy to complete his triple crown dream (he already has a world and an UK title) and become only the 10th player in the history of snooker who owns that merit.

5. A more mature Ronnie 

Although O'Sullivan wrote history by crashing Hendry's century breaks record, the Rocket was far from his best, a fact that the player himself openly admitted.

The end of his run came in the semi-final where a ruthless Neil Robertson beat him by an unexpected 6-1 scoreline.

Just after the match, Ronnie said: “Neil played a great game and had me in lots of trouble. I missed a lot of balls and made a lot of mistakes. I knew it was coming eventually because I've been scraping through matches.”

"The last time I played good consistent stuff was here and at the Welsh Open last season. Since then I've probably only played two good matches - the rest of the time I've just been digging in. Neil played well enough to expose my weaknesses - he took me apart."

“I'm not the player I was 18 months ago, but I think I can get it back by playing in more tournaments. You can't go missing for five or six frames, as I am doing. I had years of that, and it makes things tough."

The statement comes to show how much O'Sullivan has changed (for the better) since working with Dr Steve Peters and also puts an end to the malicious rumours of some people who think he wasn’t just not in the mood for winning.


 6. Masters debut for referee Alex Crișan 

This year's Masters saw a new face running around the snooker table, taking care of players and the game itself, picking up balls, saying the scoreline and keeping the audience on its best behaviour.

The Romanian referee Alex Crișan made his debut at the Masters, the first high-class tournament of his career as a referee, although he was also took part in the UK Championship (but not during the televised stages).

SML blog wishes him good luck and keep up the good work!


 7. Twitter trends - more powerful than ever 

For those who are friends of SML blog it's really no secret the fact that when a tournament is on, all the snooker media gathers on Twitter to share thoughts, inside stories, pictures, scorelines and so on.

The big family from Twitter has become more powerful than ever during latest snooker events, the players trending especially in the UK’s social media platform.

Now, that might seem like a superficial thing, but actually is not. It's bloody huge! It shows that snooker is not just watched by many, but also commentated by a lot more. And in a good way, might I add.

So if you're not on Twitter you better sign in and get in the snooker-mania family. SML is also present on Twitter, so here's a link if you wish to give me a follow. :-P

That's it peeps, a few of the grandiose moments from the 2015 Masters championship!
See you next time!


Monday, 19 January 2015

Happy birthday Dennis Taylor




One more snooker legend celebrates his birthday this month, so SML blog wishes "Happy birthday" to Dennis Taylor (66).

As we all know, Dennis won the 1985 World Championship after a tremendous comeback and a thrilling last frame. Here's how it went ...




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