Ronnie O’Sullivan booked his place in the Final of the Masters Snooker 2010, after squeezing out an epic win against Mark Williams. The game ended 6-5 in favour of the Rocket, but all kudos must go to Williams who has looked somewhere near back to his best during this tournament. Despite that, the bookmakers still never gave him much of a chance against O’Sullivan, who is looking to win back to back Masters titles for the first time in his career. It has been a strange touranment for O’Sullivan, as he has had to claw his way back from deficits, and has seen strong leads eaten away at. Having this match taken down to the wire, with Williams leading 5-4, O’Sullivan is in some wonder himself as to how he has reached the final.
He has looked far from his consistent and fluent best, and should count himself somewhat lucky to be in the final, because Williams looked the better player over the course of the match. The confidence in himself seems to be lacking, but somehow he keeps on surviving, even in a tournament which consists of the best 16 snooker players in the World. If Ronnie O’Sullivan can win it without being at his best, if he manages to find his self belief again, that will be a big worry for opponents with the World Championships in the not too distant future. The Masters this year though has appeared to be lacking a flair and dominance by any one player, and while the two combatants there will be there on merit, maybe early year form has yet to be hit by most players.
There will be a repeat of last year’s final, as Mark Selby saw his way past an out of sorts Stephen Maguire in the other semi final. Selby (tipped here all along by the way) is a battler and pulls out some great shots when needed. He always seems to be enjoying himself, as could be seen in the quarter final against Mark Allen, and he looks as if he is enjoying his game more than ever. O’Sullivan beat Mark Selby (aka the Jester from Leicester), 10-8 in last year’s final, which was thoroughly entertaining. Selby was the reigning Masters Champion at that time, having won the previous year, and with the final tied at 8-8, Selby missed a tricky shot, which let O’Sullivan back in. Selby though, has a great record at Wembley, that loss against the Rocket, the only blemish on his record at Wembley.
So it is down to a rematch of 2009 for the 2010 Masters Snooker title. If it is as half as exciting as last year’s it is going to be a joy to watch. O’Sullivan, despite not hitting top form is still overwhelmingly strong favourite at the bookmakers to take the title, though the contest should be a lot closer than what the bookies may be suggesting. Can Selby continue his great form at Wembley in the Masters? This will probably be Ronnie’s toughest test so far, as Selby can definitely press home any advantage if O’Sullivan continues to lack confidence in himself.