2005 Wembley Masters

Wembley Masters

Ronnie O'Sullivan Storms to Masters Success

Ronnie O'Sullivan has added this years Wembley Masters to his win in this seasons Grand Prix and Welsh Open. He produced a masterfull and commanding game to win the final 10 - 3 against Scotlands John Higgins. Higgins and O'Sullivan contested this same final ten years ago at the masters and it was a similar result with O'Sullivan winning 9 - 3.

Ronnie O'Sullivan collected a winners cheque for £125,000 while Higgins picked up £60,000 as runner-up. Ding Junhui collected £10,000 for the highest break he set earlier in the tournament.

Higgins commented on Ronnie O'Sullivans performance, "I missed a couple but what could I do," sighed the world number five. "He's playing to a standard we've probably not seen in the game before.

"Ronnie is a total genius with a snooker cue.

"Somehow the rest of us have got to try and catch up. It was great to watch even though I was on the receiving end.

"I know some other top players can produce stuff like that but Ronnie was inch perfect every time.

"He never looked like missing and to be honest it was a bit of a shock."

After being presented his Masters Trophy O'Sullive said "That's probably as well as I've ever played," agreed O'Sullivan.

"I played good frames from start to finish. And to do it against a player of John's calibre makes it more satisfying."

"Ray's been with me for four tournaments and I've won three so that speaks for itself," said the new champion.

"Ray has showed me a new approach to the game. In the past I've thought it was an easy game.

"And it can be an easy game but sometimes you can't see the wood for the trees. I lost my focus a bit in my first match and if it hadn't been for Ray I might not have been here.

"There's no better place than Wembley or Sheffield to produce your best and so this win is very satisfying."

2005 Wembley Masters Draw

First round
Paul Hunter (5)
Steve Davis (1)
Peter Ebdon (3)
John Higgins 3
Steve Davis (6)
Peter Ebdon (6)
Peter Ebdon (6)
David Gray (0)
John Higgins (6)
John Higgins (6)
John Higgins (6)
Chris Small (1)
S Hendry (6)
S Hendry (2)
Stephan Lee (1)
M Williams (6)
Mark Williams (5)
Jimmy White (1)
R O'Sullivan 10
Alan McManus (3)
M Stevens (5)
Jimmy White (6)
Jimmy White (6)
Ken Doherty (1)
Ding Junhui (2)
R O'Sullivan (6)
Ding Junhui (6)
R O'Sullivan (6)
R O'Sullivan (6)
Graeme Dott (3)

John Higgins and Ronnie O'Sullivan into the Final

Ronnie OSullivan powered by Jimmy White 6 - 1 to set up a final against John Higgins. O'Sullivan, lasts years runner up commented "We've both been around a long time and when someone told me it had been 10 years since I won this I couldn't believe it,"

"I've been in a few finals here but I've only won one so it would be nice to do it again. I've been consistent this season and that's what it's all about."

You always expect a free flowing match against Jimmy and it was important that I didn't make any silly mistakes and allow him to counterattack," O'Sullivan said.

"It was a bit like a derby match in football where there was one player doing well coming into the match and one not doing so well but where anything could happen amongst the excitement with all the adrenalin flowing."

"I just had to make sure that I stayed on my game."

John Higgins continued his great run at this years Masters by booking his place in the final with a 6 - 3 win over the gritty Peter Ebdon.

"I thought I was going to let it slip again because I was missing some important balls and giving Peter chances." said Higgins.

"What happened in Malta came back into my mind and put me under pressure.

"You rarely see great semi-finals because there's so much riding on the match.

"I needed a few chances but I'm delighted to get through to the final and pleased to be back playing to a decent standard."

Jimmy White Wins Ugly

Jimmy White ground out another 6 - 5 win over wales's Mark Williams. White raced into a 3 - 1 lead before Williams came back to level it at three a piece and then take 5 - 4 lead, white fought his way back to level it before taking the 24 minute final frame with an high break of just 14.

Jimmy said of the match, "Against Matthew I started terribly and clicked towards the end. Against Mark, I was feeling the pressure towards the end.

"But as I heard the darts player Phil Taylor say the other night: 'if you've got to win ugly, win ugly'.

MArk Williams commented "I should have won 6-4 but got another terrible bounce,"

"And in the last frame Jimmy was twitching all over the place but every time I potted a red I couldn't get on a colour.

Ronnie O'Sullivan defeats Ding

Ronnie O'Sullivan saw off Ding Junhui 6 - 2, O'sullivan won the first, a frame that could have gone either way. Ding took the second and third and looked to be playing the better of the two at that point. O'Sullivan leveled the match at 2 - 2 before the break. After the break it was O'Sullivan that raised his game taking the four frames in succession to book his place in the semi final against Jimmy White.

John Higgins Through to the Semi's

John Higgins turned what was expected to be a close match into a one sided game as he beat an out form Stephen Hendry 6 - 2 to secure his place in the semi final.

Higgins commented, "I couldn't believe how many shots Stephen was missing,"

"I got myself geared up to play in a really tough match. And while I thought I played well, Stephen just never got started.

"But I will take that any day. It just shows you the ups and downs you can have in this game."

Hendry who had been in great form this season coming of his Malta cup win lamented his performance, "I don't know where that came from,"

"You are going to have days when you don't play well. You would be a robot if you didn't.

"But my head wasn't right from the word go and I played dreadfully.

"I missed a black off the spot in the fifth frame that I haven't missed for a month. At that point I just lost the plot."

Ebdon Demolishes Steve Davis

Ebdon followed up his 6 - 0 whitewash of David Gray in the first round with another impressive display against Steve Davis.

The 2002 champion said of his game, "For one reason or another I have always concentrated on ranking events and haven't given the Masters the respect it deserved.

"But I haven't played well here either. However, don't get me wrong I would dearly love to win.

"And it was great today to have family and friends here supporting me."

Stephen Hendry beats Stephen Lee 6 - 1

Stephen Hendry cruised to an easy 6 - 1 win over Stephen Lee in his first round match. Lee gave little resistance taking only the second frame and losing 4 of the 6 without scoring a point against Hedry, 85 - 0, 79-0, 83-0 and finishing of the final frame with a 110 break.

Hendry came close to a Master 147 after potting 13 reds and 12 blacks only to run out of position and settling for a blue, he wen on to a 110 break. Hendry commented, 'Once you miss a maximum your concentration just goes completely.

'Anything less is not really a consolation.'

'Stephen is clearly short on confidence and he was not getting his trademark long pots. That made me feel a bit better,' said Hendry.

'Apart from the second frame when I lost the will to live at the end of it, I was pretty solid. I didn't feel in any danger.'

Hendry will now face John Higgins in the quarter finals, 'I think John is one of the top three players in the world along with myself and Ronnie (O'Sullivan),' said Hendry.

'So, if that's not a tough game I don't know what is.'

Ronnie O'Sullivan Eases through 6 - 3

Ronnie O'Sullivan eased himself in to the quarter finals with a 6 - 3 win over Greame Dott.

Ronnie enthused about his relationship with his mentor and coach Ray Reardon 'He told me all the potential outcomes that could have happened, and I went out in a more positive frame of mind,' said O'Sullivan.

'I wouldn't ask Ray to tournaments where I wasn't 100% focused. But he's here for this one and he'll be at Sheffield for the world championship.

'It wasn't the real Ronnie O'Sullivan in Malta, and I shouldn't have gone. Even Stevie Wonder would have beaten me 5-0.'

Ronnie will now play this mornings easy winn Ding Junhui, 'I have played a lot of unknown quantities before,' said O'Sullivan.

'I'm going to be favourite, and everyone expects me to do the business. But that won't faze me.

'Friday is just another game, and I'm pleased to still be in the tournament.'

Ding Junhui impressive

Seventeen year old Ding Junhui cruised through to the quarter finals with an impressive 6 - 1 win over Irelands Ken Doherty. Ding opened up in the first frame with a break of 141, Ken leveled it at one a piece before he lost the next five to Ding Junhui.

Ding with his 141 break break is first inline for this years £10,000 for the highest break. Ken said 'He is quite mature for 17 and looks very relaxed on the big stage. He just needs a bit more experience to go to the next level and that comes from playing in tournaments like this.

'Once he tightens up he's going to be an even tougher opponent.'

'But I got a kick when I was on 81,' said Ding through an interpreter.

'I would like to play Ronnie because it would be the first time we've met,' he said.

John Higgins wins 6 - 1
Chris Small had no answers to John Higgins game as he ran out an easy 6 - 1 winner of the days other match.

Jimmy White Edges a 6 - 5 win over Mathew Stevens

Jimmy White Produced a memorable comeback from 5 - 3 down needing two snookers against Mathew Steven. Jimmy knocked in breaks of 109 and 115 to take the last tree frames.

Jimmy expressed delight over his performance and will now face the winner of the Mark Williams and Alan McManus match.

On a different not, snookers governing body as annouced that Jimmy White who has changed his name to Brown by deed poll will not be refered to as James Brown at tornament.

"Jimmy White entered the Masters by that name and will continue to be known by that name during the tournament," said a statement from World Snooker.

"He will be called Jimmy White by referees and television commentators."

White told the BBC last week that he changed his name in order to help the game recover from its financial problems.

The statement added: "The name Jimmy Brown will only be used in relation to his promotional activities with HP Sauce, sponsors of the brown ball during the tournament."

Ebdon Flawless
Peter Ebdon stormed through to the next round of the Masters with a flawless display of Snooker. It took only one hour and forty five minutes for Ebdon to beat David Gray 6 - 0.

He began the match with a break of 106 in the first and took the last three frames with out conceeding a single point, 110 - 0, 69 - 0 and 96 - 0.

"I played very solidly," said Ebdon.

"I've been working hard. I've lost some weight, started swimming regularly again and feel like I've been waiting to play like that for a long time."

Ebdon's next match is against Steve Davis, "Steve is still a tremendous player and I'm really looking forward to it," Ebdon said.

"This is such a magnificent tournament but I haven't done myself justice here over the years. I feel well prepared, though, and would love to have a good run here."

China's Ding Junhui through
China's young snooker star has made it through to the last 16 of this years Wembley Masters. Junhui edged out Hong Kongs Marco Fu 6 - 4. Last night Greame Dott edged out Stephen Maguire for his place in the last 16.

Steve Davis knocks out Paul Hunter in the first round

Steve Davis ground out a 6 - 5 win over multiple Masters winner Paul Hunter. Hunter the winner of this event in 2001, 2002 and 2004 lost out in the deciding frame when a poorly played safety let in Davis for a shot at a long pot from the cushion. Davis missed the pot but fluked it as it rattled the corner pocket and went the length of the table into the other corner Pocket.

"Gutted" Hunter said, "It keeps happening time and again. The way things are going it's got to be my year for the world title." The ever fashion concious Hunter played the match wearing a black and white bandana said, "I've worn it in practice and so I thought I would give it a try. It keeps the hair out of my eyes, if nothing else."

Steve Davis, also a three times winner of this event commented "I've been playing well in practice and there were signs in Malta things were coming together.

"That's certainly the best I've played for a while. I got off to a good start, made a couple of good breaks and suddenly everything I'd been doing in practice started to come off on the match table."

Davis went 2 - 0 up with breaks of 70 and 81. A 47 break in frame 4 put him in a 3 - 1 lead before Hunter took the next 2 to level it.

Davis leading the way was pegged back by Hunter to 5 - 5 before winning the decider and will now face either Peter Ebdon or David Gray in the next round.

Wild Card Graeme Dott makes it through
Last years World Championship runner-up Graeme Dott secured his place in the final stages of the Masters with a 6 - 4 win over Stephen Maguire. Level at 4 - 4, Dott took the final two frames for the win and will now play Ronnie O'Sullivan in the first round.

2005 Masters Preview

Paul Hunter Some of the best players from around the world will arrive at London's famous Wembley Conference centre to contest the Masters. The event begins on February 13th to the 20th, 2005.

Over the last few years Paul Hunter has made this tournament his own, winning three of the last four events. Last year he won in his regular 'come back' style to beat Ronnie O'Sullivan in the deciding frame 10 - 9, over 5 million tuned in to watch on TV the conclusion of the nail biting final.

"To do that against Ronnie was unbelievable," said the Leeds potter. "I remember watching the Masters on television as a kid. I knew then that I really wanted to win the tournament because there's such a great atmosphere at Wembley, it's such a great venue. Now I've won it three times!"

The current World Champion and number one ranked Ronnie O'Sullivan is likely to be the bookies favourite to take the title despite >Paul Hunters dominance in this event. Hunter now a father has struggled to find his form with the new pressures of fatherhood on his shoulders but back to Wembley could see him return to his best.

Stephen Hendry has played consistantly lately but without a major win for some time, maybe this will be the one for Hendry who dominated this event in the 90's.

Along with snookers 14 elite players there are two wild cards taking their place in this years event, Stephen Maguire and China's rising star Ding Junhui. Stephen Maguire will be many peoples tip for the title after a big season, being runner-up to John Higgins in the British Open and then going on to take the UK Travis Perkins Title beating David Gray a massive 10 - 1.

Mark Selby, last years winner is is out!

John Higgins, runner-up last year, is out!

Barry Hawkins, beaten semi-finalist last year, is out!

Ding Junhui, beaten semi-finalist last year, is out!