Judd Trump is the European Masters champion after a mesmerising 9-8 victory over Ronnie O’Sullivan in Bucharest on Sunday.
The inaugural ranking event to be staged in Romania concluded with a wonderful final that delighted the packed Circul Globus arena.
It was a fitting climax to a new tournament which will be heralded as a complete success.
Trump was arguably the much better player throughout the contest despite the scoreline suggesting otherwise.
O’Sullivan performed valiantly and played his part in a barnstorming affair but his opponent scored far heavier and rued some misfortune at various junctures which, at the time, allowed the ‘Rocket’ in to capitalise.
The 40 year-old, chasing a 29th ranking event title which would have put him alone in second place on the all-time list, stole the opening frame and nicked another two that he shouldn’t have to establish a 3-1 early cushion.
Trump compiled the first of his three centuries to reduce the gap before the pair traded half centuries, granting O’Sullivan a 5-3 afternoon advantage.
The pace was equally frantic and frenetic as the frames rattled by in the blink of an eye.
It was an absorbing a showdown as they come and the excitement didn’t let up as the evening session resumed play to its eventual conclusion.
Former world no.1 Trump, seemingly not bothered by his earlier failure to stay on level terms, raced through the next three frames with breaks of 105 and 67 to move into the lead for the first time.
It looked for all money that his dominance would continue as he was in among the balls in the following frame, but missed a routine blue off the spot to allow O’Sullivan in to pounce with a run of 93 – his highest of the match.
A 72 helped the five-time world champion back in front and he took another close frame to move two clear with just three possible frames to play.
Those frames were all required as Trump mounted his comeback with a terrific 109 century that included a spectacular long blue which, if missed, would have left O’Sullivan in for the kill.
Inevitably, the 27 year-old forced the final frame and, despite the fact that Ronnie had the initial opportunity, Trump got in and mopped up a tidy 74 with mostly blues to emerge victorious in a classic.
It marks a sixth ranking event success for the man from Bristol, and it’s the fourth time that he has gotten one over O’Sullivan in a professional final.
This triumph will potentially rank as one of his best, though, as he showed nerves of steel and a developed temperament in overcoming the finest player of all time.
It was also appropriate that the showpiece finale occurred on the same day that the great Paul Hunter passed away, who himself was embroiled in many memorable final frame thrillers before his untimely death ten years ago.
Next stop on the calendar as this campaign gathers momentum is the English Open, which commences tomorrow in Manchester.