Ronnie O'Sullivan
Finals, Non-Ranking, Snooker Headlines

Four in a row for Ronnie O’Sullivan in Shanghai Masters

Ronnie O’Sullivan defended his Shanghai Masters crown with an entertaining 11-9 victory over Luca Brecel on Sunday in China.

A high-quality encounter between the world numbers one and two from the rankings list did not disappoint.

The pair traded blows and each had moments in the ascendancy as they clashed for the £210,000 champion’s cheque in front of a huge crowd.

A showdown that was mostly filled with quick-paced attacking snooker ultimately came down to a nervy last frame that O’Sullivan eventually won.

Earlier, the Rocket defied a 134 from his opponent to win three of the first four frames and land an early 3-1 buffer.

Brecel, though, fought back with contributions of 75, 98, and 103 to lead the contest for the only time.

At this point, O’Sullivan had appeared to have lost his way, but he dug deep and won the remaining three frames of the opening session to establish a 6-4 advantage.

A missed red at the start of the evening bout of play allowed Brecel in to make a 65 clearance and reduce the gap to one again.

Three frames later and parity was restored as the duo reached the last mid-session interval locked at 7-7.

Towards the end of his opening three matches in the tournament, O’Sullivan produced a timely burst to the winning line.

After regaining the lead, it looked as though he was about to shift through the gears at just the right time again.

The 47 year-old subsequently compiled back-to-back century breaks – including a tournament-high run of 143 – to move to within the brink of glory.

The Englishman had an opportunity to wrap it up in the 18th frame but a botched pink allowed Brecel in for a reprieve, and the Belgian Bullet fired in a remarkable doubled black to extend the affair.

When Brecel quickly took the next as well, a dramatic decider appeared to be on the cards.

Although that didn’t materialise, there was plenty of drama nonetheless as both players spurned opportunities to win the 20th frame, before a thankful O’Sullivan finally clinched the winning pots.

Victory will offer O’Sullivan a modicum of revenge over Brecel, having lost to the 28 year-old at the World Championship in April.

It marks the fifth time he has won the Shanghai Masters title – two when the event was previously staged as a ranker and all three when it has been hosted as a prestigious invitational.

Defeat will be disappointing for Brecel, but the world champion once again underlined this week his newly acquired status as one of the sport’s elite.

There doesn’t come any more elite than Ronnie O’Sullivan in snooker, however, who continues to thrive on the biggest stages.

Shanghai Masters draw

Last 24 (bo11)

Ali Carter (11) 6-2 Dong Zihao
John Higgins (10) 6-0 Deng Haohui

Hossein Vafaei (16) 6-1 Gong Chenzhi
Jack Lisowski (13) 6-5 Zhou Yuelong

Gary Wilson (14) 2-6 Fan Zhengyi
Ding Junhui (15) 6-2 Si Jiahui

Robert Milkins (12) 6-1 Bai Yulu
Mark Williams (9) 6-1 Pang Junxu

Last 16 (bo11)

Ronnie O’Sullivan (1) 6-3 Ali Carter (11)
Kyren Wilson (8) 3-6 John Higgins (10)

Mark Selby (5) 6-5 Hossein Vafaei (16)
Judd Trump (4) 6-5 Jack Lisowski (13)

Mark Allen (3) 3-6 Fan Zhengyi
Neil Robertson (6) 6-5 Ding Junhui (15)

Shaun Murphy (7) 5-6 Robert Milkins (12)
Luca Brecel (2) 6-4 Mark Williams (9)

Quarter-Finals (bo11)

Ronnie O’Sullivan (1) 6-5 John Higgins (10)
Mark Selby (5) 6-1 Judd Trump (4)

Fan Zhengyi 1-6 Neil Robertson (6)
Robert Milkins (12) 3-6 Luca Brecel (2)

Semi-Finals (bo19)

Ronnie O’Sullivan (1) 10-7 Mark Selby (5)

Neil Robertson (6) 7-10 Luca Brecel (2)

Final (bo21)

Ronnie O’Sullivan (1) 11-9 Luca Brecel (2)

Featured photo credit: WST


  1. Very entertaining from the top two names in the game atm. Sometimes they played almost like an exhibition match and at other times there were scrappy or nervy passages of play. O’Sullivan surely is underlining his status as the sports greatest with more prestigious titles as he enters his late forties.

  2. Most of the scoring was produced by Brecel until O’Sullivan’s late flourish.

    O’Sullivan is part of a very exclusive club that had triumphed in the same tournament four times or more in succession. Down below is the current list to my knowledge:

    15 in a row:
    Joe Davis, World Championship (1927-46)

    8 in a row:

    John Pulman, World Championship (1957-68)

    5 in a row:
    Stephen Hendry, World Championship (1992-96)

    Fred Davis, World Championship (1952-56)

    Stephen Hendry, Masters (1989-93)

    Ronnie O’Sullivan, Premier League (2005-2009)

    4 in a row:

    Ray Reardon, World Championship (1973-76)

    Steve Davis, UK Championship (1984-87)

    Ronnie O’Sullivan, Shanghai Masters (2017-2023)

    Steve Davis, Matchroom League (1987-1990)

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