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O'Sullivan and Selby Ease Into Final - Masters 2014

O'Sullivan and Selby Ease Into Final - Masters 2014

World Champion Ronnie O'Sullivan and defending Dafabet Masters Champion Mark Selby will contest tomorrow's best-of-19 final at Alexandra Palace, after the pair eased past their semi-final opponents Stephen Maguire and Shaun Murphy.

Photos courtesy of Monique Limbos. All results from the Dafabet Masters can be found here.

Ronnie O'Sullivan and Mark Selby are set to contest tomorrow's Dafabet Masters final after easing through their semi-final matches against Stephen Maguire and Shaun Murphy. It will be a repeat of the 2009 and 2010 finals, where the pair won one title each in close contests.

In the afternoon session, defending Masters Champion Mark Selby was expecting a tough game against the resurgent Shaun Murphy, who had been playing his best snooker of the season.

Unfortunately the match didn't turn out as expected and was mainly one-way traffic throughout, as Selby raced out of the blocks, winning the first two frames with breaks of 86 and 104.

Mark Selby Shaun Murphy Snooker The Masters 2014 Semi-Final

 Mark Selby reached his fifth Masters final in seven years with victory over Shaun Murphy.

A run of 50 made it 3-0 for the four-time Masters champion, and it looked as if Murphy would keep himself in the match in the next frame, but broke down on 48, allowing Selby to make 66 to give himself a commanding 4-0 lead at the interval.

The Jester nicked a scrappy fifth frame to go five clear, one away from the final. 2005 World Champion Murphy avoided the whitewash by winning the sixth, but couldn't build on that momentum and Selby sealed victory with runs of 39 and 21 to reach his fifth Masters final in seven years.

Selby said of his opponent after the match: "I was surprised to see Shaun miss so many balls. The best players are so good that you don't expect them to miss anything easy.

"It's an amazing feeling to be in the final again. Losing to Neil (Robertson) in the final of the UK last month, made me more hungry coming in to this tournament. It would be great to play Ronnie in the final, the atmosphere is electric whenever he is around," he added.

Leicester's finest will be getting his wish to face Ronnie O'Sullivan again after the four-time Masters Champion wasn't able to repeat his brilliant performance of yesterday, but still impressed in beating a frustrated Stephen Maguire to reach a record 10th Masters final.

It was the Scot that got off to the perfect start, making a break of 98 to win the first frame. However he couldn't replicate that focus in the following frames as O'Sullivan took the next three with a top run of 73 to lead 3-1 at the interval.

Ronnie O'Sullivan Snooker Masters 2014

Ronnie O'Sullivan made an excellent 129 break to wrap up victory against Stephen Maguire.

Maguire had a chance to keep himself in the match, but missed a crucial final red along the cushion, allowing O'Sullivan to clear the colours to extend his lead. 4-1 then quickly became 5-1 with a break of 59 from Chigwell's finest.

A smaller glimmer of hope was given to Maguire after he produced a fine clearance of 48 to win the seventh, after O'Sullivan missed the easiest of blues to the middle. The Rocket wouldn't let it affect him though and he made a fantastic break of 129 to wrap up victory in style, 6-2.

"It was a decent match tonight although we both missed a few pots," said the five-time World Champion. "It's easy to get distracted by the crowd, so you have to keep focused on the job."

"Mark (Selby) always seems to be at the later stages of tournaments, it will be a hard final and I'll just have to take it one ball at a time. Finals are amazing occasions, but I would much rather have the record for winning the most titles."

The first session of the best-of-19 final at Alexandra Palace begins tomorrow (Sunday) at 1.30pm(GMT), with full coverage available live on EuroSport and the BBC.

For regular scores and news updates throughout the Dafabet Masters, follow Maximum Snooker on Twitter.

Article by Stephen Kent.

Posted Jan 18, 2014   
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