Tempodrom, Berlin - February 1-5 2012
TOURNAMENT DRAW - PHOTOS MONIQUE LIMBOS - MAXIMUM SNOOKER
PartyPoker.net German Masters 2012 Final - Stephen Maguire v Ronnie O'Sullivan
It was only a few days ago that the three-times world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan looked to be exiting the PartyPoker.net German Masters 2012 early at the hands of Andrew Higginson but from 4-0 down he never looked back, he won that match and went on to win the whole event, beating former UK champion Stephen Maguire 9-7 in the final.
The capacity crowd of 2500 at the Tempodrom in Berlin were expecting a feast of snooker and they were not disappointed as O'Sullivan started off with a 111 break and Maguire came back and made three centuries of his own; 130 (tournament high break winner of 2000 euros), 106 and 128 to lead 3-1 going in to the mid session interval.
3-1 became 4-1 after O'Sullivan missed a red on a break of 58 allowing Maguire to come back to pinch the frame with two small contributions. The Rocket managed to steal a frame of his own after Maguire missed a straight forward green to reduce the gap to 4-2.
Maguire regained his two frame cushion at after O'Sullivan missed an easy pot on 20 but the Rocket got straight in off a great long red to make a break of 75 to mean he would only trail 5-3 going in to the evening session.
'On Fire' Maguire got off to the best possible start in the evening after O'Sullivan loses positition on 46 to make a 58 break of his own to extend his lead at 6-3. Another frame quickly followed for the Rocket who made a 96 clearance after Maguire lost position on 40.
It wasn't long later that 6-5 became 6-8 after O'Sullivan played a great posititional shot from yellow to green to win the 12th frame, a 67 break in the 13th and runs of 43 and 32 in the 14th frame took O'Sullivan from one frame away of the title which looked unlikely when he was 6-3 down.
Maguire managed to get one more frame on the board to keep his toes in the match at 8-7 but it was ultimately to late as in the 16th frame which lasted 35 minutes, O'Sullivan eventually got the better of the safety exchange and slotted the blue in with a fist pump for a heroic 9-7 victory.
'All credit to Stephen he's beat some fantastic players, he's had a solid season and he's a top player. I'm pleased I was able to come through that game.' Said the three-times world champion.
'It's been really great to win this event, it's a brilliant atmosphere and a great crowd.
'The timing was good, it's close off to the cut-off point for the Crucible and it takes some pressure off me at the Welsh Open.
'I'm pleased to be competing again and giving it my best. If I haven't have made Sheffield then this moment is still great and it's always nice to win.'
Listen to the full interview as recorded by Monique Limbos here.
It must be a great moment to be Ronnie O'Sullivan at this moment. Having not been the winner of a major snooker event since all the way back in 2009 at the Shanghai Masters, many probably have wrote him off and expected him to slowly decline.
He proved not only his critics but to himself that he still has the winner's mentality and at 6-3 down looked as sharp as ever as he slowly clawed back to the lead and to come through in that tense last frame.
Also importantly for him he now sits provisionally in the top 16 of the rankings at the expense of Ricky Walden, which means if things stay as they are after the Welsh Open then he is still guarenteed an automatic spot at the Crucible.
All credit to Stephen Maguire though, he has had an excellent event here and looks to be back within that elite group of players that challenge for every major event. Lets hope his incredible talent is rewarded with a trophy sooner than later.
Once again congratulations to the Rocket Ronnie O'Sullivan, the PartyPoker.net German Masters 2012 Champion!
Ronnie O'Sullivan - PartyPoker.net German Masters Snooker Champion 2012