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Masters snooker LIVE: Ronnie O’Sullivan beats Shaun Murphy to reach final

Ronnie O’Sullivan is now just one win away from a record-extending eighth Masters title after beating Shaun Murphy 6-2

Luke Baker
Saturday 13 January 2024 17:22 GMT
Ronnie O’Sullivan reveals he was 'on phone to Samaritans' at snooker world championships

Ronnie O’Sullivan’s pursuit of an eighth Masters crown rolls on after he demolished Shaun Murphy 6-2 to reach the final.

O’Sullivan hit the headlines after describing the Alexandra Palace venue as “disgusting” after his quarter-final win over Barry Hawkins but that didn’t stop him producing a supreme show of snooker might to down Murphy and reach a remarkable 14th Masters final.

The 48-year-old can become the oldest player in history to win the Masters by triumphing in Sunday showpiece and that would add to his exisitng record of being the youngest-ever winner of the tournament. His victory at the UK Championship in December ensured he is now the oldest and youngest man to win that event.

O’Sullivan will play either Ali Carter or Mark Allen, who meet later on Saturday, in Sunday’s final.

Relive the semi-final below:


Ronnie O’Sullivan 0-0 Shaun Murphy

Cracking atmosphere at Ally Pally. O’Sullivan breaks and we’re underway in the semi-final - a safety exchange to begin things.

Luke Baker13 January 2024 13:30

Ronnie O’Sullivan v Shaun Murphy

MC Rob Walker gets the boys on the baize. A typically rapturous reception for O’Sullivan, although a nice welcome for Murphy as well.

Let’s get this going - remember, it’s best of 11, so whoever is first to six frames books a place in the final.

Luke Baker13 January 2024 13:27

Ronnie O’Sullivan v Shaun Murphy

This is a bit of a grudge match - Ronnie and Shaun don’t really like each other. They’re always sniping away in the press, so it will be interesting to see if that gives one of other of them added motivation.

It’s also worth noting that Shaun Murphy was on punditry duty until gone midnight for the BBC last night - covering the Mark Allen v Mark Selby quarter-final that went all the way. Surely not ideal preparation to face the greatest snooker player of all time...?

Luke Baker13 January 2024 13:25

Ronnie O’Sullivan v Shaun Murphy

We’re probably about 15 minutes away from this afternoon’s semi-final getting underway. Shaun Murphy has arguably been in better form than Ronnie O’Sullivan this week but the head-to-head overwhelmingly favours The Rocket.

He leads it 14-4 and Murphy hasn’t beaten the seven-time Masters winners since the 2017 Champion of Champions final, where he triumphed 10-8. Seven years is a long time to wait!

Luke Baker13 January 2024 13:09

Ronnie O’Sullivan is our greatest sportsman – and the most devastatingly honest

There is a scene in Edge of Everything, the new documentary about Ronnie O’Sullivan, that provides as sharp an analysis as you will ever see of the pressures of top-level sport. It is from footage taken in his dressing room during the final of the 2022 World Snooker Championship in Sheffield.

At 46, O’Sullivan is poised to become the oldest winner of the title in history. But as he takes a break in the scrabble to overcome his opponent Judd Trump, he is behaving less like a seasoned veteran and more like a panicked teenager, stomping around the room in total dismay, close to tears in his frustration.

“F*** me Steve,” he tells his resident psychiatrist coach Dr Steve Peters. “I’m bashed up here mate. What do I do?”

The gap between O’Sullivan’s apparently serene progress to gaining his record-breaking seventh world title and what was going on in his head at the time is what makes him such a fascinating character. Even better, such is his garrulous lack of worldly concern, he has long been more than happy to let us, his army of admirers, get a glimpse of what is happening beneath the bonnet. For much of his extraordinary career dominating and defining his sport, it is almost as if, for this complicated, troubled, challenged individual, we are part of the process of therapy. That he needs to share the burden in order to stay one step ahead.

Read Jim White’s analysis of the snooker legend:

In a world of PR sports documentaries, Ronnie O’Sullivan proves he is the real thing

The seven-time snooker world champion has dominated and defined his sport, writes Jim White. But his Amazon Prime documentary shows he has no time for the PR game so successfully played by the likes of David Beckham and Michael Jordan

Luke Baker13 January 2024 12:58

Ronnie O’Sullivan documentary lays bare his snooker addiction and flaws in stark contrast to Beckham series

There are a number of eye-opening moments in the new Ronnie O’Sullivan documentary, The Edge of Everything, which lays bare one of the most complex and compelling characters in sport and a lifelong battle with his own genius. But one scene is particularly striking, when O’Sullivan and his parents remember his father’s arrest and sentencing for murder.

“I don’t want to talk about this because it’s not fair on the people that have lost their son,” says Ronnie O’Sullivan Sr, of the night he stabbed Bruce Bryan to death in a club on Chelsea’s King’s Road and injured Bruce’s brother Kelvin. “I know I took that man’s life and I know I hurt the other one ... I’m still alive, thank God, but if I hadn’t done what I’d done, I’d be dead.”

Read Lawrence Ostlere’s review of the Ronnie O’Sullivan documentary, The Edge of Everything:

Ronnie O’Sullivan documentary lays bare his flaws in stark contrast to Beckham series

Amazon’s new feature-length film ‘The Edge of Everything’ delves into the life of snooker’s greatest player – from his father’s murder charge to his tormented search for perfection – with eye-opening detail, writes Lawrence Ostlere

Luke Baker13 January 2024 12:52

Ronnie O’Sullivan criticises ‘disgusting’ Alexandra Palace venue before Masters semi-final

Ronnie O’Sullivan has hit out at iconic London venue Alexandra Palace, saying it is “disgusting” and playing there makes him “feel ill”.

The snooker world number one is playing at the Masters at Alexandra Palace this week, where he is a seven-time champion, but said he “can’t wait to get out of here” after advancing to the semi-finals.

The 159-year-old venue in north London has hosted the Masters tournament since 2012 and has also staged the PDC World Darts Championship since 2008, where Luke Littler stunned the sport with his run to the final last week.

But O’Sullivan is not impressed by playing at Alexandra Palace and said after his 6-3 win over Barry Hawkins on Thursday: “I just don’t like this place. I find it disgusting.

“Everywhere is dirty. It’s cold. It’s freezing, I have to wear my coat everywhere. You go through car parks. There are bins. Honestly, it just makes me feel ill.”

Ronnie O’Sullivan criticises ‘disgusting’ Alexandra Palace venue: ‘Makes me feel ill’

O’Sullivan is playing at the iconic Ally Pally this week and is through to Saturday’s semi-finals

Luke Baker13 January 2024 12:47

Ronnie O’Sullivan overcomes illness to grind past Barry Hawkins at Masters

Ronnie O’Sullivan relished the prospect of a “massive, dirty curry” after grinding out a 6-3 win over Barry Hawkins in a Masters quarter-final that lacked spice.

The seven-time Masters winner looked under the weather as he wore a thick coat for his post-match TV interview, muttering: “I fancy a curry – a massive, dirty curry. There’s nothing I don’t like.”

In a match awash with errors from both players, O’Sullivan kicked off with a break of 88 but had to wait until the penultimate frame to post his next half-century, a 60 to move one frame from victory, before wrapping it up with a break of 77

O’Sullivan said he had been “lucky to get through” to what will be his 15th appearance in the semi-finals of the Masters.

“I felt bad for Barry, I just dragged him down to my level. It’s a funny old game,” O’Sullivan told BBC Sport. “I didn’t feel any pressure at all to be honest, maybe that’s why I played like I did. I think you need that pressure sometimes to get you motivated.

Ronnie O’Sullivan overcomes illness to grind past Barry Hawkins at Masters

An apparently under-the-weather O’Sullivan was keen for a curry after fighting his way into the last four

Luke Baker13 January 2024 12:42

Mark Allen produces second maximum of the Masters in narrow win over Mark Selby

Mark Allen registered the second 147 of this year’s Masters as he edged past Mark Selby 6-5 and into the semi-finals.

After losing the first two frames, Allen got off the mark by producing another maximum to add to Ding Junhui’s in the opening round at Alexandra Palace, the third of the Northern Irishman’s career.

Selby subsequently moved 4-1 ahead before Allen claimed four frames in a row, including a break of 103, to take the lead.

After Selby brought things level again, Allen took the final frame to book a semi-final clash with Ali Carter.

Luke Baker13 January 2024 12:37

Masters snooker schedule

First round (best of 11 frames)

Sunday 7 January

Monday 8 January

Tuesday 9 January

Wednesday 10 January

Quarter-finals (best of 11 frames)

Thursday 11 January

Friday 12 January

Semi-finals (best of 11 frames)

Saturday 13 January

  • 1pm: Ronnie O’Sullivan v Shaun Murphy – BBC One, Eurosport and Discovery+
  • 7pm: Ali Carter v Mark Allen – BBC Two, Eurosport and Discovery+

Final (best of 19 frames)

Sunday 14 January

  • 1pm and 7pm – BBC Two, Eurosport and Discovery+
Luke Baker13 January 2024 12:32

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