'It is about balancing and doing what works for you' – Robertson

Neil Robertson feels his run to his second Masters title is one of the achievements of his career, and believes he has found the perfect work-life balance.

Robertson overwhelmed Barry Hawkins in the evening session at Alexandra Palace to run out a comprehensive 10-4 winner.

It is Robertson’s fifth Triple Crown title, and after beating Anthony McGill, Ronnie O’Sullivan, Mark Williams and Hawkins, he says it is one of his career highs.

The Masters

Jimmy White vs Judd Trump’s Eurosport Masters shot of the championship pot

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“With the players I have had to beat it has got to be right up there,” Robertson said on Eurosport.

The fans at Alexandra Palace played a huge part this week, and Robertson was thrilled with their contribution after a tough time last year with no spectators.

“Every match has thrown a lot of challenges and coming here, when the tournament was announced last year the crowds were back and to then go into another lockdown was so disappointing, so to hear London cheer again is fantastic,” Robertson said.

Hawkins beat Judd Trump 6-5 in the semi-finals, getting over the line late in the evening, and Robertson paid tribute to the Hawk.

“It was a tough game today and Barry was a bit unlucky yesterday, second semi-final going all the way,” Robertson said. “If the roles had been reversed he maybe would have won today. Sometimes things pan out like that and I am so happy to win this tournament again.”

Robertson has tailored his schedule to ensure he spends quality time with his young family, and he feels his snooker is benefiting from it.

“It is about balancing and doing what works for you,” he said. “If I have to miss the odd event and get to a few more of Alexander’s football matches, or maybe let Mille sleep in and get up with Penelope at 6 in the morning then so be it, and I have struck the perfect balance and my snooker is getting the most out of that.”

– – –

Stream the Shoot-Out and other top snooker live and on-demand on discovery+. You can also watch all the action live on eurosport.co.uk.

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Jimmy White vs Judd Trump's Eurosport Masters shot of the championship pot

Judd Trump was awarded Eurosport’s Masters shot of the championship, and it proved too tricky even for Jimmy White.

During his win over Kyren Wilson in the quarter-finals, Trump went for a long red to the bottom left with the white tight to the baulk cushion.

That alone was a high enough tariff, but he put some sauce on top by attempting to flick another red off the left cushion and bringing the white out into play.

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The world No. 2 executed it to perfection, and it impressed Ronnie O’Sullivan in the Eurosport studio.

“Just potting the red is good enough,” O’Sullivan said. ”But to get the other red off and a half-ball cannon to get the white out. That is as pure as they come.”

White is never one to pass up a challenge and he attempted to recreate the effort, albeit he was not too confident.

“I am keeping my jacket on so I have an excuse,” White said.

In fairness to White, the red wriggled in the jaws of the pocket before being spat out.

“I’d stop there,” advised O’Sullivan.

White is not one to throw in the towel, and he took off the jacket for two further attempts but he could not produce what Trump had done.

We cannot comment as to whether White is still attempting the pot.

– – –

Stream the Shoot-Out and other top snooker live and on-demand on discovery+. You can also watch all the action live on eurosport.co.uk.

The Masters

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'It is a tough sport, mentally it is tough' – O'Sullivan says Selby has a choice to make

Ronnie O’Sullivan has urged Mark Selby to embrace the battle or take a step back and look to enjoy his snooker.

Selby was thrashed by Barry Hawkins in the quarter-finals of the Masters, and he said the following day that he will seek help for mental health problems.

“Just want to apologise to all my friends and family for letting them down,” Selby wrote on Twitter. “Mentally not in a good place at moment, had a relapse and trying to bottle it up and put a brave face on is not the way.

The Masters

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“I promise I will get help and become a better person.”

Selby has built a career on his gritty play and desire to improve his game.

He won the World Championship last year, but is struggling mentally.

O’Sullivan has fought his own demons during his career, but has found a balance by being less focused on success.

Six-time world champion O’Sullivan has said Selby has a choice to make: either continue the battle or adopt a carefree approach.

“It can be tough,” O’Sullivan said on Eurosport. “But you have to make a decision whether you are going to rule it, or it rules you.

“There are two camps to be in. I chose to go the other way and be a bit more carefree, and treat it like a bit of fun.

If you are going to get involved in the mustard, you have got to take on all that comes with it.

Selby has never been shy in asking other players for advice, which O’Sullivan feels is not normal.

“I know Mark speaks to a lot of players about if they can give him advice on his game,” O’Sullivan said. “It’s unusual that a player would do that.

“Would [Rafael] Nadal ring up [Roge] Federer and ask for help on his backhand?

“He is open about it.

“It is a tough sport, mentally it is tough.

“You have just got to get in and take the battle scars. If you want to be a top player, world champion, winning tournaments like he does, you have to put yourself through the mill. Or you take a step back and lower the intensity, enjoy it and not win as much.

“You have to choose one or the other.”

– – –

Stream the Masters and other top snooker live and on-demand on discovery+. You can also watch all the action live on eurosport.co.uk.

World Championship

‘I’d like to see it stay at Sheffield’ – White and O’Sullivan back Crucible for World Championship

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'I’d like to see it stay at Sheffield' – White and O'Sullivan back Crucible for World Championship

Ronnie O’Sullivan and Jimmy White feel the World Championship should remain at the Crucible in Sheffield.

The Masters is taking place at Alexandra Palace this week, and the amazing atmosphere has led to calls for snooker’s flagship event to be moved to the capital.

Judd Trump said following his win over Kyren Wilson, admittedly in the heat of the moment, that he would like all tournaments to be played at Alexandra Palace.

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Other players have floated the idea of the World Championship moving to north London, but O’Sullivan and White are not convinced.

“Do they have the facilities here?” White said on Eurosport. “There’s not many hotels, but the actual playing conditions when it gets to a one-table situation… The Crucible has two tables and you could probably do it here, it is big enough also to have the qualifiers and all the matches.

“I’d like to see it stay at Sheffield as it made snooker, but when that contract comes up it might move to somewhere like the Ally Pally.”

O’Sullivan echoed White’s sentiment, despite suggesting a move to Alexandra Palace would benefit him personally.

“It is a great venue, but I am like Jimmy, Sheffield and the Crucible is a special tournament,” O’Sullivan said.

“You’d have to look at the facilities, the hotels, getting in and out, would it be suitable for the players? Probably not.

“I only live 20 minutes up the road so it is probably ideal for me, but as a tournament as a whole I think Sheffield is a great place to host the World championship.”

– – –

Stream the Masters and other top snooker live and on-demand on discovery+. You can also watch all the action live on eurosport.co.uk.

The Masters

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'Sometimes under pressure he loses his cue ball' – O'Sullivan on Kyren Wilson

Ronnie O’Sullivan has urged Kyren Wilson to change his cue action, as he does not feel his current set-up is capable of challenging the elite of the game.

Wilson has four ranking titles to his name, but has come up short in the game’s biggest events.

His bid for Masters glory in 2022 came to a halt at the hands of Judd Trump, who was a comprehensive winner of their quarter-final clash.

The Masters

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O’Sullivan has described Wilson as a “fantastic player” but feels he needs to make changes to his game.

“I would change my cue action if I was Kyren,” O’Sullivan said in the Eurosport studio. “You have got to look at why the top players can do it regularly.”

Wilson has worked hard on his game in the past couple of seasons and is an excellent potter, but O’Sullivan feels his play lacks finesse.

“A lot of the top players can float the balls in,” the six-time world champions said. “Kyren is very good at stunning and punching balls in at a certain pace, but you have to learn how to float the white about.

“He maybe needs to be more supple with that cue action. Get into the white a little bit softer and play some more touch shots. I think that’s what is letting him down.

“I don’t mean change your cue action completely, that is hard, but we all do and there’s ways of making that white a bit heavier and softer just to play with more feel rather than be mechanical.

“It is all very well having a straight cue action but how many times do you have to pot long blues? Most of the damage is done round the pink and black and you have to score.

“Sometimes under pressure he loses his cue ball and under pressure those shots become hard shots.

“He is a great player, a fantastic player, but his good game is not as good as the top four or five.”

– – –

Stream the Masters and other top snooker live and on-demand on discovery+. You can also watch all the action live on eurosport.co.uk.

The Masters

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Trump crushes Wilson to power into Masters semi-finals

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'Like watching Augusta Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player' – O'Sullivan in awe of crowd

Ronnie O’Sullivan has likened the reception given to John Higgins and Mark Williams to how Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player are feted at Augusta.

Hairs were standing up on the back of the neck as Williams and Higgins were given standing ovations by the Masters crowd at Alexandra Palace.

The pair delivered brilliant snooker, and further approval was given by the crowd as they shook hands at 5-5 before the deciding frame of their quarter-final.

The Masters

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O’Sullivan, who was beaten by Neil Robertson earlier on Thursday, watched the match and was in awe.

“It is hard sitting here tonight, as it is such an unbelievable atmosphere and unbelievable crowd,” O’Sullivan said in the Eurosport studio. “To see what they gave John and Mark, I was thinking that’s just special. It’s a special crowd to do that.

“It is the outstanding point in the tournament.”

Nicklaus and Player are two of golf’s greats, and they are afforded legendary status, particularly at Augusta as they have six and three Masters titles respectively.

“It was a little bit like watching Augusta and Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player coming up the 18th,” O’Sullivan said. “It is two legends of the game and that is the crowd appreciating that they (Higgins and Williams) brought their good games.

“The crowd were like ‘you are both winners’ and we want to celebrate the fantastic snooker you’ve given over the years.

“A very knowledgeable crowd and a great moment for the tournament.”

– – –

Stream the Masters and other top snooker live and on-demand on discovery+. You can also watch all the action live on eurosport.co.uk.

The Masters

‘He was definitely put off’ – was this the moment O’Sullivan’s match with Robertson turned?

A DAY AGO

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YESTERDAY AT 18:42

O'Sullivan 'gutted' about Masters loss to Robertson – White

Jimmy White believes Ronnie O’Sullivan will be ‘gutted’ to have lost to Neil Robertson, after putting in “a lot of work” on his Masters preparation.

After winning the World Grand Prix in December to snap a 16-month run without a trophy, O’Sullivan arrived at the Alexandra Palace in upbeat mood.

After spending the best part of two years downplaying his desire to win, he spoke positively about making a push for the title.

The Masters

‘He was definitely put off’ – was this the moment O’Sullivan’s match with Robertson turned?

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He made an impressive start in beating Jack Lisowski 6-1, but could not find the same form as Robertson ran out a 6-4 winner.
O’Sullivan said in his post-match interview that he was not disappointed to lose, but White feels that is a smokescreen.

“The way he played in parts of that match against Jack Lisowski, it looked like he could win that tournament quite easily,” White said in the Eurosport studio. “He did not start off well.

“Neil Robertson lost position a few times, but potted some great balls and was determined to keep his breaks going.

“Sometimes you are sitting in your seat thinking you might have a chance, but the balls Neil Robertson potted got him over the line.

O’Sullivan will be gutted, make no mistake about that. He has put a lot of work in for this tournament and it did not work for him.

– – –

Stream the Masters and other top snooker live and on-demand on discovery+. You can also watch all the action live on eurosport.co.uk.

The Masters

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The Masters

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21 HOURS AGO

'He was definitely put off' – was this the moment O'Sullivan's match with Robertson turned?

Ronnie O’Sullivan’s bid for an eighth Masters title came to a halt at the hands of Neil Robertson.

The Australian was the better player and ran out a 6-4 winner, but the Rocket could point to a match-changing moment when he was arguably in the ascendancy.

O’Sullivan never led at any stage in the contest, but he had drawn level at 3-3 on the back of a brilliant century break in the sixth frame.

The Masters

‘I am not someone who likes to blow smoke out of my whatever it is’ – O’Sullivan

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The seven-time Masters champion was in the balls in the seventh and in with a chance of getting his nose in front for the first time, when he was put off by something in the crowd.

He stepped up off his shot and gesticulated the way of the disturbance, and called in referee Jan Verhaas.

O’Sullivan got back down on the shot and missed the pot by some distance.

“He was definitely put off,” David Hendon said on Eurosport commentary. “He wasn’t happy.”

To rub salt into the wounds, Robertson pounced and knocked in a break of 130 to take back control of the contest, which he never relinquished.

Speaking in the Eurosport studio following the game, Jimmy White said: “The problem I have with him being put off is he was 3-2 down, made it 3-3 and for the first time in the match he had an opportunity to go ahead in the match.

“That is a bit of an annoyance, but Ronnie won’t dwell on that.”

– – –

Stream the Masters and other top snooker live and on-demand on discovery+. You can also watch all the action live on eurosport.co.uk.

The Masters

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'I am not someone who likes to blow smoke out of my whatever it is' – O'Sullivan

Ronnie O’Sullivan has said he is not big-headed, but feels a reminder of his achievements from time to time is a positive thing.

Since winning the World Championship in 2020, O’Sullivan has spent a lot of time talking himself down – saying he is more interested in playing snooker than competing for trophies.

O’Sullivan snapped a trophy drought at the World Grand Prix last month, and he arrived at the Masters with a positive frame of mind.

The Masters

‘Like playing Federer at Wimbledon’ – Robertson on facing O’Sullivan at the Masters

AN HOUR AGO

After beating Jack Lisowski in the first round, O’Sullivan said that he had 20 major titles on his record and that the other players need to worry about him.
He fell to Neil Robertson at the quarter-final stage, with his level below what he produced against Lisowski.

O’Sullivan has said he was not disappointed by the defeat, but would have liked to have pushed Robertson harder.

“I tried to make as much of it as I could,” O’Sullivan told Eurosport. “I tried to hang in there and do what I could. I am not too disappointed, it’s the way it goes sometimes.

“You set yourself to have a certain mentality towards something, so you can’t change your mind halfway through it. I’ve decided how I want to feel about how any of my games go.

“I am not as disappointed as I would be a few years ago, or most players would be on the circuit.

“I play for different reasons and I enjoy it and I enjoyed being out there today, it’s just a shame I could not find a good enough game which would have deserved to win.”

As a seven-time Masters and UK Champion and a world champion on six occasions, O’Sullivan holds most of the major records in the game and said it is nice to mention that on occasions.

““It is a good target for someone to chase, they have to chase that record, the Triple Crowns, the Masters, the UK,” O’Sullivan said. “I have not got the worlds, [Stephen] Hendry has that one, but I am chasing that one so it is good for everybody else to go for.

“I am not big headed, I am not someone who likes to blow smoke out of my whatever it is. But sometimes the statistics say everything and sometimes you have to remind yourself and everybody else that I have set pretty much every target to achieve in the game. Hendry did it in the 80s and 90s and [Steve] Davis, and I am pleased to be in that bracket, but I still like to enjoy playing.”

– – –

Stream the Masters and other top snooker live and on-demand on discovery+. You can also watch all the action live on eurosport.co.uk.

The Masters

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'Like playing Federer at Wimbledon' – Robertson on facing O'Sullivan at the Masters

Neil Robertson has compared facing Ronnie O’Sullivan at the Masters to taking on Roger Federer at Wimbledon.

Robertson got the better of O’Sullivan in the quarter-finals at Alexandra Palace on Thursday, which went some way to easing the pain of losing the final of the World Grand Prix to the Rocket last month.

It was a notable effort, as O’Sullivan was roared by his adoring public at Alexandra Palace.

The Masters

Robertson holds nerve to beat O’Sullivan and book place in Masters semi-finals

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Robertson was taken aback by the greeting O’Sullivan got from the crowd, but is aware the seven-time winner is a firm favourite of the Masters crowd – similar to how the Swiss tennis great is adored at SW19.

“It was amazing being out there,” Robertson told Eurosport. “I thought my reaction was amazing, but when Ronnie came out it was on another level again.

“It’s like playing Federer at Wimbledon, you know you are going to have the majority of the crowd against you. It has nothing to do with me personally, but Ronnie is like no other player we have had in the game.

“You have to respect that, but you also need to be ready to go and play well when you get the chances and I felt as though 90% of the match was fantastic. There were one or two mistakes but that is to be expected when you are playing in a cauldron of amazing fans.”

Robertson was pleased with how he responded to his first meeting with O’Sullivan since defeat in Coventry in December.

“I am very relieved as I did not manage to shake him off in the Grand Prix,” Robertson said. “The disappointment of losing the final to him, I was determined to put in a big performance and I think I did that.

“It is a big improvement from my match on Sunday, and hopefully I can step forward again for the semis.”

‘What a start’ – Robertson wins first frame against O’Sullivan with stunning 138

While O’Sullivan is the firm favourite of the fans, there were Australian supporters to cheer on Robertson.

A wag in the crowd shouted “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie.” And although he stopped short of mentioning the Ashes on this occasion, Robertson was quick to reply: “Oi, oi, oi!”

O’Sullivan arrived at Alexandra Palace motivated for success, and was seen practicing at the venue through the week. He has no fear at the table, and Robertson feels that is a mindset top players have to adopt.

“He has won all the things he has won, so there is no reason for him to fear anybody,” Robertson said. “If you are a top player in the game you can’t allow yourself to be worried about someone else.

“The consistent tournament winners are the ones who put matches behind them and just try to be as positive as possible.

“Maybe some guys do fear the player and the opposition, but for me I have never feared anybody and if I ever did I would have had to snap myself out of it or I would not have become the player I am.“

– – –

Stream the Masters and other top snooker live and on-demand on discovery+. You can also watch all the action live on eurosport.co.uk.

The Masters

‘Shocking!’ – O’Sullivan berates himself after losing position

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‘Go on the guv’nor’ – Ronnie O’Sullivan roared on by boisterous fan

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