Ronnie O’Sullivan Triumphs in Historic Riyadh Season World Masters of Snooker

Picture Credit: WST

AliExpress WW
  • Save

Ronnie O’Sullivan emerged victorious in the inaugural Riyadh Season World Masters of Snooker, marking the first professional tournament of its kind in Saudi Arabia. The snooker legend defeated Luca Brecel 5-2 in the final, solidifying his status as the sport’s greatest player.

This historic event attracted the world’s top players to compete in the Kingdom for the first time, with the hope of sparking a newfound interest in snooker across the Middle East. O’Sullivan, serving as a flag-bearer for the sport, lived up to expectations by clinching the title in a final clash against the world number one and World Champion.

In a notable innovation, the tournament featured a golden ball, providing players the opportunity to achieve a unique break of 167 and earn a $500,000 bonus. Although the elusive ‘super-maximum’ was not attained, HE Advisor Turki Alalshikh, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the General Entertainment Authority (GEA), announced a doubling of the bonus to $1,000,000 for the next staging of the event. Alalshikh also floated the idea of establishing a Ronnie O’Sullivan academy in Saudi Arabia.

Reflecting on the tournament, O’Sullivan expressed his delight, praising the fantastic venue, enthusiastic crowd, and the overall cultural experience. He emphasized the significance of such tournaments with a great atmosphere, contributing to the growth of snooker. O’Sullivan encouraged others to witness the impressive sports lineup in Riyadh Season, emphasizing Saudi Arabia’s potential as a powerhouse in the sports world.

This victory further contributes to O’Sullivan’s outstanding season, where, at the age of 48, he has secured five titles in the 2023/24 season, accumulating a season total of £1,141,500. This surpasses Judd Trump’s previous record for the most earnings in a single campaign. With three significant tournaments still ahead, including the Cazoo World Championship, where O’Sullivan aims for an eighth crown, the snooker maestro continues to showcase his Midas touch.

For Brecel, who aspired to secure his first title since triumphing at the Crucible in May, a crucial error in frame four proved decisive. Despite earning £125,000 as the runner-up, Brecel remains optimistic, recognizing the improvement in his game as he looks forward to defending his title in Sheffield.

O’Sullivan dominated the final, taking the opening frame with a break of 96 and showcasing his prowess with subsequent breaks of 121 and 124. Brecel’s momentum took a hit in frame four when a missed black off its spot allowed O’Sullivan to capitalize with a 94 clearance. Following the interval, O’Sullivan sealed the victory by reeling off three rapid frames, securing the 79th professional title of his illustrious career.

O’Sullivan expressed his satisfaction, stating, “Participating in this event was a great experience, and I aimed to perform well. My match against John Higgins was a standout with one of my best performances. Although I faced challenges in the semi-finals against Judd Trump, I managed to step up my game in the final. The relaxed and laid-back atmosphere here, where life unfolds at a leisurely pace, contributed to my comfort. The support from fans chanting my name at the end was fantastic, and I eagerly anticipate returning.

“They have a genuine love for the game here, and discussions about establishing an academy with good coaches are underway. If young players get involved, we might witness a Saudi World Champion in the next 20 years, which would be beneficial for snooker.”

Brecel also shared his enthusiasm, saying, “These past few days have been incredible, and the crowd’s energy was outstanding. There was a palpable excitement about coming here, and we hope that this event becomes a long-standing tradition.”

AliExpress WW
  • Save

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap