Masters snooker: Ronnie O'Sullivan to play Mark Selby in final at Alexandra Palace
Last Updated: 18/01/14 11:10pm
Ronnie O'Sullivan: Will play Mark Selby in Alexandra Palace final
Ronnie O'Sullivan breezed to a 6-2 win over Stephen Maguire to set up a final showdown with Mark Selby at the Masters.
O'Sullivan was not at his free-flowing best in his match against Maguire, but a century break in the final frame showed he may not be far away from top form.
Maguire had taken the first frame, calming early nerves with a testing red which opened the door for a 98 clearance.
The 32-year-old had a chance to take the second frame as well but paid the price for poor positional play, and breaks of 39 and 36 enabled O'Sullivan to level the match.
Maguire fluked a red early in the third frame but 'The Rocket' took the frame with a break of 73 - and it was 3-1 at the mid-session interval courtesy of a run of 40.
The lead was extended to 4-1 as O'Sullivan won a scrappy fifth frame, with Maguire missing a black and pink off the spot.
A break of 59 moved the five-time world champion to within a frame of victory and he surged ahead in the next frame, only to miss a straightforward blue into the middle.
Maguire cleared up with a 48 to reduce the deficit to 5-2, but O'Sullivan pounced in the eighth frame, closing out the contest with an impressive break of 129.