Anyway, thanks all for your company this week - it's been a pleasure. Enjoy the dregs of your weekend!

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Gibraltar Open
‘Hendry wants to prove he's the greatest’ – Snooker set for king's comeback special
YESTERDAY AT 12:56

One thing I would say about Ronnie is that his safety was great this week, even if his potting and break-building wasn't. Though it's also worth saying that the best other players - Selby and Robertson in particular - were below par this week and might not be in April at the Crucible.

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It's actually really nice to hear Ronnie talking about beating Hendry's worlds record - we'll get to enjoy him for a while yet. Planet Earth is a better place.

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The crowd go wild as Ronnie raises the trophy, his nipper and Jimmy White looking on.

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Ronnie says how proud he was to win the Paul Hunter Classic in Germany - "you're there in our hearts, our minds, and we all love you." He really has grown into such a gent, which is an absurd thing to write of someone older than me, but whatever.

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"He should've beaten me today, I got lucky, I really really got lucky - I stole that today," says Ronnie. He praises the crowd, says he's really enjoyed the week and that it's been a test, given the tip issue. He's happy to have the record and still wants to beat Hendry's World Championship record.

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Perry says that he's proved plenty to himself this week and when he was down he decided "sod it, I'm going to go for everything".

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Ronnie chucks his tip on the floor sticks his cue on the table, and hugs his son, Ronnie Junior. He hasn't played brilliantly this week - well, he has in parts - but heavens above, has he wanted to win.

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Perry 7-10 O'Sullivan

Balls in mouth time as Perry nearly sends the white in, but when it stays out, he plays the pot ... it's into the yellow pocket, it's close, AND IT STAYS OUT! Ronnie has a long look at the table t check he can send the white past the brown to stick it in the green pocket - HE CAN! RONNIE O'SULLIVAN IS GOING TO WIN HIS SEVENTH MASTERS TITLE, PUTTING HIM ONE AHEAD OF THE GREAT STEPHEN HENDRY! DOWN GO YELLOW, YELLOW, GREEN, BROWN AND BLUE! RONNIE IS THE CHAMPION AGAIN! WHAT A PLAYER HE IS; WHAT A SPORTSMAN HE IS; WHAT A MAN HE IS!

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Perry 7-9 O'Sullivan (39-36)

Some lovely, measured shots from both chaps, and under inordinate pressure too; one mistake from Joe and he's toast; one from Ronnie and he's in serious danger.

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Perry 7-9 O'Sullivan (39-36)

Red-ball frame then; whoever can pot it would fancy themselves to clear as many colours as they need. We may be here a while.

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Perry 7-9 O'Sullivan (39-36)

"Oh, Joe," sighs Hendry as Ronnie misses a difficult red and Joe misses an easier one. That might be that, because Ronnie is soon buzzing around the table eliminating reds and blacks with both ease and prejudice. One of the two remaining reds is on the cushion by the yellow spot, so Ronnie plays for the yellow to get it back on its spot to get the cannon he's after; "what a snooker brain this man has got!" exclaims Jayvee. He then catches the red too thickly and that's end of break but even so, that was wonderful.

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Perry 7-9 O'Sullivan (39-0)

Joe's quickly back in the balls and splits the pack further off a red, but a flick off the blue makes for a hard yellow not an easy brown. Out comes the rest and he misses by plenty - but leaves nothing.

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Perry 7-9 O'Sullivan (24-0)

A lax positional shot looks like trouble for Joe, but he rescues it before a bad bounce off the cushion gives him greater aggravation - though Hendry chastises him for playing for black not blue - and he's forced into safety.

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Perry 7-9 O'Sullivan (9-0)

So, here we go again, with Ronnie to break, and a very tidy job of it he does too. He leaves not even the scent of a pot, AND THEN JOE CANNONS ONE IN OFF THE BLACK! Oh my! Green goes next, then another red, then another green and a difficult red.

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Perry 7-9 O'Sullivan

53 to Joe, who misses the yellow, but this is excellent stuff from him. Can he retain momentum now he's close again? He looked really relaxed in compiling that break - in particular, the red that started it was special - and Ronnie isn't happy with the tip he had to put on yesterday.

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Perry 6-9 O'Sullivan (68-1)

Perry misses a long red - one he should pot, given the proximity of the cue ball to the object ball. But he knew it was a shot to nothing, and the players exchange safety before Ronnie jaws a long one. But what a shot comes next, another long one, also beautifully controlled, and that'll be the frame!

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Perry 6-9 O'Sullivan (23-1)

A mistake from Joe lets Ronnie in and down goes the red ... "was that his last shot in this year's Masters?" - but Ronnie only goes and misses the black! He returns to his corner fiddling with his tip, while Perry sets about the balls.

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Perry 6-9 O'Sullivan (14-0)

Ed Miliband continues to seem far more electable than he ever did as Labour leader - he's in the crowd tonight. Anyway, Ronnie thinks he's got a red on, from adjacent to the pack and into the middle, but feart of a push-shot, he undercooks it and Perry knocks it home. But then he's shy of position playing the black, and it looks like he's got to go into the cluster, only he opts not to. And he's swiftly punished for negative option, forced to initiate a safety exchange when there's nothing for him to pot.

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Perry 6-9 O'Sullivan

Just as I was singing hosannas, Ronnie almost misses a red, except he doesn't. Oh well. Instead, he zips around the table as though on skates and magics balls into pockets as though friction no longer exists. His control is unreal, and that's another ton! He needs one for a seventh Masters title!

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Perry 6-8 O'Sullivan (0-47)

Ronnie catches a red too thick, but then Joe can't roll a pot of medium difficulty along the bottom cushion; suddenly, he feels he can win again. So Ronnie returns, and a gentle red cannons the pink which is then rapped into the centre. For a second it looks like there's now nothing on, but of bloody course there is, and this frame is rapidly coming to a close.

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Perry 6-8 O'Sullivan (0-13)

What's interesting about that last frame is that Joe got his chance after having the better of a safety exchange; that's not happened too many times today. But here, he quickly leaves one and perfect cueing from Ronnie sends it home, a green and red come next and now he's on the black, off which he opens the pack. I sense another quick frame.

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Perry 6-8 O'Sullivan

Ronnie steps out between frames, maybe to have a word with himself, maybe for a slash, maybe for both, maybe for neither; what does it all mean?

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Perry 6-8 O'Sullivan

No he can't, a red undercut to the bottom-left. But 92 is pretty nifty, and if he can win the next, well. Perry is hitting the ball really nicely now, perhaps since he thought he couldn't win.

Perry 5-8 O'Sullivan (77-1)

Lovely from Joe, methodical and thorough with his planning and potting - "isn't it funny how intervals work", yes, hilarious. So, with the frame secure, can he make a second century in two frames?

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Perry 5-8 O'Sullivan (20-1)

Needing a thin cut on a red sat by the bottom-left and on the bottom cushion, O'Sullivan catches it way too thick which lets in Perry. This is actually a really good chance and he sets about it well, clearing loose reds with blues.

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Perry 5-8 O'Sullivan (0-1)

Ronnie rams home a red, but the white runs too far into baulk and he's forced to play safe. So an up and down safety exchange ensues, which immediately leads one to favour the champion.

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Perry 5-8 O'Sullivan

Well played the Gentleman, a run of 110 wins his first frame in eight, and there's serious venom in the way he punishes home the final black. If he can get first shy in the next frame, we may yet have a ballgame.

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Perry 4-8 O'Sullivan (54-1)

Joe is working this out nicely, and he comes down from the blue to remove a red from the path of the black, then back up for the blue. But he's the wrong side of it, so will need a good shot to keep things moving. And he finds one, ramming a red right in the heart of the bottom-left, so if he can sink the green - he can - then he should be sweet. Except he ends up the wrong side of blue again after the next red, this time going in and out of baulk, but he's ok, and this is nearly the frame.

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Perry 4-8 O'Sullivan (15-1)

Joe misses a red and Ronnie does not, beautifully clipped into the centre. But he's not perfect on the black into the bottom-right, forces it, ripples the pack and misses! So Joe feathers in a double, adds a black, then another red, and shmices the cluster off the blue. If he can't take this chance, he's got an even bigger problem than previously supposed, and that's saying something.

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Right then, here we go again.

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So, Ronnie is only two away as they take a break. Perry will rue the red he missed that would've taken him close to 5-1, but there's no way he's getting out of the way of this. Sorry.

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Perry 4-8 O'Sullivan

Perry looks simultaneously resigned and befuddled; he knew that Ronnie had to play badly, and he isn't. But such is snooker that there'll always be opportunities to rue because no one pots everything. Sometimes, though, people appear to, and down go all the balls in a run of 85, easily O'Sullivan's best of the match, and that's seven frames in a row. We are privileged to be living in his time.

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Perry 4-7 O'Sullivan (15-38)

Containing pot from Ronnie - which he almost misses - but he follows it with a smart snooker up to baulk and close to the top cushion. Foul and miss from Joe, so Ronnie pots the red, comes up for the blue, and it'll soon be a mini-session whitewash.

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Perry 4-7 O'Sullivan (15-18)

Chance each in this frame, Perry wasting the first and O'Sullivan the second. We're now playing safety,m and we know how that ends.

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Perry 4-7 O'Sullivan

And there it is, with my apologies for the delay - my entire system crashed.

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Perry 4-6 O'Sullivan (0-50)

Rhapsodic red from Ronnie, long into the green pocket form close to the cue ball. He's quickly racing around the table a-rattlin' an' a-strokin' and it's going to be 4-7 very soon indeed.

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Perry 4-6 O'Sullivan (0-8)

Ronnie first in with eight, but then they're back to safety; can Perry take a long red, across the table? He'll be on the black if he can, but cues across it slightly and he can't. Perhaps last night is taking it's toll, or perhaps playing the greatest ever in his favourite venue, going for a record, is just too much. Pathetic if so imo.

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Perry 4-6 O'Sullivan

Lovely stuff fro the Rocket, and what does Perry do from here? He can't compete in the safety, so more or less has to hope O'Sullivan gets in the balls and misses. Ah.

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Perry 4-5 O'Sullivan (4-92)

Ronnie is flowing now, and it feels like it's not just the frame that's over; this is Mozart, this is George Eliot, this is Picasso. There's then some of situation in the crowd - it seems a behavioural one, but Ken says it's medical, and Ronnie chooses to carry on. Immediately he misses, but Joe already requires snookers, and then they pause while the health issue is resolved. "Heat exhaustion", suggests Dennis and, ludicrous though it sounds, it does get warm in there. Ronnie then gets back in, and off he goes.

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Perry 4-5 O'Sullivan (4-21)

Perry must be wondering now, and that's the evil of snooker: you've plenty of time to spectate on yourself as things slip away. But Perry is first in in frame 10, before a mistake means he has to play safe with just 4 on the board. Ronnie is soon back in control, there's some shouting, and folk are warned to simmer down - they're "helping the players," apparently, as though they've been asked, as though that's the point of it.

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Perry 4-5 O'Sullivan

I'm not sure Perry has the game to get into a safety exchange with O'Sullivan and he leaves him a tempter - the red rolled along the top rail. The pot winds up missed, but Ronnie knew he'd be unlikely to leave it - he didn't - and that he might get a snooker - he did. It eventually forces Joe to leave the red, down it goes, and that's the frame. Four in a row for the maestro.

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Perry 4-4 O'Sullivan (14-44)

Great long pot from Ronnie which means it's the black to leave Joe needing a snooker. But he plays for position on the red, misses the pot - "how often does that happen?" and we're back to chasing.

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Perry 4-4 O'Sullivan (14-43)

This is now the longest frame of the match, and Ronnie takes a decent step towards resolving it by laying a clever snooker: Joe is behind the yellow, and with the black in front of it, the swerve is out of the question. As such, a foul is a fairly unsurprising outcome, on the pink too; he's put back and hits second time.

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Perry 4-4 O'Sullivan (14-37)

O'Sullivan disturbs the two reds, finishes on nothing, and has to play safe again, then again after a red and a yellow. So Perry tries to develop the red by the pink only to further complicate matters with the disturber. O'Sullivan then knocks it out, and back and forth we go.

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Perry 4-4 O'Sullivan (14-34)

Perry leaves O'Sullivan tight to the bottom cushion and it takes him a while to conceive a response, but when it comes it's a decent one. But then, two shots later, O'Sullivan leaves a red - it goes to the middle, off the pink - and Perry misses it! But there are still two reds close to the left side cushion and one near the right, bothered by the pink.

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Perry 4-4 O'Sullivan (14-14)

Great red from Ronnie, played dead weight. But then, on 12, he overscrews and the white goes into the middle! Chance for Joe, and he takes a red then a black, but must now play up the table. The ball he's after is close by, but the distance to the yellow pocket is great, and he misses. There's nothing on though, so we'll have some tactical taping around the bottom cushion. Who'll make the first - and probably crucial - error?

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Perry 4-4 O'Sullivan (2-2)

A useful response from Perry has Ronnie tapping the table, but he the pots a brilliant red. Still, though, there's nothing on, so it's up the table, off the yellow and safe.

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Perry 4-4 O'Sullivan (2-2)

Well there's something you don't see often - Ronnie misses one with his left hand. Incidentally, remember when he got gyp for making things easier for himself because it was "disrespectful" to his opponent? Anyway, Perry pots the same ball, but on nothing, is forced to play safe, flukes a red, and again is on nowt. So he rolls into the brown but catches far too much of it, and a good shot puts him in a small bit of trouble.

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Perry 4-4 O'Sullivan (0-2)

Ronnie is first in with a red, but on nothing, he tries a safety which doesn't really work. But Perry then misses a red of his own, Ronnie pots one, and again plays safe.

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Still, let's not contemplate that awful thought - there's enough misery in the world after all. Let's have some snooker instead!

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Right, then, back we are for the final session of the 2017 Masters, and what a jazzer we've got in store. We'll see either history or beauty, perhaps both, and we'll never see another player Ronnie O'Sullivan, so drink him while you can. But Joe Perry is no patsy, and if he can find play as he did in this afternoon's first mini-session, he's got a chance. And either way, it's already been another classic tournament; come lunchtime tomorrow we'll be missing it like billy-o.

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So, what will Perry think? He'd have taken four-each, I'm sure - in the back of his mind, he'd have feared a pounding - but you don't give a sucker an even break, let alone a genius. On the other hand, the longer format favours the better player, and this is now a best of 11. Either way, we're all set for something: Ronnie, who was showing signs, will break a record, or Joe, who has shown signs, will make us cry. See you then!

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Perry 4-4 O'Sullivan

Key shot coming up: pot the black of its spot into the bottom-left - the white is parallel - then use the angle to disturb the red on the side cushion. He does the second part beautifully, leaving it over the middle, BUT MISSES THE BLACK! BY A DISTANCE! Ronnie pots a few balls to make sure, and we'll start the evening all-square.

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Perry 4-3 O'Sullivan (23-55)

First outward sign of frustration from Ronnie as he misses a red, and Perry has a glimmer!

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Perry 4-3 O'Sullivan (0-31)

The breaking has been much better this afternoon than last night, so again we open with safety, and a bazzer from Ronnie allows him the first red; "one". Next, a blue lasered into the yellow pocket, but plenty of work still to be done because the position isn't ideal. So, he simply glides in a red diagonally into the bottom-left, various other balls thereafter, and this is now looking ominous. Time's up, Mr Gentleman.

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Apparently, we like watching these safety exchanges, they're interesting. Cheers for pointing that out, Hazeo.

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Perry 4-3 O'Sullivan

Red and pink for Pezzo, but then he jaws the next ball, so Ronnie knocks one of the two remaining reds onto the top cushion - the black is already on the bottom - and when he leaves one of them over the yellow pocket, Perry bumps it home, cannoning the blue which stops him taking the pink he needs to not need another snooker. But then Ronnie fouls - what a chance this is! - only for Perry to botch his attempted snooker. Still, the black is now in play, and Ronnie is quickly behind it! Lovely shot, received with a table tap. But what an escape! Off three cushions! So Perry rides again, tucking the red behind the green, only for Ronnie to hit it first go once more. His eye is in now, so when Perry leaves that red over the pocket, he concedes.

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Perry 4-2 O'Sullivan (4-61)

Ronnie misses a red to make absolutely sure of the frame so Perry comes back needing two snookers; surely he can't do it again....

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Perry 4-2 O'Sullivan (4-61)

Excellent red from Ronald, then a booming green, red into the middle, and can he craft something? The balls are far from ideally spread, in little clusters, but not for long. Ronnie's highest break so far is 58, and as Hendry points out, there can't be many of his finals where that's been so after six. There's a whiff of time's up about these last two stanzas, all the more because Perry isn't a potter, more a classy all-rounder, except this isn't 2004; these days, the great man is fallible.

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Perry 4-2 O'Sullivan (4-17)

Great pot from Joe, whammed straight down the left of the table to sink a red, hard enough to leave him on the green. He drains that, but then misses a red to the bottom-left, in comes the Rockstar, and after an opener, he teases a lovely red parallel to the bottom cushion. But then he tries the cannon and finishes on nothing - the plan wa sto send a red to the green pocket, the route to which is now blocked - so has to cut to the middle, misses, and we're back to safety.

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Perry 4-2 O'Sullivan (0-1)

A red for Ronnie leaves him on nowt, so the chaps exchange safety.

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Perry 4-2 O'Sullivan

I'm not sure I've ever seen a competition in which so few frames have been won in one visit, certainly since the last eight - and high breaks, too. And Perry, after a run of 33, catches the bottom cushion with a toughish red, which allows Ronnie in. You'd expect him to clear up, but you - I say you, I mean me - has expected a lot of things. Still, this time it happens; Ronnie clears up, and that could be huge, a turning point and all the rest of it.

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Perry 4-1 O'Sullivan (23-25)

But what is going on?! O'Sullivan misses a straightforward black, Perry tucks a red into the middle, and there's now every chance this becomes 5-1!

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Perry 4-1 O'Sullivan (7-25)

Perry cracks a red in the process of taking the white back into baulk, leaves it, and in goes Ronnie. He drops it home, follows it with a green and red, and that allows him to get the black back on its spot.

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Perry 4-1 O'Sullivan (7-12)

Crivens, O'Sullivan needs this frame, and he's first in with a red, then a yellow which takes him down to pack and black. But then shot from red to black is clumsy, he cracks the bunch too hard, then misses a difficult black to the middle! So Joe takes an easy opener, and this is trouble for the Rocket ... until a missed black brings him back to the table, from where he initiates a safety exchange. With both pink and black tied up, the former by reds and latter on the side cushion, we may be here some time.

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Perry 4-1 O'Sullivan

Perry is absolutely flowing now, not thinking too much, just knocking balls into holes. If he can refrain from apprehending that which he's doing, he's in with a proper chance now, and a red along the cushion followed by a black take him to 99. Then he rolls home a red for the first ton of the match, and Marco Fu's 1412 highest break is under threat. But a cannon on the brown denies him the angle on the yellow; he'll not mind.

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Perry 3-1 O'Sullivan (62-0)

Perry is knocking in everything he should knock in at the moment, and that's more than enough the way O'Sullivan's playing. And it looks certain to guarantee us a thrilling evening session, because Perry is already close to tying the frame up at this visit. Brilliant stuff.

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Perry 3-1 O'Sullivan (8-0)

Ronnie cannons a yellow playing safe and leaves Joe straight on a red. Down it goes, he's on the black, and well I never.

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Back they come.

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So, what a start for Gentleman Joe! He's played really well when given a chance, while Ronnie has played poorly. Of course, he can spark into life at any point, but if Perry can take the next frame, he'll really start to wonder.

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Perry 3-1 O'Sullivan

Perry is cueing far more confidently than last night, even in the frames that he won. The balls are set very nicely for a steal and he sets about eliminating them simply and quickly, a run of 74 sending him to the midsession 3-1 ahead.

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Perry 2-1 O'Sullivan (17-31)

A good safety from Ronnie forces Joe into the pack and he's left a plant into the bottom-right; Ronnie sinks it with enough power so that he flies across the table, off the cushion, cannons a red and is perfect on the black. Remarkable. Then down go various other balls, but then off the blue, he flicks the pink too thinly and he's not on a red. The ensuing safety is poor as well, allowing Perry a starter that leaves him on the yellow.

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Perry 2-1 O'Sullivan (16-0)

Ronnie misses a red and Joe retorts with a well-worked-out plant, followed by a pink into the middle. But he finishes short on a red so has to play safe, and the two joust for the next opportunity. That was a significant oversight from Joe, though - he was in.

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Perry 2-1 O'Sullivan (0-0)

"Important frame" this, apparently. More news as I get it.

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Perry 2-1 O'Sullivan

Missed red apiece, but Ronnie's lets Joe in, and a green take leaves him 49 behind with 51 remaining. He then plays a lovely shot off a black to develop the last read, sitting on the side cushion, and now the only difficult ball is that brown deposited on the top side cushion earlier in the frame. But too buy planning his strategy, Perry misses the next black, O'Sullivan quickly rinses yellow and green, bringing the brown into play while so doing. and that's one frame back for the champion.

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Perry 2-0 O'Sullivan (0-59)

Brilliant three-ball plant from O'Sullivan but no colour reward, so more safety ensues, before he taps a red to put the white in tight against the black. Joe escapes well, though.

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Perry 2-0 O'Sullivan (0-58)

Trouble for the Rocket, who finds himself in between brown and blue with no loose reds. So he eschews potting yellow or green, instead playing safe and putting the brown on the cushion - Perry will need it if he's to win the frame.

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Perry 2-0 O'Sullivan (0-36)

Perry misses a long red too thickly and Ronnie punishes him, slotting it home when it comes back to baulk with the white. He's quickly on the black, and is striking the ball very nicely indeed.

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Perry 2-0 O'Sullivan

Easy does it for Perry, clearing to pink and leaving the black. Lovely stuff.

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Perry 0-0 O'Sullivan (48-16)

Ronnie knocks the green over its own pocket - and runs out position in the process, so that's end of break. But Joe then leaves him another chance, he misses into the bottom-left, and the ball then rolls up the rail and pots the green. That, surely, will be 2-0.

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Perry 0-0 O'Sullivan (44-16)

An excellent shot from Perry leaves the white in baulk and on the side cushion, O'Sullivan's response offering an easy red. Down it goes, and the frame is going the same way. Or is it! A straightforward red hits the jaw, and Ronnie can't have been expecting that. A super red sets him away, but two others hit the side cushion as a consequence; loads of work to do here.

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Perry 0-0 O'Sullivan (32-10)

But, hampered on a red into the middle, he misses, leaving nothing easy. So Ronnie sort of plays a pot but mainly to leave the red on the top cushion, which he does, and a safety exchange ensues.

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Perry 0-0 O'Sullivan (32-10)

So up gets Joe and he confidently racks up 16, splitting the pack too. But he's not perfect on the next red so pauses, knocks it in, and cuts in the black, finishing perfectly on the next red. Great chance this, now, now, this.

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Perry 1-0 O'Sullivan (0-4)

Perry' breaking last night was despicable, and he leaves a red with his first effort this afternoon - a difficult one, but one nonetheless, and down it goes. Ronnie can't hold the white below the baulk line though, so snuggles in behind the green and Joe hits the blue with his escape. So, down goes the nearest red, the yellow, another red ... and then he misses the black! Oh dear me!

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Perry 1-0 O'Sullivan (23-24)

This is really well done by Perry, the frame sorted with a break of 72. Back goes Ronnie to the ref, but there's no excuse for that pot he missed.

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Perry 0-0 O'Sullivan (51-24)

This is good from Perry, confidently handling some tricky pots and positional shots. He needs three more reds with colours for the frame.

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Perry 0-0 O'Sullivan (23-24)

Lovely red from Ronnie along the bottom cushion, then into the pack off the black - and things look black for Joe. But then, rolling in the next red he tries to punch a bit of the pocket trying to avoid the kiss on a different red in the run-through, and misses! Who saw that coming. Ronnie says something to the ref, perhaps about noise coming form the practice table, suggests Ken. Whatever, this is a serious chance for Joe now, and he sets about it with purpose.

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Perry 0-0 O'Sullivan (7-17)

Hampered by the yellow, Ronnie can't get the white back onto the cushion and leaves another long red; this time, Joe sees it away superbly, sinks the pink, then goes for the cannon off the next red ... and contrives to miss the pot. That was very naughty, he simply cannot be missing chances of that ilk, and all he can do now is hope for a miss. Good luck with that.

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Perry 0-0 O'Sullivan (0-0)

Ronnie leaves one off the break which Joe takes on into the bottom-left. He misses by a distance and leaves it in baulk, but with no obvious colour to get onto, Ronie plays safe.

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A handshake in front of the glass triangle, one of the naffest, best, most poignant trophies in sport, and O'Sullivan will break.

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And here comes yo Rocket.

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The boys/baize interface is upon us. Here comes Joe, who's already remarked that the moment of his introduction will be the greatest of his career, by far. Will it inspire or impede him?

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And well done Stephen Hendry, in untucked shirt, while the others are in bad syoots, a tree-piece in Ken's case.

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"The nerves must've been jangling," says Ken Doherty to Peter Perry, Joe's dad. "They was, they was," he replies, and what an image it was, Joe sinking the blue, punching the air and blowing a kiss to his dad, also on his feet, punching the air. Beautiful.

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Of course, if Ronnie wins today he'll go ahead of Stephen Hendry with seven Masters wins. I actually thought a few years ago that he'd beat his World Championship record too, but that now seems far less likely.

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The Masters is such a competition, and it's no wonder Ronnie O'Sullivan has made it his. He's at home, but more important than that, every match is a test and over relatively quickly but not too quickly. He's hard to live with in any circumstances; when everything is in his favour, fogedaboudid. It's pretty tricky to see a way for Perry, who's a good player but lacks the outstanding attribute required to cause trouble for the Rocket. On the other hand, he's probably never been as beatable, so.

Naw, I'm not convincing myself.

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___________________________________ Yes, I'm still speechless from last night. But that's fairly unhelpful when it comes to writing a liveblog, so consider this some scat and we'll see where it takes us. Joe Perry's comeback, though, was both ludicrous and unusual; the questions now are whether he's got anything left, and even more pertinently, if he can play any better today. Because if he does not, he will lose, and if Ronnie O'Sullivan plays as well as he played yesterday, he'll lose whatever he does.

Things, though, are rarely so simple, all the more so in sport, all the more so in snooker, and all the even more so when the most naturally talented player ever to pick up cue is involved.

Settle in, because whatever happens, it'll be something.

Gibraltar Open
Gibraltar Open LIVE - Judd Trump cruises past Robbie Williams
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Players Championship
'The best ever' – Higgins lauds O’Sullivan after winning title
28/02/2021 AT 21:53