Masters Snooker 2017 Results: Updated Draw and Schedule After Thursday's Scores

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJanuary 19, 2017

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 15:  Ronnie O'Sullivan of England looks on during his first round match against Liang Wenbo of China on day one of the Dafabet Masters at Alexandra Palace on January 15, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Reigning Masters snooker champion Ronnie O’Sullivan continued the defence of his crown in impressive style on Thursday, as he moved into the semi-finals with a 6-3 win over Neil Robertson.

For much of the match there was little between the duo, with both blending moments of brilliance with lapses in concentration. But eventually, O’Sullivan, a six-time winner of this event, upped the ante to secure his position in the last four, winning three legs in succession with the scores deadlocked at 3-3.

Later in the day, the second semi-finalist was confirmed, as Scottish Open champion Marco Fu put in a masterclass in break-building to get the better of Mark Allen 6-2. He will face O'Sullivan in the last four.

Here are the latest scores from Alexandra Palace and a closer look at some more intriguing action from one of snooker’s Triple Crown competitions.

Masters 2017: Quarter-Final Results and Schedule
Thursday, Jan 19
(1) Ronnie O'Sullivan6-3(8) Neil Robertson
(14) Marco Fu6-2(10) Mark Allen
Friday, Jan 20
(9) Joe Perryvs.(6) Ding Junhui
(11) Barry Hawkinsvs.(2) Mark Selby
BBC Sport

 

Ronnie O’Sullivan vs. Neil Robertson

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 15:  Ronnie O'Sullivan of England plays a shot during his first round match against Liang Wenbo of China on day one of the Dafabet Masters at Alexandra Palace on January 15, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Ima
Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Of all the quarter-finals to be played over the next couple of days, the clash between O’Sullivan and Robertson was undoubtedly the most hotly anticipated.

Robertson set the tone for the contest with a classy 74 break in the opening leg, allowing the 2010 world champion to snaffle an early lead. O’Sullivan was able to respond immediately, though, with a run of 63 allowing him to restore parity.

After a strategic safety battle, it was eventually O’Sullivan who took the lead in a tight third frame. Another edgy frame was then lit up by this brilliant shot from Robertson, who levelled at 2-2, per World Snooker:

O’Sullivan looked to be struggling for rhythm, and the Australian kept the pressure on his opponent with breaks of 59 and 62 to move ahead once again.

The five-time world champion showed all his class in the sixth frame, though, constructing an excellent clearance of 55 to move level and then back ahead again in the very next leg.

Robertson was unable to shake off O'Sullivan.
Robertson was unable to shake off O'Sullivan.Dan Mullan/Getty Images

As we can see here, somewhat ominously for Robertson, O’Sullivan looked to be slowly finding his groove in the game again:

Tension seemed to be setting in in what was a scrappy eighth frame. First the Rocket missed a great chance when in among the balls, allowing Robertson an opportunity of his own to build a frame-winning break.

However, the Australian never looked completely comfortable, and a missed long red allowed O’Sullivan back in. From there, with the help of a remarkable fluke, the six-time Masters winner moved two frames clear for the first time and one away from yet another semi-final.

The final frame was the most fractured of the lot. Both players were given warnings after consecutive outright misses—a third in a row would have resulted in the loss of the frame—before Robertson found himself in that position for a second time. 

He played a rash shot as a result, potting the black inadvertently and allowing O’Sullivan in to wrap up the contest.  

Following the match, O’Sullivan insisted he wasn’t completely pleased with his performance in this quarter-final. 

“I can feel and sense that I am missing too many easy balls now,” he told BBC Sport. “I need to cut them out. I am going to keep dragging my career out as long as I can, that is all you can do. …Hopefully I have three years left in my career but I am appreciative that I am still playing.”

 

Marco Fu vs. Mark Allen

Hong Kong snooker player Marco Fu plays a shot during his quarter-final match against Northern Ireland's Mark Allen during the Masters Snooker tournament at Alexandra Palace in London, on January 19, 2017. / AFP / Ben STANSALL        (Photo credit should
BEN STANSALL/Getty Images

After showcasing some exceptional form to win the Scottish Open in December and more imperious play to get the better of Judd Trump in his first match here at the Alexandra Palace, Fu represented a dangerous opponent for Allen.

The man from Hong Kong carried that swagger into the early portion of the contest. Fu settled into an excellent early groove, with breaks of 74 and 83, respectively, in the opening two frames allowing him to build an early lead.

Allen did have opportunities to get on the board for the first time in the third segment of the contest, although Fu put in runs of 36 and 33 at crucial points. With the score at 3-0, the 14th seed was already halfway to booking his spot against O’Sullivan.

There was little Allen could do about Fu's brilliant form.
There was little Allen could do about Fu's brilliant form.BEN STANSALL/Getty Images

The Northern Irishman typically brings his best when his back is against the wall, though. As we can see here, after a break of 70 in the fourth frame to chop the deficit back to two, he was on form in the fifth too:

Any sniff of a comeback was quickly extinguished by Fu, though. With just one frame in it, he turned the screw with a quality 97, moving 4-2 in front.

In the very next leg, he put in an even classier break. Fu cleared up every single ball in a magnificent 140, moving just one frame away from the semi. This delicate pot and placement were the highlights of his superb effort, which is the highest break of the competition so far:

Unsurprisingly, Allen looked a beaten man at this juncture and when Fu got in among the balls in the eighth frame, the writing was on the wall.

Indeed, he put together another brilliant sequence of 65 to wrap up the match. Provided he can play with the same level of conviction in the upcoming semi-final with O’Sullivan, the resurgent Fu will be confident of booking his place in another final.