- Ronnie O’Sullivan beat Luca Brecel to win a fourth successive Shanghai Masters
- The 47-year-old World No 1 has now won 18 straight matches in the Chinese city
- The Rocket put together breaks of 143 and 120 to beat the Belgian World No 2
Ronnie O’Sullivan will sell his Shanghai Masters trophy after beating Luca Brecel 11-9 in the final, revealing that he never keeps the gong.
O’Sullivan came back from 4-3 down to beat the Belgian, and lift the title for the fourth straight year, as the World Snooker Tour returned to mainland China.
The Rocket saw off the challenge of Brecel despite a rally late in the tie, with the World No 1 pulling off breaks of 143 and 120 to put himself in a strong position against the player ranked one spot below him.
However, despite a memorable match victory for the 47-year-old – his 18th in a row in Shanghai – he admitted that he would be parting with his latest piece of silverware sooner than many might expect.
‘I’m giving the trophy to my friend who is opening a club here in China,’ he revealed after the match. ‘I’m not really bothered about trophies.
Ronnie O’Sullivan revealed that he would be giving away his Shanghai Masters trophy
The Rocket has won four gongs on the trot in the Chinese city but insisted he did not want any memorabilia left by the time he reaches 80
It was revenge against Luca Brecel (left) who beat him on the way to lifting the World Championship earlier this year
‘I always give them away. My mate Paul’s got one, I gave one to a kid in the crowd
‘I don’t want any memorabilia left by the time I’m 70 or 80. I’m preparing for death – part of that is I don’t want snooker stuff – it’s all going.’
As arguably the greatest to ever play the game, O’Sullivan has made a career out of an aggressive, fast-paced style.
However, even he was overshadowed by Brecel’s brilliant and ambitious approach, taking on almost every pot available to him, and was good value in his narrow loss to the Brit.
O’Sullivan has now gone seven years since his last defeat in Shanghai, a shock loss to Michael Holt, with an enforced break following the Covid pandemic.
O’Sullivan’s fourth title in a row was in fact his fifth in total, having claimed the gong in 2009, 2017, 2018, 2019 and now 2023.
His claims that he hopes not to have any memorabilia from his glittering career by the time he passes away could leave him with plenty of work to do given his unprecedented success in snooker.
In addition to his four Shanghai Masters titles, O’Sullivan has won 39 ranking tournaments, including seven World Championships, seven UK Championships and seven Masters.
Despite being one of the greatest to lift a cue, O’Sullivan has also been openly critical of snooker throughout his career.
O’Sullivan came from 4-3 behind to win 11-9 but had staved off a late charge from the Belgian
Despite Brecel’s rally, the Brit put together breaks of 120 and 143 to put himself in a strong position
O’Sullivan is now unbeaten in Shanghai in seven years with the tournament returning after a four year hiatus
Brecel’s ultra-aggressive style has won plaudits from across the game including from the Rocket himself
Earlier this year he called for an increase in clashes between the top ‘eight or 16’ players in order to improve the ‘content’ of snooker, rather than see top-ranked players take on outsiders.
But victory in China was revenge for the Belgian’s stunning win over him in the World Championship quarter-finals in April, when Brecel went on to lift a maiden title at the Crucible after reeling off seven frame wins in a row to win 13-10 – denying the Rocket a record eighth crown.
‘It was one of those tournaments. I was well below par, but I played alright when I had to,’ he said after Sunday’s win.
‘I’m not surprised Luca has done as well as he has. He’s not a surprise world champion. He’s got an amazing gift to play this game.’
Source of data and images: dailymail