Fan Zhengyi beats Ronnie O’Sullivan to claim BetVictor European Masters title

Fan Zhengyi Beats Ronnie O’sullivan To Claim Betvictor European Masters Title
Fan Zhengyi beat Ronnie O'Sullivan to win the European Masters, © PA Archive/PA Images
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By Andy Hampson, PA

Chinese youngster Fan Zhengyi claimed his first ranking title with a stunning 10-9 victory over Ronnie O’Sullivan in the final of the BetVictor European Masters.

The 21-year-old world number 80 held his nerve to edge out the six-time world champion with a confident break of 92 in a final-frame decider in Milton Keynes.


O’Sullivan had fought back from two frames behind to level three times, and then pulled back from 9-8 down to take the match to the wire, but never had control.

Fan, who knocked in back-to-back centuries earlier in the match, duly closed out a memorable win and O’Sullivan was generous in his assessment of his opponent’s performance.

“He’s a fantastic player, brilliant,” said O’Sullivan on Eurosport. “He was the better player all day. I tried to hang on and make a game of it – which I did in the end – but he deserved his victory.


“It’s great for snooker and it was a pleasure to watch and a pleasure to play a future world champion.”

O’Sullivan was not at his best and twice complained about movement in the auditorium, first by a spectator and later by a photographer.

O'Sullivan was not at his best in the final
O’Sullivan was not at his best in the final (Adam Davy/PA)


The 46-year-old needed to dig deep to keep himself in the match.

The first four frames were scrappy and shared 2-2 but Fan then struck out to claim a 4-2 lead after breaks of 63 and 78.

O’Sullivan pulled back to level at 4-4, taking the last frame of the first session with a break of 83, but twin centuries from Fan (135 and 100) early in the evening restored his two-frame advantage.

Again O’Sullivan clawed his way back to make it 6-6 as both players missed chances but Fan then took the next two. O’Sullivan kept the match alive with a sparkling 107 and then nicked a tight 16th frame, before the next two were shared to set up the decider.


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