Ronnie O’Sullivan’s bid for an eighth Masters title came to a halt at the hands of Neil Robertson.
The Australian was the better player and ran out a 6-4 winner, but the Rocket could point to a match-changing moment when he was arguably in the ascendancy.
O’Sullivan never led at any stage in the contest, but he had drawn level at 3-3 on the back of a brilliant century break in the sixth frame.
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The seven-time Masters champion was in the balls in the seventh and in with a chance of getting his nose in front for the first time, when he was put off by something in the crowd.
He stepped up off his shot and gesticulated the way of the disturbance, and called in referee Jan Verhaas.
O’Sullivan got back down on the shot and missed the pot by some distance.
“He was definitely put off,” David Hendon said on Eurosport commentary. “He wasn’t happy.”
To rub salt into the wounds, Robertson pounced and knocked in a break of 130 to take back control of the contest, which he never relinquished.
Speaking in the Eurosport studio following the game, Jimmy White said: “The problem I have with him being put off is he was 3-2 down, made it 3-3 and for the first time in the match he had an opportunity to go ahead in the match.
“That is a bit of an annoyance, but Ronnie won’t dwell on that.”
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