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Ding Junhui makes historic 147 maximum break against Ronnie O'Sullivan at the Masters in first round

Ding Junhui becomes first player to make two 147s at The Masters but loses to Ronnie O'Sullivan in first round at Alexandra Palace; Ding's maximum helps him rally from 4-0 down to 4-3 against The Rocket before O'Sullivan wins 4-3; Ali Carter defeats Mark Williams 6-4 on Monday evening

Ronnie O'Sullivan and Ding Junhui
Image: Ronnie O'Sullivan beat Ding Junhui 6-3 despite his opponent's historic 147 in the seventh frame

Ronnie O'Sullivan beat Ding Junhui 6-3 in a memorable first-round match at The Masters after the Chinese player recorded a history-making 147.

Ding became the first snooker player to make two 147s at The Masters after he delivered a maximum break in the seventh frame of the best-of-11 encounter.

The 36-year-old made his first 147 in the event in 2007 and only two other players have made one at the biggest invitational triple crown event of the season - Canada's Kirk Stevens in 1984 and Hong Kong's Marco Fu in 2007.

Ding Junhui
Image: Ding is the first man to record two 147s in The Masters, having made his first in 2007

O'Sullivan raced into a 4-0 lead after Ding missed chances to win the opening three frames. The fourth of those frames saw O'Sullivan make the 1,231st century of his 32-year career after Ding missed a red to the bottom-right pocket.

It looked like O'Sullivan was going to go 5-0 up but he missed a relatively easy frame ball and Ding capitalised with a 56 clearance. Momentum was now on Ding's side and a 92 break was followed by the brilliant 147 as he trailed 4-3.

However, the maximum seemed to work against Ding as O'Sullivan dug in and won the next two frames to get over the line, with both players receiving a standing ovation from the Alexandra Palace crowd at the end of the match.

O'Sullivan said: "Unbelievable 147 from Ding. I knew he was going to make it from about the second or third red. His positional play is so good and he wasn't out of position once. What a magnificent player. A great break."

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Ronnie O'Sullivan
Image: O'Sullivan will face either Neil Robertson or Barry Hawkins in the quarter-finals

O'Sullivan looking for an eighth Masters

O'Sullivan beat Ding less than two months ago in the UK Championship final and is looking for an eighth Masters crown this week before targeting a record-breaking eighth World Championship title later this year in Sheffield.

The 48-year-old will play Neil Robertson or Barry Hawkins in his 25th Masters quarter-final but isn't sure about his form.

O'Sullivan added: "I just tried. My cueing is really not great. I was just trying to manufacturer stuff out there. I tried and there was nothing more I could do. I don't even know what to say! I was pleased to get over the line in the end."

Ali Carter, The Masters, snooker (PA Images)
Image: Ali Carter defeated Mark Williams 6-4 in Monday evening's match at Alexandra Palace

In the evening game, 2020 finalist Ali Carter defeated two-time winner Mark Williams 6-4 to set up a Friday quarter-final against either reigning champion Judd Trump or Kyren Wilson.

Carter and Williams were locked at 4-4 in a tight encounter before Carter peeled off half-centuries in the ninth and 10th frames to seal victory.

The winner told Eurosport: "Mark is such a great competitor, I just dug in there.

"I found it difficult and did well to be at 2-2. I found a bit of form in the second half but there was a lot of pressure and it's just enjoyable to put in a good performance."

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