Ronnie O’Sullivan and Mark Selby’s fascinating snooker rivalry is set to deliver a new chapter today when they come face to face in the Scottish Open final.
It will be the first time the players have met since this year’s World Championship semi-final at the Crucible – dubbed one of the greatest matches ever seen at the famous snooker venue.
O’Sullivan produced a breath-taking but at times controversial fightback from 16-14 down to beat Selby and reach the World Championship final – which he later won in comfortable fashion with victory over Kyren Wilson.
But the semi-final is also well known for its controversial moments and especially comments made post-match by Selby in which he accused his opponent of “disrespect”.
Selby said he was disappointed the way O’Sullivan played some shots at “100 miles per hour” during the most critical parts of the match when snookered or put in a difficult position.
The three-times world champion told Eurosport after the match: “I just felt like it was obviously a bit disrespectful to me and the game.
“Obviously if you are playing anybody else, there’s not many players who will get down and just hit them 100 miles per hour when you put them in a snooker.
O’Sullivan defended his actions in response saying: “I’m not good at getting out of snookers.
“I get what Mark is saying and I hope he doesn’t feel that way because we get on really well but you just have to play to your strengths and getting out of snookers ain’t my strength.”
Before that epic semi-final, both players were already part of one of the greatest rivalries in recent times with Selby famously winning his first World Championship title against O’Sullivan in 2014.
And both players have faced each other in three Masters final – O’Sullivan winning two of them.
On Saturday, O’Sullivan battled back from 4-1 down to beat China’s Li Hang 6-4 to reach the Scottish Open final for the first time.
Later in the day Selby comfortably ended Jamie Jones’ strong run in the tournament by beating him 6-1 in a rather one-sided semi-final.
The pair will compete for the top prize of £70,000 and the Stephen Hendry trophy.