Incredibly, Ding has now made two of the four maximum breaks ever made at The Masters, having made one against Anthony Hamilton back in 2007.
The perfect break came in the seventh frame of the match in which O’Sullivan had raced into a 4-0 lead, but Ding battled back to make it 4-3 with the 147. However, the Rocket was unrattled, knocking in a century of his own (127) in the very next frame.
O’Sullivan looked inspired by Ding’s effort, if anything, winning the match in the next frame with a break of 71 to secure a 6-3 victory.
‘Unbelievable 147 from Ding,’ the Rocket told the BBC. ‘I knew he was going to make it from about the second or third red. He’s positional play is so good. He just wasn’t out of position once.
‘What a magnificent player. I was pleased to get over the line in the end. His cue ball control is better than anyone else ever.’
Ding added: ‘I had a lot of chances at the start of the match and just made 20 or 30, messed up somewhere, after the interval I didn’t think I’d play that well, made a maximum so that was amazing.
‘I had the chance and saw all the balls open, so thought maybe I’ll try and play the maximum because I saw Ronnie was playing so good today.’
Kirk Stevens made the first ever Masters maximum, against Jimmy White back in 1984, with Ding repeating the feat in 2007 and Marco Fu managing it against Stuart Bingham in 2015.
It is the seventh 147 of Ding’s career, and his first since he made a max in the 2016 Welsh Open.
There is no specific prize for a 147 at the Masters, although Ding is very likely to claim the £15,000 high break prize for his effort.
However, £147,000 is on the line for anyone who makes two maximums in Triple Crown events this season.
The Chinese superstar now knows that if he makes another 147 at the World Championship then he will claim the huge prize.
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