Rocket Fightback Flooring Hawk – World Snooker

World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan battled again from 9-6 right down to beat Barry Hawkins 10-9 in an exciting semi-final on the Cazoo Tour Championship.

Hawkins appeared set for a cushty victory till he missed a purple on 46 within the 16th body. O’Sullivan stepped up and produced a surprising clearance of 71 to maintain his hopes alive at 9-7 and from there he turned the tide fully.

The Rocket then fired in a break of 90 to tug inside a body at 9-8. A dramatic 18th body got here right down to the colors, with Hawkins finally lacking a difficult inexperienced and affording O’Sullivan the chance to deposit a skinny reduce, which put him degree at 9-9.

O’Sullivan led 48-0 within the decider, earlier than lacking a mid-range purple. The Hawk had appeared set to pounce, however a missed in the reduction of black noticed him spurn his alternative for victory. Ultimately O’Sullivan decisively potted an extended purple from a free Hawkins security to get himself over the road and arrange a gathering with Neil Robertson within the ultimate.

The pair got here into the night degree at 4-4 after the primary session. Hawkins performed excellent snooker to blitz to his 9-6 benefit, making breaks of 74, 50, 103, 56 and 73. The loss will likely be all of the tougher to take contemplating he was additionally defeated 6-5 from 5-1 up in opposition to Judd Trump of their German Masters semi-final final month.

O’Sullivan will now compete within the 58th rating ultimate of his profession. That sees him clinch the document for rating ultimate appearances, shifting away from Stephen Hendry who’s on 57.

The 37-time rating occasion winner holds a 17-8 lead in head-to-head conferences with Robertson. He’ll be hoping to boost that document and add a primary title of the season tomorrow, when they may compete over the perfect of 19 frames for a prime prize of £150,000.

O’Sullivan has misplaced all 4 of his ultimate appearances up to now this season, having been runner-up on the Northern Eire Open, Scottish Open, Welsh Open and the Cazoo Gamers Championship.

Following this night’s victory, 45-year-old O’Sullivan mentioned: “Barry was cueing properly, potting a variety of lengthy balls and scoring properly. I felt he was the higher participant all over, till he missed that purple at 9-6. I began to play with a bit extra freedom then. It’s unusual how snooker matches can pan out.

“It’s robust. A few instances I’ve misplaced matches like that once I’ve been in successful positions. That’s generally the way it goes. I really feel for Barry. I hope he can take the positives out of it. He performed very properly this week and his sport is in good condition.

“I’m positive Neil goes to point out up and play. He’s Mr Consistency. The best way he strikes the ball there may be not rather a lot that may go incorrect with him. I’m going to have to search out some sort of degree to make it a sport.”

Hawkins mentioned: “I don’t suppose I’ve performed that a lot incorrect. The clearance he made to maintain himself within the match completely killed me. My head was spinning after that. He made it look really easy. Most of the time you suppose you may need an opportunity to get again to the desk. It’s a onerous one to take.

“I’ve performed properly to get within the match within the first place. As soon as you might be in it and you might be taking part in properly and have an opportunity to win and get to the ultimate, it’s simply onerous to take. You don’t take into consideration all the different stuff.”

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