Ronnie O’Sullivan Powers Through to Shanghai Masters Final with a 10-7 Victory

The defending champion, Ronnie O’Sullivan, showcased his brilliance with a 10-7 victory over Mark Selby, extending his unbeaten streak at the Shanghai Masters and securing a fourth consecutive final appearance in the event.

O’Sullivan has an impressive track record in the tournament, winning 18 consecutive matches and maintaining an undefeated status in the city since his loss to Michael Holt in 2016. With four Shanghai Masters titles to his name, he dominated the event from 2017 to 2019.

This encounter marked the first World Snooker Tour meeting between O’Sullivan and Selby in three years, harking back to their clash in the 2020 Scottish Open final, which Selby won comprehensively at 9-3. However, O’Sullivan’s recent triumph has shifted the head-to-head standings in his favor at 17-11.

Throughout this week, the seven-time World Champion had to dig deep to secure his spot in the tournament. He faced a challenging situation trailing 5-2 against John Higgins in the quarterfinals but emerged victorious with a 6-5 score. The match against Selby also saw moments of intense pressure, which O’Sullivan navigated skillfully.

Now, O’Sullivan advances to the final on Sunday, awaiting the victor between World Champion Luca Brecel and Neil Robertson in a best-of-21 frames contest. The ultimate winner will claim the prestigious title along with the top prize of £210,000.

In the afternoon session, Selby took a slight lead at 5-4. As the evening play commenced, they traded the initial two frames. O’Sullivan then leveled the score at 6-6 by winning the 12th frame on the pink. Selby briefly regained the lead in the 13th frame but missed a crucial pink, allowing O’Sullivan to capitalize and equalize at 7-7 with a remarkable break of 66.

This pivotal moment spurred O’Sullivan on, and he showcased his brilliance with subsequent breaks of 69, 109, and 118, clinching victory with four consecutive frames and securing a 10-7 win to secure his place in the final.

Reflecting on the match, the 47-year-old O’Sullivan mentioned, “The start of the match wasn’t so good…I was pleased to find some form at the end.” He also shared his perspective on the mental aspect of the game, acknowledging the evolving challenges that come with years of experience in the sport. Looking forward to a day of relaxation and some activities in China, he emphasized finding balance and enjoyment in the game.

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