Ronnie O’Sullivan reeled off five consecutive frames from 5-1 down to deny Kyren Wilson in a last-leg decider for a place in the 2019 Shanghai Masters Semi-Finals on Thursday.
The world number two moved a step closer to a third consecutive Shanghai triumph as he turned on the style to deny Wilson a famous victory.
O’Sullivan looked set to surrender his 11-match unbeaten run in the prestigious invitational, but a brace of centuries inspired him to an epic comeback at the Regal International East Asia Hotel.
“I’m really happy to finally get over the line,” O’Sullivan told World Snooker. “I am still a bit disappointed with how I started, I was making so many mistakes.
“I never stopped believing and I never stopped trying to get into that place where I could play some brilliant snooker, but it just didn’t seem like that was there tonight.
“He is a tough player, he’s young and hungry, he’s the modern day player and pots a lot of good balls. I just wanted to give him a game.
“The last two frames I was on 60 or 70 and made silly mistakes and gave him the chance to win. It was a weird, weird game but I am pleased to get through.”
Wilson, who was beaten by ‘The Rocket’ in last year’s Shanghai Masters Semi-Finals, took a hard-fought opening frame before doubling his lead in style with a superb break of 131.
O’Sullivan got off the mark in frame three with a break of 52 to halve the deficit, but only for Wilson to claim the next three straight frames, making a 67 in the fourth before edging the next on the final black and adding a 57 break to lead 5-1.
At the point of no return, O’Sullivan thrilled the crowd with a break of 107, and swiftly followed up a 51 with a vintage clearance of 124 to trail 5-4.
He then made a 69 break in frame then, and though Wilson fought back from needing three snookers, O’Sullivan closed out the frame to force a decider.
Wilson was presented with another chance to kill off the match in the decider, but failed to seize it as O’Sullivan made a 60 to complete the comeback.
O’Sullivan will now face Neil Robertson in Saturday’s second Semi-Final after he overcame 2018 finalist Barry Hawkins 6-2.
Robertson continued his clinical scoring spree with breaks 115, 73, 68 and 60 en route to victory, with Hawkins producing top breaks of 99 and 114 in a high quality contest.
Elsewhere, Mark Allen inflicted Judd Trump’s first defeat of the season with a 6-1 rout to seal his spot in the Semi-Finals, with Trump’s only frame coming courtesy of a break of 109.
Allen, the 2014 runner-up, compiled breaks of 63, 62, 55, 73 and 69 in an assured display to mark Trump’s first defeat in a ranking tournament since the China Open back in April.
Former World Champion Shaun Murphy continued his resurgent run of form by thrashing world number 11 Jack Lisowski 6-1.
Murphy, who denied Mark Williams in a deciding frame in Round One, fired in breaks of 55, 60 and 56 before completing the rout with a clinical break of 107.
Shanghai Masters 2019 Results
Thursday September 12
Barry Hawkins 2-6 Neil Robertson
Mark Allen 6-1 Judd Trump
Ronnie O’Sullivan 6-5 Kyren Wilson
Shaun Murphy 6-1 Jack Lisowski