Ronnie O’Sullivan staged a sensational comeback from 6-2 down to edge past rival Judd Trump 10-9 on the final black and clinch a place in the Tour Championship final in Llandudno.
Players Champion O’Sullivan, bidding for back-to-back Coral Series titles, looked down and out at the close of play in the afternoon session, but roared back to claim eight of the last eleven frames and deny his recent nemesis.
Trump had a chance to end The Rocket’s fightback after establishing a 50-point lead in the decider but failed to close out the match and could only watch O’Sullivan snatch victory in dramatic fashion.
O’Sullivan will now face either Mark Allen or Neil Robertson in the final at Venue Cymru and told Coral: “I’d have been disappointed if I’d have lost, no one wants to lose in a final frame.
“It could have gone either way and the yellow I potted in the last stands out for me from all the shots I played today.
“I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a little bit of nerves but I think that’s healthy sometimes.
“You couldn’t say anyone was a clear winner today, I don’t think he played much better than me and I don’t think I played much better than him.”
After dominating the first session despite a century from his opponent, Trump began slowly in the evening and O’Sullivan pegged back to 6-4 behind with breaks of 82 and 50.
The Masters Champion, however, clinched two of the next three frames to edge ever-closer to the winning line but O’Sullivan stormed back with successive breaks of 130 and 134 in less than 20 minutes to trail 8-7.
The five-time World Champion then levelled the match for the first time since the second frame, but Trump stopped the rot with a 61 break to move within one of victory at 9-8.
Crowd favourite O’Sullivan, though, edged a tense eighteenth frame to force a fitting late-night decider.
The first clear-cut chance fell to Trump as he opened up a 50-point lead before missing a red to allow O’Sullivan back to the table.
Incredibly, the referee then called a foul on O’Sullivan after his waistcoat touched a colour but Trump failed to kill off the game, and ‘The Rocket’ made no mistake, pulling off a series of superb pots, including a black along the cushion, to clinch a memorable victory.