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Ronnie O’Sullivan fends off Gary Wilson to reach third Tour Championship final

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O’Sullivan battles past Wilson in Manchester

Ronnie O’Sullivan moved through to his third Tour Championship final courtesy of a 10-7 win over Gary Wilson in Manchester on Friday.

The world number one pulled clear from 7-7 with three consecutive frames to progress to a 64th career ranking final.

O’Sullivan, who claimed the inaugural Tour Championship title in 2019, fended off a resilient Wilson to remain on course for a sixth televised title of the season.

He will take on either Mark Allen or Mark Williams in Sunday’s final at Manchester Central.

“It was a good match to be involved in,” O’Sullivan told ITV Sport.

“Hopefully it [Tour Championship] stays here for a long time because it’s a great tournament and a brilliant crowd.

“I’m just trying really hard to not get down on myself. It’s hard but I’m trying to change my mindset.

“Maybe two weeks ago I’d have mentally thrown the towel in just because I wasn’t flowing.

“I just thought ‘keep going and focus on some of positives’.

“I’ve just got to commit to it now for a good year just to try and get myself out of this hole that I’ve got myself in mentally with the obsession of the game and tinkering.

“I know I’m never going to stop tinkering but I have to somehow get my head strong enough to be able to deal with it and not go too deep into the horrible murky world that it is.

“If I want to get out of it, I’ve got to put a lot of hard work in.

“It kind of felt like I’ve had the yips in a way, mentally and physically, you get scared to even want to go and play and that’s not a nice place to be.”

It was Wilson who began brightly to establish an early 2-0 lead, before O’Sullivan reeled off four frames in a row with high breaks of 102 and 110.

Wilson, however, hit back to clinch the next two frames with breaks of 83 and 84 to restore parity at the close of the afternoon session.

The reigning Scottish Open and Welsh Open champion secured the first frame of the evening with a 60 break to move back in front, and after levelling the contest, O’Sullivan sealed an eventful 11th frame to make it 6-5.

Referee Paul Collier had called a foul on O’Sullivan for an apparent ‘push shot’ on a blue, a decision which was sportingly queried by Wilson – whose call for a video replay was dismissed by Collier.

Nonetheless, O’Sullivan made a 57 clearance to take frame 12, before Wilson responded after the interval with an 84 break to trail 7-6.

The Tyneside cueist added a clinical 96 break to get back on level terms, but only for ‘The Rocket’ to regain the upper-hand and crash in a 97 break for 9-7, before sealing victory with a crowd-pleasing 129 clearance.


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