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Ronnie O’Sullivan v Neil Robertson: Tour Championship 2019 final preview – Rocket out to do the double

Jamie Shaw in Tour Championship

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Robertson and O’Sullivan shake hands (credit: Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

Ronnie O’Sullivan aims to deny Neil Robertson in a second successive ranking final when the pair face off for the right to claim the inaugural Tour Championship title in Llandudno.

Just a fortnight after contesting the Players Championship final, the decorated duo meet again with more Coral Series silverware at stake, this time over a fascinating three-session format.

O’Sullivan is on course to equal Stephen Hendry’s record of 36 career ranking titles and in doing so reclaim the world number one spot for the first time since 2010.

The Rocket has enjoyed an incredible season of success and is appearing in his seventh final in ten tournament appearances, searching for his fifth trophy.

He etched his name into the snooker history books once again by completing his 1,000th career century against Robertson during that memorable final in Preston two weeks ago and is eyeing a fourth consecutive win over the Australian.

The 43-year-old began his latest run with a crushing 9-3 win over Stuart Bingham in the Quarter-Finals, before coming from 6-2 down to deny Judd Trump on the final black in an epic last-frame decider on Thursday.

Robertson, meanwhile, is appearing in his fifth final of the season, having notably won the Riga Masters and Welsh Open titles, with victory here potentially taking his ranking silverware tally to 16.

A memorable spell for the 37-year-old, which also saw him welcome the birth of his daughter last week, continued with a 9-8 comeback win over Mark Selby from 6-2 down, before overcoming Mark Allen 10-6 in Friday’s Semi-Finals.

Robertson was swept aside 10-4 by ‘The Rocket’ in Preston but will fancy his chances of gaining revenge in only their second best-of-25 meeting – 12 years after O’Sullivan prevailed 13-10 in the Quarter-Finals of the World Championship.

O’Sullivan has won 15 of their 22 previous meetings dating back to 2005, winning 116 frames of of the 204 played.

Their latest encounter gets underway from 7pm GMT on Saturday for a total of eight frames, resuming at 1pm on Sunday and to a finish from 7pm over the best of 25.