All four quarter finals were played yesterday in Shanghai, and three out of four produced one-sided matches whilst the last was as dramatic as it comes.
Ronnie O’Sullivan came from 5-1 down to beat Kyren Wilson 6-5 in a thrilling quarter-final at the Shanghai Masters.
Having won the event in 2017 and 2018, O’Sullivan has now notched up 13 consecutive match victories in the tournament.
O’Sullivan has now won his last four matches against Wilson, including last year’s Shanghai Masters semi-final which he won 10-6 and the Champion of Champions final where he emerged a 10-9 victor.
It had looked as if the five-time World Champion was down and out when breaks of 131, 67 and 57 helped Wilson to establish his seemingly unassailable 5-1 lead.
O’Sullivan summoned a comeback charge as breaks of 107, 51 and 124 helped him to get back into contention at 5-4.
In frame ten, O’Sullivan was in first with a break of 69, leaving his opponent needing snookers. However, a foul from O’Sullivan afforded Wilson a free ball and a chance to clear and win. It was an opportunity he spurned. Both players missed further chances and O’Sullivan was visibly showing his frustration, but he eventually got over the line to make it 5-5.
The decisive move was a break of 60 from O’Sullivan which helped him to take the final frame and secure a remarkable win.
“I’m really happy to finally get over the line. I am still a bit disappointed with how I started. I was making so many mistakes,” said 43-year-old O’Sullivan. “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 is young and hungry. He is 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.”
Up next O’Sullivan faces Australia’s Triple Crown winner Neil Robertson. The Thunder from Down Under has been in impressive form this week and that was on full display in a 6-2 defeat of Barry Hawkins this afternoon. Robertson composed breaks of 115, 73, 68 and 60 on his way to victory.
Mark Allen put on a ruthless display to thrash World Champion Judd Trump 6-1 to book his place in the last four.
The result sees 2018 Masters champion Allen reach the semi-finals for the second time this season in only his second appearance of the campaign. The Northern Irishman faced Shaun Murphy in the semis at the International Championship in Daqing last month and lost 9-6.
Defeat for world number one Trump ends an unbeaten streak of 13 consecutive matches on the World Snooker Tour. The run extends back to last season’s China Open in April, when he lost 6-5 to Robbie Williams in the last 64.
Allen took the first two frames with breaks of 63 and 62, then claimed a tightly contested third to open up a 3-0 advantage. Trump responded with a break of 109, but after the interval it was Allen who regained the momentum. Breaks of 55, 73 and 69 helped him seal the win and book his place in the last four.
He will now once again face close friend Murphy in the semi-finals. The Magician booked his place with an impressive 6-1 defeat of Jack Lisowski, highlighted by runs of 55, 60, 56 and 107.
That was utterly crazy, and stressful for his fans. One photographer however had a field day snapping faces at his press conference afterwards.
Mark Allen gave Judd Trump a hiding. Judd scored the only century of the match but was otherwise thoroughly outplayed. He was beaten 6-1 and, frankly, didn’t show anything even close to Ronnie’s fighting spirit.
Shaun Murphy similarly outscored Jack Lisowski. He won 6-1 in a match that wasn’t exactly outstanding from either player. Shaun was the one who, usually after countless mistakes and misjudgements on both parts, managed to make a telling break. It was a bit weird.
Neil Robertson again played really well before the MSI, to lead 4-0, only to let his level drop after the MSI, prompting a mini-comeback from Barry Hawkins. Barry should have won the last one really and, at 4-3, who knows what might have happened. But he didn’t, so it’s a pointless question.
Shaun Murphy is the only player left in the field not yet qualified for the Champion of Champions 2019. No doubt, Reanne Evans will be routing for his opponent(s). At the time of writing however he’s 6-3 up on Mark Allen in the first semi-final…