Ronnie O’Sullivan this afternoon edged out Mark Williams in a gripping Masters semi final, with the Englishman beating the Welshman by 6 frames to 5.
The snooker star might lose his “rocket” moniker however, as Williams, recently returned to the game, was faster by three seconds on average shot time.
The final frame summed up the match, as both players had chances and were slightly unlucky. O’Sullivan had a heart stopping moment in the final frame when he played a cannon from the blue into the pack of reds, and fouled by potting two reds.
Williams looked to have a golden opportunity to win the match as all the reds were open, however, he fluffed a positional shot on the black and left himself an almost impossible red to the middle, which he left over the pocket but covered with the pink.
O’Sullivan missed the attempted double leaving Williams another chance to win the match with a long red which he rattled to the bottom corner pocket, before O’Sullivan cleared up to take the frame and match, only after sinking the required green in the most nervy manner possible – the ball rolled agonisingly slowly and hit the jaw of its corner pocket before dropping silently home. O’Sullivan potted the straight-forward brown and pumped his fist in a rare show of emotion at the table.
O’Sullivan seemed downcast after the match, though, saying that the game had been “a battle” and that he wasn’t enjoying his snooker as he “didn’t want to make a fool of himself” by missing easy opportunities.
The player seems to be troubled mentally, but retains much of his gift for the game of snooker, despite his demons which appear to be telling him he has lost it. Whichever way one looks at O’Sullivan, however, lost it or not, he still has enough in his locker to make it to ranking finals, which he has done again. Fans of snooker can only hope that he plays with the freedom of old in tomorrow’s final, otherwise another nail-biting battle is on the cards – though the battle might mostly be fought in the mind of snooker’s would be tragic hero Ronnie O’Sullivan.