Five-time world snooker champion Ronnie O’Sullivan gave himself a fighting chance of reaching his first world final since 2014 in winning the final two frames of Friday’s morning session to trail Mark Selby 13-11.
An out of sorts O’Sullivan had looked in all sorts of trouble when Selby led 13-9.
They had started the session with three-time champion Selby leading 9-7.
It seemed O’Sullivan was in a similar mindset as their session on Thursday when he had resorted to rapping the table with his knuckles in frustration.
However, O’Sullivan — who admits he loses focus more and more these days — gave himself hope with those final two frames of overcoming an opponent who beat him in the 2014 final.
That was the last time till this year’s edition 44-year-old O’Sullivan reached at least the semi-finals.
The winner of their clash will face whoever comes out on top between Englishman Kyren Wilson and Scottish qualifier Anthony McGill.
Wilson bidding to reach his first world final leads McGill 13-11 ahead of their final session on Friday.
The finalists will at least have some atmosphere added to the occasion of the two day final.
The British Government gave the go ahead on Thursday to revive its pilot scheme to allow a certain number of spectators into selected sports events.
The move may or may not please O’Sullivan should he make the final.
When spectators were due to attend every session of the championships — before the pilot scheme was halted a fortnight ago — he accused the authorities of treating the players like “lab rats”.
However, he claimed it was like playing in a morgue after he beat Chinese star Ding Junhui last Sunday.