Ronnie O’Sullivan has seen his lead in the World Snooker Championship cut to three frames as Kyren Wilson battled back to trail 10-7 after the second session at the Crucible.
The Rocket began the evening session on Saturday with a 6-2 lead and won the opening two frames to open up a cavernous advantage over Wilson, who was in danger of capitulating in his first Crucible final.
Then came the fightback from the Warrior, living up to his nickname as he battled back in the face of adversity to win the next four frames on the spin with three half-centuries along the way.
Wilson was finding his game, but as he was improving, O’Sullivan was noticeably getting weaker as he missed numerous long pots and was clearly lacking confidence in the cue action he has spoken of so much this week.
The Rocket stopped the rot by winning the 15th frame but it was only a short reprieve for him as Wilson returned with his first century of the match (100) to cut his deficit to two frames again, trailing 9-7.
It could have been even better for the Warrior if he hadn’t been unlucky to knock a red in after potting a blue in the 15th, from which O’Sullivan made a frame-winning break.
The 17th and final frame of the session felt enormous as it would mean either a three or one frame lead for the Rocket and it ended up being the former.
Wilson had not made the most of an early chance but O’Sullivan was gifted a fluked red while trying to play safe, which let the table open to make a substantial break.
It looked like Ronnie was set to mop up and capitalise on the fluke but then he was dealt a really grim kick, sending a guaranteed pot off line and letting Wilson back in.
The underdog looked nerveless but missed a tricky final red and the Rocket swooped to clear up and grab the frame to finish the session 10-7 ahead.
Wilson won the session and cut his deficit to three frames, so it was a success, but such were Ronnie’s struggles that it felt like it should have been better for him.
The race to 18 resumes at 1.30pm on Sunday.
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