London, Jan 17 (IANS) Ronnie O’Sullivan was just one win from a record-equalling sixth Masters snooker title with a 6-3 win over Stuart Bingham in the semi-finals at the Alexandra Palace.
O’Sullivan, now reaching his 11th final after his win here on Saturday, will fight against Barry Hawkins on Sunday for the title and 200,000 pounds top prize, and match Stephen Hendry’s six Masters crowns, reports Xinhua.
The 40-year-old fought back from one frame down to pull ahead 5-1 before world number two Bingham, the reigning world champion, potted 11 reds and ten blacks in frame seven before his hopes of a 147 ended when he missed the black on 81. He took the next as well with a 52 to close to 5-3.
Frame nine came down to the last red and O’Sullivan extinguished his opponent’s hopes of a fight back with a typical piece of brilliance. A thumping long pot on the red to a baulk corner set up the chance to clear the table for victory.
“I am butchering everything and I feel embarrassed. I’m not sure if it’s my back problem but my body and cue feel disconnected,” O’Sullivan said.
Bingham said: “I was 3-1 down at the interval and I should have been 3-1 up. When you play Ronnie, you have to take your chances. I pulled a couple back but then he potted the last red and cleared up – that’s Ronnie. He looked as if he’d had enough and didn’t care, and it’s hard to play against that because he goes for everything. When he’s sharp he doesn’t go for those type of shots.”
In the earlier semi-final, Hawkins defeated Judd Trump 6-4 to reach the final for the first time.