- World Snooker Championship
O'Sullivan moves ahead of wobbly Trump
Ronnie O'Sullivan flexed his muscles to move into a 9-7 lead in his World Snooker Championship semi-final with Judd Trump.
The first session was split at 4-4, but it was pretty much one-way traffic in the second as Trump paid the price for passing up chances and O'Sullivan cashed in with ruthless efficiency.
If O'Sullivan is true to his word and retires at the end of the tournament, he appears to be keen on bowing out on a high. And after being pegged back by Trump towards the end of the first session, he stuck to his guns early on Friday morning before opening up clear water.
Trump was in first in the opener, but caught the near jaw of the middle pocket with a tough pink and O'Sullivan, bidding to become first man since Stephen Hendry in 1996 to defend the title, stepped in with a 90.
Trump needed a couple of bites at the cherry to take the second frame of the session, again missing a ball into the same middle pocket he missed the pink into, but he did manage to get back on level terms. He had a chance to go ahead for first time in match, but O'Sullivan won a protracted safety battle to take the 11th frame.
The safety battle resumed in the 12th and it was Trump who emerged in credit, although he was aided by a missed red along the top rail from O'Sullivan.
Trump looked in command of the first frame after the mid-session interval, but O'Sullivan knocked in a stunning red into the middle with the cueball tight on the cushion and it set him on his way to a 7-6 lead.
World No. 2 Trump could not complain about a lack of chances and he frittered one away in the 14th when wobbling a simple red. O'Sullivan pounced with a 93 to move two frames to the good.
The defending champion kept his foot on the gas as an opening break of 60 helped him move into a three-frame lead, but to Trump's credit he steeled himself to take the final frame of the session and cut the deficit to two.
Both players passed up chances in a long frame before Trump cashed in on a lax safety from O'Sullivan to keep himself within hailing distance.