Mark King made an unlikely come back from 4-1 down to beat Ronnie O’Sullivan 5-4 in the last 32 of the F66.com German Masters.
O’Sullivan won the Masters for the seventh time just ten days ago, but his game deserted him in the closing stages tonight as he lost the last four frames in a row.
In fact King has been something of a bogey player for O’Sullivan over the years, with Romford’s King beating his Essex rival in five of their nine meetings.
Breaks of 74, 69 and 81 helped O’Sullivan build a 4-1 lead tonight, then King made 93 and 77 to recover to 4-3. O’Sullivan had chances to win the match in each of the next two frames but couldn’t take them. The decider came down to the last red and King, leading by 22 points, potted it and cleared to the pink for victory.
“Ronnie and I have got plenty of history which people don’t really know about, since we were kids,” said world number 21 King, who won the first ranking title of his career at the Northern Ireland Open in November. “It’s not a needle match but it’s always nice to beat him. That’s rivalry for you.
“From 4-1 down I was positive and aggressive and went for my shots. I was lucky that Ronnie missed a few. The crowd is great here and the reception I got at the end was amazing.”
King now meets Tom Ford, who also had cause to celebrate as he made the third 147 of his career during a 5-2 win over Peter Ebdon. Leicester’s Ford becomes one of only 12 players to have made three or more official maximums.
It was a crucial win for Ford in his bid to qualify for next week’s Ladbrokes World Grand Prix in Preston – read more on that here.
Martin Gould made a successful start to the defence of his title as he beat Jamie Jones 5-0. Breaks of 61, 126 and 66 helped Londoner Gould to a comfortable victory.
“I hit the ground running and punished him for every mistake,” said Gould, who won his maiden ranking title here last year by beating Luca Brecel in the final. “I’m new to defending a title like this – my name is on the trophy so everyone is here to beat me.
“The German fans have always been great to me and they make me feel welcome. The reception they give me makes me want to play well.”
Ryan Day top scored with 71 in a 5-1 win over Mark Allen while Ali Carter made a 112 in a 5-1 defeat of Stephen Maguire.
Finland’s Robin Hull trailed Jimmy White four times but hit back to win 5-4, making 125 and 51 in the last two frames.