Neil Robertson established a 5-4 advantage over Ronnie O’Sullivan after the first session of their Shanghai Masters semi-final despite losing a chunk of his tip.
With O’Sullivan leading 3-2, Robertson miscued when attempting a yellow in the sixth frame and damaged his tip to the extent of losing a chunk from it. That caused a temporary suspension to play as Robertson assessed the damage. He decided to play on with the same tip and claimed three of the remaining four frames in the session.
The match will be played to a conclusion this evening, with the winner progressing to Sunday’s final where they will face Shaun Murphy. The top prize on offer this week is £200,000.
O’Sullivan took the opening frame on the final ball after a sublime clearance of 47, which ended with a cross doubled pink and a difficult cut back black.
Triple crown winner Robertson responded immediately with a break of 107 to get his first frame on the board. The Rocket then regained the lead, before Robertson composed his second century of the match with a break of 101 to make it 2-2 at the mid-session.
Five-time World Champion O’Sullivan claimed the first frame after the interval, before Robertson once again drew level despite encountering tip trouble in frame six. A contribution of 52 helped O’Sullivan to move 4-3 up. However, Robertson drew level and moved to the front for the first time with a superb contribution of 129 to end the session 5-4 ahead.