Ronnie O’Sullivan and Shaun Murphy have shared the first ten frames of the Shanghai Masters final to emerge from the opening session locked together at 5-5.
They will return this evening to play the best of 21 encounter to its conclusion. There is a top prize of £200,000 up for grabs, with the runner-up taking home £100,000.
O’Sullivan is competing in the final of this event for the third consecutive year, having won the title in 2017 and 2018. Murphy is aiming for a maiden Shanghai Masters title in his first appearance in the final.
2005 World Champion Murphy got off to just the start he needed when he took the first three frames. He then looked to be in position to add a further frame to his lead, before breaking down on a run of 43. That gave O’Sullivan the chance to establish a foothold in the match. He did just that by making a break of 61 to get his first frame on the board at 3-1.
The Rocket won an additional three frames on the bounce to turn the match on its head and lead 4-3.
From that point both players started to miss more balls as the tension grew. Murphy levelled with a break of 61, before dramatically retaking the lead at 5-4 on the final black.
The Magician then had the first opportunity in the session’s concluding frame. However, he missed and allowed O’Sullivan to take it and head into this evening level at 5-5.