Defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan emerged from the opening session of the Shanghai Masters final leading World Champion Luca Brecel 6-4.
The clash is a meeting between world number one O’Sullivan and the world number two Brecel. The last time they faced each other was at the Crucible last year, when Brecel scored a 13-10 win and went on to capture a stunning maiden world title. He rallied from 10-6 down in the final session of that match and will be hoping for a similar turnaround this evening.
O’Sullivan is aiming for a fourth straight Shanghai Masters title and will require five more frames to do that in tonight’s concluding session. The winner of this best of 21 final will earn a £210,000 top prize.
When play got underway this afternoon O’Sullivan took the opening frame, before a sublime break of 134 from Brecel saw him restore parity at 1-1. Despite that moment of magic, it was the Rocket who took the following two frames to lead 3-1 at the mid-session.
After the break, Brecel imposed his break building power on proceedings and fired in contributions of 75, 98 and 103 to take three on the bounce and earn a 4-3 advantage. The tie then swung back in O’Sullivan’s favour, with the seven-time World Champion taking three in a row, including a break of 75, to end 6-4 in front.