Ronnie O’Sullivan claimed the last two frames of the session to end all square at 4-4 in his International Championship semi-final clash with Zhang Anda in Tianjin.
The Rocket is gunning for the 40th ranking title of his career this weekend, his last came back at the 2022 World Championship. Zhang is aiming to land a first piece of ranking silverware, having already come close this season at the English Open, where he was runner-up to Judd Trump.
Breaks of 63 and 70 saw Zhang take the opening frame this afternoon. He had a chance to double his lead in an intriguing second, but spurned the brown and O’Sullivan clinched the frame to level up. Zhang regained his lead, but it was O’Sullivan who took a tight fourth to head in for the interval at 2-2.
The fifth frame took longer than expected after Zhang had appeared to have clinched it by establishing a 90-15 lead. Englishman O’Sullivan played on in search of finding some form, but it was eventually Zhang who moved 3-2 ahead. The Chinese cueman then fired in a fine break of 73 in the sixth to move 4-2 ahead.
O’Sullivan looked set to reduce his arrears in the next, but unexpectedly missed a red to the left centre leading 63-1. Zhang stepped up and mounted an attempt to clear himself, but missed the pink and O’Sullivan deposited it to make it 4-3. He compounded the anguish for Zhang in the last of the session with a break of 99 to end 4-4.
They will return at 7:30pm (CST) to play this best of 17 encounter to a conclusion. The winner will face Tom Ford in tomorrow’s final.