Defending champion Mark Selby emerged from the first session of his Matchroom.Live Scottish Open final with World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan leading 6-2.
It’s the first time the pair have met since their epic World Championship semi-final clash earlier this year. On that occasion, O’Sullivan rallied from 16-14 down to win 17-16. He’ll be hoping for a similar turnaround this evening.
Selby is aiming to win the Stephen Hendry Trophy and the £70,000 top prize for the second year in a row, after sealing the title with a 9-6 win over Jack Lisowski in the final 12 months ago.
They shared the opening two frames this afternoon, before a century run of 102 saw Selby move 2-1 up. He then claimed a tightly contested fourth frame to head into the mid-session 3-1 ahead.
When they returned, Selby had looked to be on the verge of taking the fifth, but a stunning clearance of 58 saw O’Sullivan steal on the black and make it 3-2.
Selby added the sixth and seventh frames to his tally and had looked set to claim the eighth, when he established a commanding 59-0 lead in the frame. O’Sullivan embarked on another spectacular clearance to steal. However, having done the hard work, he inexplicably missed a straightforward red to the top right corner and allowed Selby to seal his 6-2 lead.
They will return at 7pm to play the best of 17 frame tie to a conclusion.