Ronnie O'Sullivan wins thriller against Anthony McGill to reach English Open final
Ronnie O'Sullivan battled past Anthony McGill with a rousing 6-4 victory in the second semi-final of the English Open to set up a Sunday showdown with Kyren Wilson.
Five-times world champion O'Sullivan raced into a three-frame lead with runs of 62, 52 and 77 maintaining his pristine level of form that saw him complete victories over Zhang Anda, Mark Davis, Zhang Yong, John Higgins and Jack Lisowski to reach his first ranking semi-final of the season.
A mini revival from McGill in the fourth frame boosted by a 57 was curtailed by a magical 139 break in the fifth frame as O'Sullivan moved 4-1 clear and apparently set to coast through to Sunday's best-of-17 frames final in Barnsley.
But McGill benefited from two key O'Sullivan misses among the balls in the sixth frame before winning the seventh to close to 4-3 behind.
The key moment of the match arrived in the eighth frame when the Scotsman just needed the brown to restore parity at 4-4 having made 61, but he jawed frame ball as O'Sullivan jumped out of his chair to sink brown, blue, pink and black for a 5-3 advantage by 64-62.
Still McGill refused to surrender with a 71 break enough to force the match to a penultimate frame.
But he would play only one more shot as his break off astonishingly left O'Sullivan a long red that paved the way for a vintage Rocket moment.
He duly slotted the red before compiling a majestic 133 break without reply to delight the crowd at the Metrodome as McGill was forced to sit and suffer without doing much wrong from 4-1 behind.
"I'm probably my harshest critic, but it drives me on," said O'Sullivan. "You have to try to compete and win. You can deal with your problems after the game."
O'Sullivan won the Masters in January, but is without a ranking event since the Welsh Open in 2016. He will start as favourite to win a 29th ranking title to join John Higgins as second on the all time list behind Stephen Hendry's 36.
But Wilson will also his fancy his prospects of a second ranking event victory to go with his 2015 Shanghai Masters title.
He quelled the attacking play of Alexander Ursenbacher to complete a 6-3 win over the Swiss youngster in the English Open semi-finals in Barnsley.
21-year-old Ursenbacher had discussed his hopes of following in the footsteps of Roger Federer prior to the match, and made a quick start to the semi-final as breaks of 64 and 84 gave him a 2-0 lead.
Wilson drew level at 2-2 with runs of 77 and 51, but was given a second chance to win the fourth frame after his opponent missed a brown when he should have cleared the colours for a 3-1 advantage.
An 89 restored Ursenbacher's lead, but world number 15 Wilson won the next four frames aided by classy runs of 124, 75, 56 and 90 to secure his progress.