Ronnie O’Sullivan showed a frustrated figure despite building a 6-2 lead late in the first session of the World Snooker Championship quarter-final against Luca Brecel at the Crucible.
The seven-time champion took some time to calm down, muttering “tough game today” after running out of position midway through a tricky fourth frame.
O’Sullivan also banged his leg in anger after missing a black in the seventh frame, but still managed to overcome a 2-1 deficit and came within seven frames of sealing his place in the semifinals when they resumed on Tuesday for the night.
A quick session was coming up when Brecel opened the process with a 93 break and O’Sullivan responded with a quick 56 which proved enough despite a rare misplaced black miss.
Another O’Sullivan error set Brecel up for a break winner of 68 to move into the lead, and only a dogged clearance of 35 on the next allowed O’Sullivan to close at the half-session interval.
It was Brecel’s turn to be frustrated after the restart as a series of costly mistakes by the Belgian put the drive firmly in O’Sullivan’s hands.
A break of 59 sent O’Sullivan in front for the first time before Brecel was penalized for scattering the Reds in the sixth frame as the favorite hit an effortless 128 to make it two clear at 4-2.
Brecel did all the hard work in the next, getting the two snookers he needed for an unlikely steal, only to bite down on a relatively simple pink as he looked to clear, giving O’Sullivan a 5-2 lead.
Brecel missed a misplaced black in the final frame of the session and O’Sullivan needed no second chances to clean up with a break of 85 and leave himself well and truly in control.
Mark Allen and Jak Jones will resume their quarterfinals on Tuesday night tied at 4-4 after a high-quality opening session.
Qualifier Jones carved out the lead with breaks of 78 and 94 only for Allen to cut the Welshman’s lead with an quality break of 137.
Jones held his lead until the final frame of the session when the pressure seemed to get to both players, before a missed putting green by Jones gave Allen a chance to level things.