We are down to the semi-final stage of the Shanghai Masters with the four men remaining each two victories in two-session matches away from lifting the title. The first semi-final on Friday sees Ronnie O’Sullivan taking on Kyren Wilson.
These two Englishmen meet over the best of 19 frames for a place on Sunday’s final and we should be in for a very good first game between arguably the best to pick up a cue and undoubtedly the form horse.
There were concerns heading into the tournament that Ronnie O’Sullivan might be a little rusty as this is the first time he has been in competitive action since the World Championship last season. Those worried were soon eased though as he has powered past Neil Robertson and Stuart Bingham to make it this far.
O’Sullivan has now joined up with the SightRight crew which has had a big impact on other players in their later years, not least the world champion Mark Williams, so there could be the very real possibility that we might see an even better Rocket from here on in. If the new method doesn’t improve him technically it may motivate him to practice more which is dangerous for the rest.
After his run to the semi-final of the World Championship last term, Kyren Wilson has started this campaign on absolute fire. He made the quarter finals in Riga and has kicked on from there, winning the Paul Hunter Classic last month before nailing the Six Red World Championship just last week so his confidence should be sky high here.
Wilson hasn’t stopped there either. Already this week he has seen off Judd Trump and Ryan Day with three centuries along the way, including one in a deciding frame against the Welshman, which further highlights the confidence he is displaying. Wilson has been touted as a potential world champion for a while and he has clearly elevated his game to that level this season.
Head to Head
These two have met twice in the past with a win apiece. Wilson won their first meeting in the Northern Ireland Trophy while O’Sullivan won their latest match which came in the final of the English Open. That was their only two-session battle which might give O’Sullivan something of an advantage here but Wilson knows he can beat the great one which should give us a tasty battle on our hands.
One thing which has been a feature of the first two meetings between these two have been century breaks. O’Sullivan made three of them when he lost 4-3 to Wilson in the Northern Ireland Trophy and then in the 11 frames they played out in the English Open final last season they combined for five tons.
Both men have been scoring well in this tournament too. Wilson has made four centuries in total this week while O’Sullivan made two in beating Stuart Bingham on Thursday. Everything suggests they will combine for three more tons here at the very least. I’m happy to get on over 2.5 centuries in this one.
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