Other Sport

Sealed with a kiss as O'Sullivan downs Ding to reach Masters final

2019-01-20 07:37
Ronnie O'Sullivan (AP)

London - Ronnie O'Sullivan held off China's Ding Junhui to advance into the Masters final with a 6-3 win at London's Alexandra Palace on Saturday.

It was one-way traffic as O'Sullivan, already a record seven-times Masters winner, surged into a 4-0 lead.

Ding, however, fought back by winning the next three frames, scoring two successive centuries and narrowly missing out on a maximum break of 147 when he failed to pot a difficult green.

O'Sullivan, having seen his lead reduced to 4-3, rallied to book his place in Sunday's final, where he will face either fellow Englishman Judd Trump or Australia's Neil Robertson.

After the match, O'Sullivan gave Ding a consolation kiss and some words of encouragement.

"I was hoping Ding would get the 147," O'Sullivan told World Snooker. "It would have been fantastic for the crowd, and for Ding."

He added: "I won't divulge what I said to him at the end. Everyone knows how close I am to him and how I feel for Ding. I don't kiss many people, but I like Ding, he's a special guy and a special human."

Ding, however, had no qualms about sharing O'Sullivan's comments.

"He said he loved me. He said I was great to watch. He said it was good to see me playing better," Ding said.

O'Sullivan is now one match away from becoming the first player in the modern era to win one of snooker's 'triple crown' events (World Championship, UK Championship and Masters) eight times.

But the five-times world champion, nicknamed 'The Rocket' for his speed around the table, said he was uninterested in statistics.

"I don't buy into numbers or achievements, I just enjoy what I have and am grateful for what I have," O'Sullivan, 43, explained.

"I understand that the western philosophy is about getting more and more is never enough, but I don't adopt that."


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Besides the 'Big 3' of rugby, cricket and soccer, which of the 'smaller' sports in South Africa do you enjoy the most?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.