Ronnie O’Sullivan battled back from the brink of defeat to edge out Mark Selby 17-16 and reach his first World Snooker Championship final in six years where he will face Kyren Wilson.
O’Sullivan, who won the last of his five titles in 2013, has the chance to equal Steve Davis and Ray Reardon with six victories at the age of 44.
The Essex potter conjured a timely reminder of his erratic genius as he looked on the cusp of defeat to Selby only to blast back with three straight frames to reach the final for the seventh time.
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O’Sullivan produced a scintillating recovery after looking to have lost focus when he lashed wildly at a final pink and enabled Selby to sweep one frame from victory at 17-15.
But O’Sullivan responded in extraordinary fashion, blasting a 138 total clearance followed by an equally quickfire 71 to conjure another Crucible decider.
O’Sullivan looked set to be rewarded for an aggressive split but he broke down on 64 within two balls of effective victory, but Selby’s response also floundered when he ran out of position on the final red.
After an extensive period of safety play – including another wild lash by O’Sullivan – it was Selby who wobbled, catching the middle jaw with a red and allowing his rival to sweep up and seal an improbable victory.
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Ronnie O’Sullivan (Eng) bt Mark Selby (Eng) 17-16
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