Ronnie O'Sullivan
Ronnie O’Sullivan squeaked into the Shanghai Masters semi-finals on Thursday (Picture: Getty Images)

Ronnie O’Sullivan continued his remarkable winning run at the Shanghai Masters on Thursday, but it took a remarkable comeback to do so in a ‘weird’ 6-5 win over Kyren Wilson.

The Rocket found himself 5-1 behind in the quarter-finals but won five frames on the spin to make his way into the last four and leave the Gladiator heartbroken.

The five-time world champion is playing in his first tournament of the season and he believes that a touch of rustiness is behind his sluggish start to the game.

‘I’m really, really happy to finally get over the line,’ O’Sullivan told World Snooker. ‘I’m still a bit disappointed with the way I started, making so many mistakes, making it easy for Kyren.

‘He looked in good form, he looked sharp and I knew unless I could up my intensity and really get focused then I was probably going to lose the match.

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‘I never stopped believing and never stopped trying to get into that place where you can play some brilliant snooker but it never seemed like it was there tonight, for whatever reason.

‘First tournament, but usually that’s never a problem for me. I think sometimes, when you’re in a tournament you’ve got to live and breath it and maybe I’ve been relaxing a bit too much.

‘I haven’t played a match for maybe five months, really, it’s like not going to the gym for five months, you go in and you’re a little bit rusty. That’s how it feels for a me a little bit at the moment.’

Ronnie O'Sullivan
O’Sullivan has won 12 straight games in the Shanghai Masters (Picture: VCG via Getty Images)

The 43-year-old made two centuries – 124 and 107 – but was not at his brilliant best, making uncharacteristic errors when among the balls.

O’Sullivan even punched the table towards the conclusion of the game as frustration set in, and he admits that his ‘silly mistakes’ were getting to him.

‘The last two frames, I was on 60-70 odd and managed to make silly mistakes and allow him the chance to win the game,’ the Rocket continued.

‘It was crazy, a weird, weird game, I’m pleased to get through.

‘All I had to do was pot the black, I didn’t have to do anything, just pot the black and screw back and he shakes me hand and twice I managed to make ridiculous mistakes.

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‘I think I got caught up in the moment, the adrenaline was pumping so you do silly things sometimes.’

O’Sullivan has won the last two editions of this event and has not lost in Shanghai since 2016 when he was upset in the second round by Michael Holt.

While he does not choose to enter many of the tournaments held outside of the UK, the Rocket never misses this one and is full of praise for the event.

‘I love this tournament,’ the Rocket continued. ‘Great fans, great city, brilliant promoters so these are the tournaments you want to do well in. If you enjoy the tournament and surroundings you’re much more likely to play some good snooker.’

O’Sullivan meets Neil Robertson in the semi-final on Saturday, played over two sessions and the world number two is more than up for the challenge.

‘Neil’s a fantastic player, last year he had a brilliant season and rediscovered that momentum,’ Ronnie said.

‘He’s always one of the favourites to win a tournament. It’ll feel like a final, me and Neil playing in the semis.

‘I’m really looking forward to it, best of 19, I need as many matches and tournaments under my belt as possible.’

The first semi-final is played out on Friday between Mark Allen and Shaun Murphy.

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MORE: Ronnie O’Sullivan produces huge comeback to oust Kyren Wilson from Shanghai Masters

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