Ronnie O'Sullivan and Judd Trump level in semi-final

Ronnie O'Sullivan

World Championship

Venue:
Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
Date:
20 April-6 May
Coverage:
Live on BBC Two, BBC Two HD, Red Button and online on the BBC Sport website, mobile and BBC Sport app. Updates on BBC Radio 5 live

Ronnie O'Sullivan and Judd Trump are locked at 4-4 after the first session of their World Championship semi-final.

O'Sullivan, who said after his quarter-final win over Stuart Bingham that he had only returned to the sport for the money, got off to a flying start.

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Snooker not for me - O'Sullivan

'The Rocket' from Essex took four of the first five frames, with Bristol's Trump only winning a tense second courtesy of a re-spotted black.

But Trump won the last three frames to leave the best-of-33 tie finely poised.

The match resumes at 10:00 BST on Friday at the Crucible in Sheffield.

Having returned to snooker in Sheffield after almost a year off, defending champion O'Sullivan has comfortably despatched Marcus Campbell, Ali Carter and Bingham on his way to the semis.

But O'Sullivan's latest comments have left BBC snooker pundit Steve Davis questioning the 37-year-old's attitude to the game.

"We know full well that Ronnie O'Sullivan's interviews are a bit like the British weather: they're changeable," said six-time world champion Davis.

"But there's a dilemma for the snooker fan. They love what comes off the end of his cue; they sometimes hate what comes out of his mouth because it is sometimes disrespectful to snooker.

"The question to ask for every snooker fan is: 'Is it better for Judd Trump to win this match rather than Ronnie O'Sullivan, even though Ronnie is such a breath of fresh air when he plays great?' It's a tough question to ask."

Dennis Taylor, world champion in 1985, added: "Ronnie's said this all before and you have to take it with a pinch of salt sometimes. He loves playing the game still as you can tell by the way he started against Judd.

"There'd be nothing wrong with him winning the World Championship every year and playing in nothing else.

"And then when he's overtaken Stephen Hendry I'll say he's the greatest player that's ever picked a cue up, so maybe that's what he's going to do."

Neither player made a century in the session, but O'Sullivan needs to make just three more 100s to go beyond seven-time champion Hendry's record of 127 centuries at the 'Home of Snooker'. His pot success of 94%, compared to Trump's 88%, suggests it may not be too long before the feat is surpassed.

It was the four-time winner O'Sullivan who built up an early lead, with breaks of 65, 75 and 89, but 23-year-old Trump - who beat Shaun Murphy in a last-frame decider to advance from the quarter-finals - hit back with 50 in the seventh, after his opponent failed to close out the frame despite a stunning shot from pink to red.

And Trump, who said beforehand he would not be scared by the prospect of facing an in-form O'Sullivan, made a composed 72 in the last to leave the match all-square.

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