World Snooker Championship 2020 final: Ronnie O'Sullivan leads Kyren Wilson

By Shamoon HafezBBC Sport
Betfred World Championship
Venue: Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Final dates: 15-16 August
Coverage: Watch live on BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Four and Red Button, with uninterrupted coverage on BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app. Full details and times.

Five-time champion Ronnie O'Sullivan was pegged back but leads Kyren Wilson 10-7 after a fascinating first day of the World Championship final.

O'Sullivan was gifted opportunities as he opened up an 8-2 lead but a rejuvenated Wilson responded by taking five of the next seven frames.

Snooker's showpiece saw the return of crowds in sport, with around 300 fans in attendance at the Crucible Theatre.

The best-of-35 final resumes on Sunday at 13:30 BST, live across the BBC.

The fourth and final session will begin at 19:30, with the winner collecting the trophy and £500,000 in prize money.

Both players came through epic, final-frame deciders on Friday in Sheffield, with O'Sullivan appearing in his first final since 2014, while Wilson is in his maiden world final.

Spectators had attended the first day of the tournament on 31 July but were barred thereafter because of changes in government guidelines, though this changed again in time for the final.

'The Warrior' battles back

Both players emerged through dramatic final-frame deciders in the semi-finals and O'Sullivan, who seemed to struggle with his cue action throughout, made breaks of 56, 60, 75 and 106 to go 5-2 in front.

World number eight Wilson was struck by nerves in the opening exchanges, failing to settle, and the signs started to look ominous when his opponent took a tense eighth frame on the black for a sizeable, four-frame advantage.

Wilson started the session with 53 but broke down, as O'Sullivan forced an error in a tactical exchange to extend his lead, as well as making 51 for five in a row.

But then came 'The Warrior' Wilson's revival, fighting back to punish an O'Sullivan - whose long potting was all over the place - with 92, 50 and 58 en route to reducing his arrears to two frames at 8-6.

He was in again in the 15th frame but inadvertently knocked in the red when potting the blue, ensuring O'Sullivan guaranteed himself an overnight lead.

And although Wilson made a century on the penultimate frame of the day, missing the last red in the 17th frame proved costly as O'Sullivan cleared up for a three-frame overnight buffer.

Analysis

Six-time world champion Steve Davis on BBC Two:

Kyren will sleep the easier of the two players, Ronnie will be worried and will be on the practice table in the morning to get his cue action back.

The picture of Ronnie walking off at the end, wiping his brow, shows you he has been through the mill today. It is all very well thinking it comes easy to Ronnie O'Sullivan, but sometimes he has to sit and suffer when he goes off the boil and Kyren has his tail up.

An interesting set-up now but he has to come back on Sunday and generate some more action.

1997 world champion Ken Doherty:

It is set up lovely, for all those who thought this was going to be one-way traffic, they have another think coming.

Kyren Wilson won the second session but it was almost undone by that missed red, which you would not expect him to miss. What a turning point this may prove to be in the whole match.

That could have been 9-8 but he has thrown the frame to Ronnie, who duly held his nerve and bottle. He will be over the moon to be 10-7 up.

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