Ronnie O’Sullivan defeats Anthony McGill, but only after nervy period

PUBLISHED: 14:00 22 October 2017

Ronnie O'Sullivan keeps focused ahead of potting a ball (pic: Rui Vieira/PA Images).

Ronnie O'Sullivan keeps focused ahead of potting a ball (pic: Rui Vieira/PA Images).

PA Archive/PA Images

The English Open is drawing to a close with the final taking place this afternoon

Nerves are not usually something you associate with the composed Ronnie O’Sullivan but the Rocket admits the pressure almost got to him against Anthony McGill.

O’Sullivan overcame the Scot 6-4 in a hard-fought Dafabet English Open semi-final on Saturday evening, where the five-time world champion rushed into a 3-0 lead before being pegged back to 5-4.

But the 41-year-old showed all his class and experience in Barnsley to compile a scintillating 133 break in the tenth frame and secure a date with Kyren Wilson in the final on Sunday.

And the world No.12 revealed nerves hit him after missing two blacks to make it 5-1, giving the momentum back to McGill.

He said: “I knew if I had won that frame it would’ve been 5-1 and even if I had fallen apart then I’m sure I would’ve nicked one of those frames. As soon as I lost that one I lost momentum and he started to dictate play and looked like the stronger player, apart from missing that brown in the corner.

“You doubt yourself and the last time I felt that tight was when I played Judd [Trump] in the final at the UK Championships [in 2014]. You think you’ve got the game won and then they start coming at you when you don’t put them away when you should’ve done.

“You start to get nervous and that happened tonight. The last time I felt that nervous was then [in 2014] so hopefully that doesn’t happen in the next three years.

“I felt quite tight on certain shots out there – I wasn’t getting through the ball. I was punching balls in.

“I butchered those blacks and I went into the pack and the white just stuck. It was poor timing.

“But I think there’s a lot of other stuff going alright so you just had to stay positive and try and get the game and a spell where you can play solid stuff.”

Wrestling with an ankle injury and a ‘pitch invader’ from the crowd has all been part of O’Sullivan’s run to the final at the Metrodome Leisure Complex this week.

And the Romford-based potter admits it would be nice to win the trophy but believes it’s essential that he’s enjoying his snooker.

He added: “It would be nice when finishing with a trophy but for me it’s important to be playing and enjoying my game.

“If I do that, all victories and records should take care of themselves and the most important thing is that you enjoy playing.”

Watch the English Open LIVE on Eurosport 1 and Quest, featuring daily studio analysis from Ronnie O’Sullivan, Jimmy White and Neal Foulds.

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