Ronnie O’Sullivan is one victory away from equalling the record for most snooker ranking titles after reaching the Tour Championship final on Thursday.
The 43 year-old emerged from an enthralling semi-final encounter with familiar rival Judd Trump – prevailing 10-9 on the final black.
O’Sullivan had trailed 6-2 after the opening session in Llandudno and it appeared as though Trump’s ability to rumble the “Rocket” on the big occasion was set to continue.
The latter had already beaten his esteemed fellow Englishman in the finals of both the Northern Ireland Open and the Masters this season.
When Trump edged closer to the winning line at 8-5 in front, the writing seemed to be on the wall.
However, O’Sullivan dug deep and consecutive big century breaks narrowed the deficit to just one frame.
The five-time world champion subsequently levelled the contest and, even though Trump briefly regained the advantage, O’Sullivan duly claimed the last two frames in terrifically tense fashion to narrowly edge through.
It grants the recent Players Championship winner with the opportunity to match Stephen Hendry’s long-held record of 36 ranking titles.
When the Scot captured the last of his ranking titles in the 2005 Malta Cup, few would have imagined it possible that it could ever be eclipsed.
Now, after an incredible spell of dominance that has produced seven ranking event wins since October 2017, it feels like a matter of when rather than if the figure is surpassed.
O’Sullivan is familiar with record-breaking as several other notable milestones have been set already this term.
He defended the UK Championship in December to lift the crown for an unmatched seventh time, in doing so also moving ahead of Hendry on the all-time Triple Crown list with 19 glories to his name.
Ronnie O’Sullivan dug deep to produce a stunning comeback in a late-night epic that went down to the final black. 🙌
Having lost his previous two meetings with Judd Trump, he said it was nice to overcome him tonight and is just trying to enjoy each moment that comes. pic.twitter.com/rHIgzGToRJ
— World Snooker (@WorldSnooker) March 22, 2019
Earlier this month, O’Sullivan was again making headlines after a magnificent 134 clinched victory in the Players Championship and a landmark 1,000th career ton.
If that wasn’t enough, O’Sullivan would also return to the number one position in the world rankings for the first time since 2010 – breaking Mark Selby’s four-year stranglehold of the top spot – if he were to triumph in this weekend’s Tour Championship final.
Who he’ll entertain in that showdown is yet to be determined.
Tthe tournament’s top seed Mark Allen is in action against Neil Robertson in another mouthwatering semi-final contest on Friday.