Tour Championship

Ronnie and Robertson for Tour Championship Glory

Ronnie O’Sullivan and Neil Robertson will play their Tour Championship final to a finish on Sunday in Llandudno.

O’Sullivan recovered from losing the opening two frames of the showdown on Saturday to reel off five in a row and lead 5-2.

Robertson, though, managed to snatch a potentially crucial last frame of the session to trail by only two overnight.

With the Tour Championship final boasting an unusually long format and 13 frames required to lift the trophy, there’s still a long way to go.

Two sessions of snooker remain as the final chapter of this season’s inaugural Coral Cup series concludes in Wales.

Australia’s Robertson is featuring in his third ranking event final in a row following his triumph in February’s Welsh Open and a subsequent run to the final of the recent Players Championship.

In Preston, it was of course O’Sullivan who steamrollered the Melbourne man with a brilliant display that was sealed with a landmark 1,000th career century break.

In what has been a campaign full of them for the “Rocket”, even more records are on the line in his latest title decider.

Victory for the 43 year-old would represent a 36th ranking title in his career, matching the 14-year record held by seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry.

O’Sullivan would additionally return to the top spot in the world rankings for the first time since 2010, ending rival Mark Selby’s stranglehold at the helm of the sport.

If that outcome were to materialise, the Englishman would become the oldest world number one since Ray Reardon held the coveted spot as a 51 year-old in 1983.

When O’Sullivan reaches this business stage of events, it is often difficult to envisage him being on the losing side.

Recent history would support that theory, with the five-time world champion winning seven out of his eight ranking event finals since October in 2017.

But Robertson is a man in form too and, like his esteemed opponent, has bagged a brace of ranking event successes this term.

After briefly dropping outside the top 16 in the world rankings midway through the last campaign, Robertson has been a rejuvenated force since.

The 37 year-old, who recently became a father for the second time, has returned to where many strongly believe he belongs, among the game’s elite.

Robertson has lost both of his previous clashes with O’Sullivan that have taken place over the best of 25 frames at the Crucible Theatre.

However, the former world number one and world champion boasts a level of self-confidence, an air of arrogance almost, that always suggests that he could rise to the challenge on any given day.

With £150,000 at stake for the champion at the Venue Cymru, it would be an opportune moment for that day to arrive.

Still, it’s difficult to look beyond O’Sullivan, who has enjoyed a sustained spell of dominance that he has arguably never before produced on quite a consistent and long-term basis.

The records, though he maintains aren’t important, appear to spur him on even more.

Live coverage of the Tour Championship final is on ITV4.

Click here to view the draw (times: CET)

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