The showdown is delicately poised after an intriguing first day of the final on Saturday.
Ronnie O’Sullivan and Kyren Wilson face off against each other on Sunday knowing that by the end of the day’s play, one of them will be crowned as world champion in Sheffield.
The English duo contested a nervy and error-strewn opening couple of sessions yesterday, with O’Sullivan boasting a 10-7 advantage overnight.
In truth, neither player will be particularly happy with the outcome following the conclusion of the first two sessions.
Five-time champion O’Sullivan will be frustrated that he couldn’t convert an 8-2 cushion into a more comprehensive lead heading into the third session.
The sixth seed will also be annoyed at his overall standard of play, notably his long potting which has been all over the place for the majority of the tie so far.
Wilson, meanwhile, will be pleased that he was able to put a nervy start to his maiden World Championship final at the Crucible Theatre behind him.
Yet, having witnessed up close an impending implosion from his esteemed opponent, the 28 year-old could perhaps rue missed opportunities to reduce the gap even further upon making his comeback.
Wilson was unfortunate to send a red into the corner pocket while potting a blue in the 15th frame.
A couple of frames later, after compiling his first century break of the affair, the Kettering cueist rattled a red that could have had him trailing by only one before today’s action.
Still, history has proven that O’Sullivan hasn’t always been able to convert 10-7 leads into victories in Sheffield.
Six years ago when the “Rocket” was last in the final, he squandered the very same position as he lost out in dramatic circumstances to Mark Selby.
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) August 14, 2020
As the overwhelming favourite, there is an enormous amount of pressure on O’Sullivan to capture what many pundits believe would be an overdue sixth world title.
It’s up to Wilson to seize on any weaknesses in his game, and to back the “Warrior” with William Hill you can visit your-promotional-code.co.uk, which offers a number of different bonus codes that can be used to bet ahead of the event.
However, while Wilson is known for his battling qualities, whether or not he actually boasts the kind of bottle required to stamp his authority on proceedings when it matters the most remains a realistic doubt.
Four out of the previous six battles between O’Sullivan and Wilson have lasted the distance – including in the Shanghai Masters title decider three years ago when the former emerged as the winner in China.
It seems unlikely to imagine the 44 year-old, whose pot success rate was below 90% on Saturday, will produce the same sub-standard display on Sunday.
Wilson won the second session and he’ll need to repeat that in the third session this afternoon if he is to have a decent shot at upsetting the odds.
Should O’Sullivan share those eight frames or acquire an even better result, a record 37th ranking title of his career ought to be the right outcome.
This year’s rescheduled tournament has provided umpteen twists and turns, with so many encounters going right down to the wire.
While logic dictates that it’s more likely for O’Sullivan to pull away and conquer the Crucible at a canter, it would perhaps be a more fitting climax if the event were to instead end in such a thrilling fashion.
Featured photo credit: WST