RONNIE O’Sullivan stands just three frames away from winning his fifth World Championship title after widening his advantage this afternoon against Barry Hawkins.
O’Sullivan will resume 15-10 ahead at 7pm after he increased his overnight three frame advantage to a what seems a significant five frame lead against the world number 14.
Leading 10-7 overnight, O’Sullivan’s lead was cut to just two frames when Hawkins took an edgy first frame of the day with a break of 41.
But The Rocket soon found his stride as a break of 76 restored his three frame advantage at 11-8 after Hawkins sportingly declared a foul on himself.
And the four-times world champion stretched his lead to four frames after a superb clearance of 55 put him 12-8 in front – punishing Hawkins who missed the red he needed to take the frame when leading 56-2.
But to his credit Hawkins, competing in his first World Championship final, managed to put the disappointment of what happened in the previous frame behind him as he made a fluent break of 84 to go back to three frames behind at the mid-session interval.
The restart saw O’Sullivan show his brilliance once again as a superb break of 133 put him back to four frames clear at 13-9.
And that lead widened even more when Hawkins was once again rue a missed opportunity after missing a black leading 49-8. That miss was to cost him dear as ruthless O’Sullivan marched on near to the winning line with a 67 clearance.
The penultimate frame of the session saw Hawkins put his tenth frame on the board with breaks of 40 and 47 but another sublime century from O’Sullivan, this time a 124, saw him end the session just three frames away from glory.