Ronnie O'Sullivan survives scare to beat Ding Junhui in Masters first round

Ronnie O’Sullivan survived a huge scare to come from behind and beat Ding Junhui 6-5 in the first round of the Masters at the Marshall Arena.

Undoubtedly the best match of the event so far, the pair produced a contest to remember in Milton Keynes.

The Rocket was 3-0 and 5-3 behind in the match, but Ding got nervy as the winning line approached and O’Sullivan capitalised.

Ding was in tremendous form against the reigning world champion, with the Rocket not doing a great deal wrong as he fell behind.

China’s number one won the first three frames of the contest with breaks of 83, 75 and 73, keeping O’Sullivan firmly in his chair for most of the opening exchanges.

O’Sullivan knocked in a break of 103 to grab the final frame before the interval and keep himself in the game.

Things looked to be turning in the favour of the Englishman as he took the fifth with a break of 60, but Ding responded in superb fashion with a 129 to go 4-2 up.

The match was full of quality and the big breaks kept on coming as the next two frames were shared with a 100 from Ronnie and a 128 from Ding as the Chinese star went one away from victory.

The immense display of scoring finally relented in the ninth frame as Ding clearly got edgy towards the finish line, missing a fabulous chance to clinch the match, but missing a simple red.

Ding had chances again in the 10th to get over the line, but spurned them again, with Ronnie stepping in to make an 85 and take the game to a decider.

The Rocket needed a couple of chances in the decider, but Ding’s mind was fuzzy by this stage as he handed Ronnie the second of those on a plate.

O’Sullivan was not in the mood to spurn it, making a break of 73 to win frame and match.

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