Snooker: O'Sullivan rallies after torrid opening

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Ronnie O'Sullivan fought back from 3-0 down to beat Neil Robertson 6-4 in a stunning second-round match at the Masters at Wembley yesterday.

O'Sullivan looked set to be on his way out as his Australian opponent moved into a convincing lead with a minimum of fuss. But the four-time Masters champion stormed back with two centuries and three half-century breaks to set up a quarter-final clash with Peter Ebdon.

A brilliant break of 114 arrested Robertson's progress just before the mid-session interval. That century break stirred O'Sullivan's confidence and he got back to within a frame at 3-2 as he constructed a break of 57. The 34-year-old levelled the scores with a break of 87, knocked off the colours in the seventh and prevailed despite Robertson, 27, clearing the table with a magnificent 140 break to draw level at 4-4.

O'Sullivan said he had needed to re-think after Robertson's excellent start. "I wasn't surprised to be 3-0 down. It was just nice to score a few in the end so I could make a game of it as it could have been a whitewash," he said. "I didn't panic. You can't panic, that's rule number one, because if you panic it's a disaster."