Ronnie O’Sullivan ‘trying really hard to not get down’ despite making Tour final

Ronnie O’Sullivan admitted he was “trying really hard to not get down on himself” after reaching the final of the Tour Championship in thrilling fashion with a 10-7 victory against Gary Wilson.

World number 13 Wilson knocked out Mark Selby and Zhang Anda to reach the final four and he made a brilliant recovery in the first session, coming from 4-2 down to level it at 4-4.

An end-to-end tussle saw the score swing back and forth in the evening session, but O’Sullivan eventually pulled ahead, sealing victory with a century break and he admitted post-match that he was trying to “change his mindset” while playing.

“I’m just trying really hard to not get down on myself, it’s hard but I’m trying to sort of change my mindset,” he told ITV4.

“It’s not easy, maybe two weeks ago I’d have mentally thrown the towel in just because I wasn’t flowing but I just thought, ‘just keep going, keep going’ and just focus on some of the positives that might be round the corner.

O’Sullivan has been in conversations with psychiatrist Steve Peters and hopes to see his game “flow again”.

“(I’ve spoken with him) every day, three times a day, sometimes four times,” he said. “I’ve just got to commit to it now for a good year to try and get myself out of this sort of hole I’ve got myself in mentally with the obsession of the game, tinkering.

“I know I’m never going to stop tinkering, but I have to somehow get sort of my head strong enough to be able to deal with it and not go too deep into that horrible murky world that it is.

“Every sportsman – maybe golfers, tennis players, snooker players – I suppose we all do it, but I went so deep into that it’s like detoxing myself from it.

Gary Wilson
Gary Wilson was a surprise semi-finalist (Tim Goode/PA)

“It’s not going to happen straight away, so if I want to get out of it I’ve got to put a lot of hard work in.

“It kind of felt like I’ve had the yips in a way – mentally, physically – it feels like you get scared to even want to go and play.

“That’s not a nice place to be, so I’ve got nothing left to do other than to try and get myself mentally out of it and hopefully my game will start to flow again, maybe.”

Wilson had the advantage in the opening frames, posting 73 and 62 before O’Sullivan began to take a grip on the match.

He hit 102 in the third frame and the momentum was firmly with him as he took the following three frames – hitting 110 in the fifth – to take the lead.

However, Wilson clawed his way back into the game with 83 and 84 to level going into the evening session.

O’Sullivan experienced a chalk hit in the first frame of the evening session, allowing Wilson to swoop back in and take the frame, but O’Sullivan quickly levelled in the following frame and took the next two to lead 7-5.

An end-to-end tussle saw Wilson charge straight out of the blocks after the interval in spectacular style, taking back-to-back frames with a huge 135 followed by 96 in just 24 minutes.

However, O’Sullivan made another comeback, scoring 77 and 98 before securing his spot in the final in style with a 129 clearance.

He will meet either Mark Williams or Mark Allen in Sunday’s final, with their semi-final taking place on Saturday.