Masters 2017: Ronnie O'Sullivan beats Neil Robertson, Fu beats Allen

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Best five shots: O'Sullivan sinks Robertson
Dafabet Masters 2017
Venue: Alexandra Palace, London Dates: 15-22 January
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, Connected TV, Red Button, BBC Sport website and app.

Defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan beat Neil Robertson 6-3 to reach the semi-finals of the Masters at Alexandra Palace in London.

Australia's Robertson started with 74, but O'Sullivan made 63 and 51 as the pair shared the first six frames.

Neither player were at their best but Englishman O'Sullivan won the seventh, and a fluked red helped him take the next, before winning with a 68 break.

O'Sullivan will now play Marco Fu, who beat Mark Allen 6-2.

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Best five shots: Marco Fu through after beating Mark Allen

Fu made the highest break of the tournament - a 140 in the eighth frame - and followed it up with a 65 to advance to Saturday's semi.

The 2010 runner-up had started with breaks of 83 and 74 as he took a 3-0 lead, before Allen's 70 and 54 closed the deficit, but Fu kept his cool by winning three-in-a-row.

Meanwhile, 'The Rocket' is bidding for a record seventh Masters title and aiming to retain the trophy after last year's 10-1 thrashing of Barry Hawkins.

Now 41, O'Sullivan last won an event at the 2016 Welsh Open in February and has lost in three finals of events since.

In a disjointed match against Robertson - which featured a highest break of 74 in the opening frame - he made uncharacteristic errors by missing straightforward pots, but still managed to battle through.

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O'Sullivan aims for three more years at top

"I can feel and sense that I am missing too many easy balls now. I need to cut them out," he told BBC Sport.

"I am going to keep dragging my career out as long as I can, that is all you can do.

"It is nice to know if your game is coming back or not. I don't want to be at the point where I am being delusional and carry on playing for 10 years thinking I am good but I am not.

"Hopefully I have three years left in my career but I am appreciative that I am still playing."

Analysis

1997 world champion Ken Doherty on BBC TV:

"A fascinating and intriguing encounter. It was not the best standard but it was engrossing.

"Both players were missing and you saw how much it meant to them. It was enjoyable in a strange way."

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