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Ronnie O'Sullivan: %-3 lead after first session of semi-final against Matthew Stevens

Ronnie O'Sullivan moved into a narrow 5-3 lead after the first session World Championship semi-final with Matthew Stevens.

In what what a surprisingly slow and scrappy opening to the match, O'Sullivan benefited from the sportsmanship of Stevens who twice called fouls on himself in the opening two frames.They were rare moments of note, though, another being a fire alarm that sounded in the opening frame, as Stevens and O'Sullivan produced a session to forget.Welsh potter Stevens, in his first semi-final since 2005, the year that he finished runner-up to Shaun Murphy in his second final, would undoubtedly have taken a 5-3 deficit at the midway point of the session, when he trailed 4-0.Having dropped the opening frame, Stevens had an early chance in the next. He potted a red and rather than play a pot looked to run up behind the yellow, near the green spot. He made connection but immediately called a push shot on himself.O'Sullivan tapped the table in approval of his opponent and benefited from a free ball, compiling a 52 break that gave him a two-frame lead.Runs to 66 and 49 gave O'Sullivan his four-frame cushion, and without hitting the spectacular form which carried him through to the last four the 36-year-old looked entirely comfortable.His performance after the interval, therefore, was hard to fathom.Stevens scraped his way back to 4-2, O'Sullivan took a messy seventh frame, before an 80 from the Carmarthen man kept him well in the match.The duo resume on Friday afternoon and are scheduled to play two sessions on Saturday.

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