Ronnie O'Sullivan needed a new cue tip but still managed to progress to the Masters final

O'Sullivan remains on track to defend his title

Ronnie O'Sullivan inspects his new cue tip at the Dafabet Masters at the Alexandra Palace in London.

Steven Paston PA Wire/PA Images

Ronnie O'Sullivan progressed to the final of the Masters today, despite encountering some problems with his cue.

The defending champion slipped into a 2-1 deficit against Marco Fu before his cue needed to be repaired. Tournament officials allowed O'Sullivan fix his cue after frame three, although the interval normally arrives after the fourth frame.

Over the next four frames, O'Sullivan made a comeback, with breaks of 95 and 122. Meanwhile, Fu hit the highest break of the tournament (141) followed by an 89.

O'Sullivan went on to score four half centuries to secure the last three frames and send him through to the final, where he will meet either Barry Hawkins or Joe Perry.

A relieved O'Sullivan spoke of his cue crisis after the match, and declared it his most important victory 'given the circumstances.'

"The tip was gone, completely gone. It just couldn't take any chalk. I mis-cued five or six times. It was like chalking a bit of slate.

"I was going to wait for the interval but it was so gone and they said 'look, you can take the interval now' and that was sweet."

The Englishman tried to salvage the situation before accepting that a new tip was needed.

"I had my cue tip over a kettle because the steam softens it up but it had no affect. I just could not play any shots, I had no touch or feel, so I had to put a new tip on. I was lucky it was a decent tip."

"If you're playing well you can get away with a new tip. If you're cueing badly and you put a new tip on, it's over."

"I fancied the job. Even with a new tip. I thought 'if I can get a feel of it'."