O'Sullivan storms back to reach snooker quarter-finals
Ronnie O'Sullivan of England plays a shot against Barry Hawkins of England during the final match of the World Snooker Championships at the Crucible in Sheffield on May 06, 2013 - by Paul Ellis
The 38-year-old Englishman -- bidding for a sixth world title at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England -- had trailed 9-7 overnight and having shared the opening four frames of the final session O'Sullivan was just two frames from defeat.
However, suddenly the mercurial cuesman -- whose brilliance has been offset by regular clashes with the sport's authorities -- found his touch and barely allowed Perry a look-in.
"That was the closest I've been to going out here for quite a while," O'Sullivan told BBC.
"I was never in control of that match at any point.
"But I was determined to stay in it right to the end, I wasn't going to give in.
"That's probably one of the most exciting matches I've ever had at the Crucible."
Perry, the world number 15, was extremely disappointed at not claiming the scalp of O'Sullivan.
"I'm gutted. I gave it everything I had but I just ran into a genius at the end of the match.
"When he plays like that, it's hard to see anyone other than him winning the title."
Breaks of 53 and then 52 were enough to level the match and then he upped the ante with a wonderful break of 124 to take the lead in the match for the first time.
Perry's spark had completely gone and a loose safety shot by the 39-year-old Englishman in the 24th frame gave O'Sullivan his chance and he took it in style firing off a break of 113 to round off a remarkable sequence of frames.
O'Sullivan will play either Rickey Walden or another Englishman Barry Hawkins in the last eight.
The Walden and Hawkins match, a rematch of last year's semi-final which the latter won, will resume later on Saturday with Walden leading 9-7.