Ronnie O’Sullivan was lost for both words and ideas as his Dafabet Masters-winning form came to a sudden halt at the hands of Mark King in the German Masters.

The Rocket, who lives in Chigwell, had been on the crest of a wave after his seventh Masters title just a fortnight ago, exhibiting fluidity that seemed set to continue when leading 4-1 in the best-of-nine encounter.

But a resurgent fightback from King saw the world No.21 reel off four consecutive frames, with breaks of 93 and 77 denying O’Sullivan a shot at regaining the title he picked up in 2012.

“I don’t really know, I haven’t got a lot to say on the match – Mark played a good game,” he said of the defeat in Berlin's Tempodrom.

“Mark played well and I don’t really know why [it didn’t work for me]. My form had been okay on the practice table, but it [not transferring to the match] is just life.

“It’s great playing in the German Masters, I love being in it but now I have to go home.”

Victory for King was his fifth over the five-time World champion, putting him in the lead on the head-to-head standings between the pair.

But it seemed unlikely to go his way when, at 1-1, O’Sullivan reeled off some excellent snooker, with breaks of 74, 69 and 81 doing the damage to see him one frame from the last-16.

Yet with plenty of intriguing battles between the two in the past, it was King who held his own to take the bragging rights, despite missing a potentially vital pink in the last frame.

King said: “Ronnie and I have got plenty of history that people don’t really know about since we were kids.

“It’s not a needle match, but it’s always nice to beat each other, he would have been over the moon if he’d won this one.

“That’s rivalry, it’s good and you’ve got to have it.”

Watch the German Masters LIVE and Exclusive on Eurosport 1, featuring daily studio analysis from Ronnie O’Sullivan, Jimmy White and Neal Foulds