Emotional Ronnie O’Sullivan hails his record-equaling seventh world crown as his ‘best result yet’ Yorkshire News

Lily O’Sullivan, Ronnie O’Sullivan and Ronnie O’Sullivan Junior (left-right) celebrate with the trophy. Images: Zac Goodwin/PA Wire. .

His 18-13 victory over Judd Trump in front of a sold-out crowd at the Crucible ensured that O’Sullivan equaled Stephen Hendry’s record seven world titles, 21 years after lifting the famous trophy for the first time.

And at 46, O’Sullivan is also the oldest world champion in history, surpassing Ray Reardon, who was 45 when he triumphed in Sheffield in 1978.

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After fending off a spirited counterattack from Trump, seeing his overnight lead cut from 12-5 to 14-11, the World No. 1 held his nerve with a break of 85 to secure victory and the top prize of £500,000.

Ronnie O’Sullivan hugs Judd Trump after winning the Betfred World Snooker Championship.

But the excitement of the occasion, and matching Hendry’s record-breaking feat, was too much for O’Sullivan, who had a long hug with Trump before wiping away tears of joy.

“I tried to be as relaxed as possible, but that’s probably the best result I’ve ever had against someone like Judd,” O’Sullivan said.

“As far as I’m concerned, this guy [Trump] he’s already an all-time great because of the way he plays.

“I never cared about records; when you get them it’s nice, i’ve never performed well if i’m looking for that, i’ve just tried to enjoy my game.

Ronnie O’Sullivan celebrates with the Crucible crowd.

“I have no goals. I’ve loved every tournament this year, I’ve just loved playing. I like to win, but it is not the beginning and the end. The Crucible brings out the worst in me. Probably not the best idea, but we’ll probably be back next year!”

And this way, no one would bet against an eighth Crucible crown for O’Sullivan in 12 months.

O’Sullivan’s 39th-ranked title gave him a 21st Triple Crown victory, having already won the UK Championship and the Masters seven times each.

Trump said: “It was a pleasure for me to be playing. I gave it all. I’m just trying to play with a smile on my face, freedom, and I’m enjoying my snooker again.”

Man of History: Ronnie O’Sullivan on his way to victory over Judd Trump in the Crucible. Image: PA: Zac Goodwin/PA Wire.

Trump’s tournament has been something of a roller coaster.

Since his quarterfinals with Stuart Bingham, where he lost 8-5 before racking up eight straight frames to win 13-8.

The 32-year-old then took a 7-1 12-5 lead against Mark Williams, before the Welshman fought his way back to force a decisive decision in the final frame.

So even when Trump, the 2019 world champion, returned to the Crucible on Monday, losing 12-5, this famed old theater would never allow the curtain to close on 17 days of thrilling billiards without a final act and encore.

Tears of joy: Ronnie O’Sullivan reacts after winning the Betfred World Snooker Championship against Judd Trump at The Crucible, Sheffield. Image: Zac Goodwin/PA Wire.

And so it happened, Trump opening and ending the afternoon session on Monday, which he won 6-2, with a century of rest to go into the night only 14-11 behind.

Both had early chances, but it was Trump who won the first frame with a 107 punt, his first century of the finals. It was memorable for an early black along the band, before a pink in the center, which helped the Bristol cueman calm his nerves.

Trump hit a long pink, before rampaging through the pack of reds to sit well on the pink in frame 19. It was a shot worthy of winning the frame, and although O’Sullivan returned, he missed a red down the middle, and Trump swept with a break of 59.

And when Trump won his third frame of the afternoon, much to the relief of fans who had tickets to the evening session, who were now guaranteed some action, the momentum was beginning to build.

But an attempt to plant, employing two reds, in the center pocket failed, and O’Sullivan silenced the murmurs of a comeback with a 64 clearance to head into the mid-session break with a 13-8 lead. O’Sullivan had not been seriously tested in Sheffield this year, knocking out David Gilbert 10-5, Mark Allen 13-4, Stephen Maguire 13-5 before beating John Higgins 17-11 in the semi-final.

But this was a fitting test for the Essex potter. Back-to-back frames for Trump, the second pinched when O’Sullivan left the penultimate red dangling above the pocket, cut the deficit to three frames.

Seventh Heaven: Ronnie O’Sullivan gets his hands on the famous ancient trophy for the seventh time. Image: Zac Goodwin/PA Wire.

O’Sullivan responded with a break of 55 to make it 14-10, but Trump finished the session on a high note. Trump missed a long red, but as the cries of ‘come on, Ronnie’ filled the Crucible, a second red landed in the center pocket.

It was a costly fluke, as O’Sullivan was forced to sit back and watch his opponent hammer away at a break of 105 to fall back to 14-11.

Williams has had the most centuries this year with 16, tying the record for a…

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This notice was published: 2022-05-02 22:57:19

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