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Ronnie O’Sullivan secures magnificent seventh World Snooker Championship title

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Relentless Ronnie O’Sullivan closing in on seventh Crucible crown

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Ronnie O’Sullivan “will go down as the best player of all time” says Judd Trump

Defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan (Photo by Zac Goodwin/PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo)

Ronnie O’Sullivan secured a record-equalling seventh World Championship title with an 18-13 victory over Judd Trump in the final at The Crucible.

O’Sullivan levelled Stephen Hendry’s record, which had stood since 1999, as he affirmed his status as the sport’s all-time great on a memorable night in Sheffield.

At 46, he becomes the oldest World Champion since Ray Reardon in 1978 and creates the perfect symmetry of seven world titles, seven UK Championship titles and seven Masters titles.

O’Sullivan had threatened to clinch the title with a session to spare after storming into a 12-5 overnight lead, but only for Trump to mount a gallant fightback in the third session to reduce the deficit to 14-11.

O’Sullivan, though, took the first two frames of the final session to regain command, and added two of the next four frames to complete an historic triumph.

“That’s probably the greatest result I’ve ever had, against someone like Judd,” said an emotional O’Sullivan, who was greeted by his family after sinking the winning ball.

“I’ve never bothered about records. When you get them, it’s kind of nice. I don’t have targets. I’ve loved every tournament this year, I’ve just loved playing.

“I like to win, but it’s not the be-all and end-all. The Crucible brings out the worst in me. It’s probably not the best idea but we’ll probably go again next year.

“I just try to enjoy the game, compete and work hard at my game. This 17 days, the snooker gods were on my side.”

The 39th career ranking title cements O’Sullivan’s position as world number one with a £500,000 winner’s cheque, denying Trump a second world title since 2019.

“I want to say massive congratulations to Ronnie,” said Trump. “He’s been a pleasure to share the table with.

“I was just glad to make a match out of it.

“He’s always been so good to me throughout my career, it’s an amazing achievement and he’ll go down as the best player of all time.”

O’Sullivan’s trio of century breaks in the final took his tally to 15 for the tournament, with a new overall record of 109 having been set.

After Trump had taken the opening frame with a 72 break, O’Sullivan hit back with breaks of 120, 68 and 105 on his way to a 5-1 lead.

Trump replied with a 97 break before frame eight saw ‘The Rocket’ embroiled in a heated exchange with referee Olivier Marteel over alleged misconduct at the table, prompting a formal warning.

Trump made a 73 break to close the gap to 5-4, but it proved one-way traffic from there on in as O’Sullivan piled in breaks of 66, 118, 97 and 87 in a blistering five-frame burst to open up a 10-4 lead.

Trump stopped the rot with a break of 80, but only for crowd favourite O’Sullivan to stretch his advantage to 12-5 overnight courtesy of breaks of 60 and 88.

A rejuvenated Trump made the perfect start to Monday’s action with a break of 107, followed up by a 59 to reduce the deficit.

A third consecutive frame followed before O’Sullivan steadied the ship with a break of 64 to make it 13-8.

Trump, though, added back-to-back frames again to apply the pressure, and after O’Sullivan made 55 in frame 24, ‘The Ace In The Pack’ took advantage of a huge fluke as he went on to make a 105 break to trail 14-11 going into the evening’s climax.

O’Sullivan quickly settled into gear with consecutive breaks of 82 and 88 to stretch his lead, before Trump made a 64 to trail 16-12.

A break of 75 moved O’Sullivan to within one frame of glory as they headed to the mid-session interval, but Trump came out firing with a majestic 109 to stay alive.

There was to be no miraculous comeback, however, as O’Sullivan put the gloss on victory with a break of 85, embracing Trump with a lengthy hug before celebrating alongside his children and father.