Ronnie O’Sullivan claimed a sixth World Snooker Championship title courtesy of a rampant 18-8 victory over Kyren Wilson in the final at The Crucible.
O’Sullivan ended a seven-year wait for a world title with an emphatic display in the final, crushing Wilson’s hopes of a first Crucible crown.
The 44-year-old led 10-7 heading into the final day and inflicted the telling damage with a relentless run of seven consecutive frames to leave him within one of glory going into the final session.
He wasted no time in sealing the championship at the first time of asking in the evening session by powering in a break of 96
O’Sullivan’s triumph sees him become the most successful ranking event winner of all-time with 37 titles, eclipsing Stephen Hendry and moving within one of Hendry’s record tally of seven world titles.
“I never really think about titles,” O’Sullivan told BBC Sport. “When I was a kid I never really dreamed I would be here.
“So to be here and have have all those victories is a dream that has become a reality.
“There was part of me that decided I didn’t play enough to justify winning a tournament of this stature, which is an endurance test.
“I’m not really an endurance type player because I don’t compete enough. I had half a chance but didn’t expect to win it.
“It’s great to be able to win it over the 17 days.”
O’Sullivan had pulled off a remarkable fightback to deny rival Mark Selby in a 33rd-frame decider in the Semi-Finals, recovering from 13-9 and 16-14 behind.
He raced into an 8-2 lead in the final with breaks of 80, 75 and 106 along the way, before Wilson hauled himself back into contention with a run of four consecutive frames.
The Rocket stopped the rot in frame 15, before Wilson replied with a break of 100, but crucially missed a red in the final frame of the session to hand O’Sullivan a 10-7 advantage.
It looked as though Wilson was set to take the game to O’Sullivan in Sunday’s afternoon session when he took the opening frame with a break of 74.
However, O’Sullivan dominated from there on in, storming to seven unanswered frames with breaks of 53, 61, 57, 60, 71 and 72 to leave him requiring just one more frame in the evening to clinch victory.
After an initial miss from O’Sullivan, Wilson failed to capitalise and played a loose safety shot which The Rocket punished with a break of 96 to mark an early end to a one-sided final.
Wilson was appearing in his first Betfred World Championship final, having dethroned defending champion Judd Trump in the Quarter-Finals and come through an astonishing last-frame decider against Anthony McGill in the Semi-Finals.
After battling back on Saturday evening, ‘The Warrior’ failed to contain a relentless ‘Rocket’ the following day and was left to reflect on what could have been.
“I’m 28 years old, I’m not going to beat myself up too much,” Wilson told BBC Sport. “I was playing the greatest of all time.
“It was a dream come true knowing I was playing Ronnie in the final.
“You can’t respect him too much or he’ll walk right over you, which is what happened today.
“I am a fighter, I always will be. I really struggled in the first session and I just relaxed and let the shackles off.”
O’Sullivan’s £500,000 first prize sees him climb to second in the world rankings, while Wilson moves up to sixth.
The scoreline was the most one-sided in a World Championship final since O’Sullivan also defeated Ali Carter to claim his third Crucible crown in 2008.
— Live Snooker (@Livesnooker) August 16, 2020