Easy does it for Ronnie O’Sullivan’s sixth world title

Final a let down after thrilling semis
Ronnie O'Sullivan with the world championship trophy. Picture: BBCRonnie O'Sullivan with the world championship trophy. Picture: BBC
Ronnie O'Sullivan with the world championship trophy. Picture: BBC

Ronnie O’Sullivan took just 609 seconds to complete an 18-8 victory over Kyren Wilson and seal a sixth world snooker title but insisted he is not driven by the prospect of going on to match Stephen Hendry’s record of seven.

O’Sullivan fired a break of 96 to claim the single frame he required at the start of the evening session after a streak of seven in the afternoon saw him rise from a potential predicament at 10-8 and complete the most one-sided final win since his 2008 triumph over Ali Carter.

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His sixth title moved the 44-year-old level with Steve Davis and Ray Reardon but O’Sullivan, who pocketed a winner’s cheque for £500,000, insisted: “I’m not out there to break records and stuff like that.

“I think if I wanted to break records I probably wouldn’t play as well as I do. I think you need to play with as much abandonment as you can and I think that means not putting too much meaning into records.

“If I start looking at that trophy for meaning and the history that’s in it, I’d probably freeze. I think my greatest asset is that I can look like I’m in a practice match down at the club when I’m playing at the Crucible.”

Having cut a forlorn and frustrated figure through most of Saturday’s opening two sessions, O’Sullivan appeared to belatedly rediscover the cue action that has obsessed him through this Championship – until the final black which he horribly miscued on the cusp of providing the spectators with a century to savour.

As he lifted the title for a sixth time, there was a touch of irony in the fact that having fashioned his campaign in front of empty seats, his dominant finish deprived those who had been granted a reprieve any more than the most perfunctory of coronations.

In truth it was not a final befitting a tournament which must go down as one of the most dramatic on record, culminating in a pair of last-frame semi-finals from which it sporadically seemed both winners had emerged battered and on occasions, spent.

O’Sullivan added: “I found my cue action at 10 o’clock this morning on the practice table, which gave me the confidence to go in and play aggressively. He came out first and banged a long red in and I knew it was up to me to turn the tide.

“I had to get more aggressive and make something happen, which I did.I had to use my experience and my creativity, and that suits my game really.”

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The final scoreline did scant justice to Wilson, who often looked the most composed player through Saturday’s sessions, even when he fell 8-2 behind, and too often let himself down with simple missed pots and bad shot choices.

The 28-year-old will especially rue the red along the cushion that could have left him a solitary frame adrift overnight, and the pink to the middle that could have dragged him back to 10-9 having eased through the opening frame of the day.

Wilson told the BBC: “I’m a fighter. I’ll always be a fighter. I really struggled in the first session – I think we probably both had a little bit of a hangover from the semi-finals and then I thought I’d relax, get the shackles off and go for it.

“But, at the end of the day, the night belongs to Ronnie.”

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