Ronnie O’Sullivan is back on the snooker throne after a year’s absence and has equaled the great Stephen Hendry for world titles. The 46-year-old Englishman, nicknamed “The Rocket”, beat his compatriot Judd Trump 6:13 p.m. Monday evening and was crowned champion for the seventh time at the most important tournament in the world.
“The snooker gods were on my side, O’Sullivan said. He put me under pressure for two days. I tried to stay relaxed.” At the Crucible Theater in Sheffield, O’Sullivan left no doubt of his dominance, and Monday night’s fourth session didn’t last very long. The world champion collects 500,000 pounds (about 596,000 euros).
After 2001, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2013 and 2020, O’Sullivan, known for his polarizing attitude, struck a seventh time – Scotsman Hendry managed that number of titles between 1990 and 1999. “He’s a great honor for me, the number of World Cup trophies to share with him. He took snooker to a whole new level,” said Hendry. never really got to endanger “The Rocket”.
For O’Sullivan, not only the final, but the entire 17-day tournament went perfectly. Before the final, he clearly beat his eternal rival John Higgins from Scotland with 17:11. The first three rounds against fellow countrymen David Gilbert (10:5) and Mark Allen (13:4) as well as Scotland’s Stephen Maguire (13:5) were no problem for the player from the island, often described as billiard genius.
In the first final session, O’Sullivan argued with the referee.
O’Sullivan’s career was beset by drug addiction and depression. In men’s sports, “The Rocket” polarizes like no other, which was also evident in the Finals. During the first session on Sunday, he fought with referee Olivier Marteel. The Primus first involved the referee in a heated discussion, then he said in a TV interview on Eurosport: “I think he’s just looking for trouble.” In billiards, such a statement is considered an affront.
O’Sullivan should also taste the seventh title of the World Cup particularly well since it was suggested to him to say goodbye just before the tournament. Iranian World Cup debutant Hossein Vafaei had criticized the world-class player’s manners. “A lot of what he says frustrates me. What kind of legend are you when you call people idiots?” Vafaei said. It’s time to tell O’Sullivan, “Retire man. Quit.” The Englishman hardly reacted to it in terms of content and was rather relaxed. He presented the sports response at the Crucible Theatre.