Ronnie O’Sullivan stands on top of the world of snooker for a sixth time after defeating Kyren Wilson 18-8 at the legendary Crucible Theatre in Sheffield.
‘The Rocket’ blasted past Thailand’s Thepchaiya Un-Nooh in his opening match – in a World Championship-record time of 108 minutes – and overturned large deficits to knock out three-time winners Mark Williams and Mark Selby. His thrilling 17-16 semi-final win over Selby was arguably his most impressive match, coming from 16-14 down to beat the ‘Jester from Leicester’ at the Crucible for the very first time.
Ronnie was far from his best in several sessions throughout the tournament, including the final, but his sheer natural ability shone through when it mattered most. He played down his chances after every win, giving us controversial interviews – something we have all come to expect – where he repeatedly told us that he needs to find a ‘cue action’ that works. It’s fair to say that he has always had the perfect ‘cue action’, hence his glittering career.
O’Sullivan has now won a record 37 ranking titles and 20 Triple Crown Titles, more than anyone else. His sixth triumph at the Crucible puts him level with Ray Reardon and boyhood hero Steve Davis, and just one behind Stephen Hendry’s record of seven.
‘The Rocket’ is more than capable of winning at least another world title to tie the record, and he could even add to that to have the record all to himself. At 44 years of age, Ronnie is heading towards the home straight in his career, but with his incredible snooker ability, he could play well into his 50s if he wanted to. Six world championships spanning across three different decades just proves he has the longevity to be considered as the greatest snooker player in history.
As for the tournament itself, it did not disappoint. A reduced crowd was allowed in for the very first day, before Prime Minister Boris Johnson banned spectators from sporting test events as Covid-19 cases grew once more. Thankfully, a crowd of around 300 were allowed in to the final, in turn making redundant the man whose job it was to press the faux applause button whenever a good shot was played.
It was a different World Snooker Championship, taking place later than usual with no fans for the most part, but what remained was 17 days of drama and ‘The Rocket’ Ronnie O’Sullivan confirming to us all that he belongs on another planet.