Well Done Ronnie (Nobody Comes Close) – via Daily Mail Sport

ron1O’Sullivan claims fifth world crown after seeing off brave Hawkins in Crucible final

By JOHN SKILBECK, PRESS ASSOCIATION

PUBLISHED: 20:32, 6 May 2013 | UPDATED: 21:02, 6 May 2013

Ronnie O’Sullivan lifted the Betfair World Championship trophy for a fifth and perhaps last time as he capped his comeback with Crucible glory.

Out of snooker for almost a year, O’Sullivan rolled up in Sheffield without any competitive match practice and proceeded to tear through the draw, culminating in an 18-12 triumph against surprise finalist Barry Hawkins.

Hawkins, the 34-year-old world number 14 from Kent, emerged from their tussle with huge credit, having performed terrifically well. It was comfortably the biggest match of his life and he met the challenge head on. His reward was £125,000 – more than treble the size of his previous highest pay cheque – and the respect of his opponent and the watching millions.

Again: Ronnie O'Sullivan was crowned world champion for the fifth time after beating Barry Hawkins in the finalAgain: Ronnie O’Sullivan was crowned world champion for the fifth time after beating Barry Hawkins in the final

Class: O'Sullivan pulled away from Hawkins every time the underdog threatened to close the gapClass: O’Sullivan pulled away from Hawkins every time the underdog threatened to close the gap

 

Ronnie O'Sullivan
Ronnie O'Sullivan

Glory moment: O’Sullivan celebrates his fifth world success with his son Ronnie Jnr

 

But O’Sullivan magisterially took the title.

He did so in record-breaking style too, with his six centuries one more than any player has managed before in a World Championship final, and with his career total of three-figure Crucible breaks now four ahead of former front-runner Stephen Hendry’s haul.

He finished with a brilliant 86, and just like last year brought his son, Ronnie Jr, out to share in the celebrations.

Will it be his swansong to the tournament? He says so, but where O’Sullivan retirement threats go, scepticism follows. He first warned he could quit as a teenager, yet even in recent days has professed his love for snooker.

Should O’Sullivan depart, he would be quitting at the peak of his powers.

On this evidence he is irreplaceable and the sport’s authorities, headed by World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn, must be desperate to keep him in the game.

Again: O'Sullivan successfully defended the title he won last year after a brilliant campaign in SheffieldAgain: O’Sullivan successfully defended the title he won last year after a brilliant campaign in Sheffield

Give me a kiss: O'Sullivan is still undecided about his future in the sportGive me a kiss: O’Sullivan is still undecided about his future in the sport

Following breaks of 103, 106, 113 and 100 yesterday, O’Sullivan ploughed in 133 and 124 today.

Only Mark Selby has made six centuries before, in a second-round match against Hendry two years ago.

The record for a world final previously stood at five, shared by John Higgins, Matthew Stevens and Hendry.

O’Sullivan has been whittling away at Hendry’s records, going beyond his total of 127 centuries in the World Championship yesterday and today taking his tally to 131.

He may not intend to chase the Scot’s haul of seven titles, but the manner of his latest run suggests he could quite easily take 11 months off again before returning for another shot at success on snooker’s most famous stage, and then do the same again for the 2015 championship.

In finishing off Hawkins from 15-10 ahead before tonight’s session, O’Sullivan became the first man since Hendry in 1996 to successfully defend the world title.

They flock to watch O’Sullivan in action.

Brave: Hawkins won the first two frames on Monday night to slash O'Sullivan's lead to three framesBrave: Hawkins won the first two frames on Monday night to slash O’Sullivan’s lead to three frames

In the audience for the closing day were the actor and presenter Stephen Fry, who once labelled the champion ‘the Mozart of snooker’, together with O’Sullivan’s artist friend Damien Hirst and darts champion Phil Taylor.

Taylor’s dominance of his sport, with 16 world titles, perhaps puts O’Sullivan’s achievements here into some context.But nevertheless no player has dominated snooker like O’Sullivan this century.

World champion in 2001, 2004, 2008 and 2012, the way he carved a route this time, casting aside Marcus Campbell, Ali Carter, Stuart Bingham and Judd Trump, has perfectly exhibited the staggering natural ability that puts him head and shoulders above his rivals when in the mood.

Thankfully Hawkins pushed him, bringing the very best out of The Rocket. At 7-7 last night, after a break of 133 from Hawkins, lesser players might have wobbled. Not a chance of that from O’Sullivan.

He responded with back-to-back centuries and a long black to take the last frame of the night to lead 10-7 rather than 9-8. That encroaching danger had been repelled.

Even when the match looked lost, the former office clerk stuck to his task, encouraged by coach Terry Griffiths, the 1979 world champion.

Commanding: O'Sullivan led 15-10 coming into the final session on Monday nightCommanding: O’Sullivan led 15-10 coming into the final session on Monday night

Hawkins began the closing session with a total clearance of 127, trebling in the black, and added the next with a run of 66.

But O’Sullivan rattled in 77 to move two frames away, and an 88 before the mid-session interval brought the silverware within touching distance.

The standard was sky high from his cue, and it remained so. He allowed himself a fist pump once he crossed the finishing line.

On the table, O’Sullivan has been mentally pinpoint sharp over the 17 days. His thanks go to Dr Steve Peters, the sports psychiatrist who was present tonight, for that. Off the table, he has personal issues that are prompting his talk of quitting. He says he returned to the sport only to pay school fees.

But after the early scattering of a host of leading seeds, this World Championship could have been a damp squib without O’Sullivan.

As it turned out, it provided one of the great tales of the Crucible, scripted by a genius.


Ronnie O’ Sullivan On Retiring From Snooker – BBC Sport

1 May 2013 Last updated at 21:54

Ronnie O’Sullivan says he is ready to retire from snooker

Ronnie O’Sullivan says this year’s World Championship could be his last major event, stating he only returned to the sport for “a bit of money”.

The defending champion, 37, beat Stuart Bingham 13-4 on Wednesday to move into the semi-finals of the tournament.

O’Sullivan pulled out of the 2012-13 season last November because of “personal issues” before ending his snooker sabbatical in February.

“I’ve realised I don’t miss snooker but I needed a bit of money,” he said.

“I’ll be honest, I still owe the school money for my children’s school fees, I haven’t paid the last two or three terms.

The highs and lows of O’Sullivan

  • 1998 - Depression prevents his title defence at the UK Championship
  • 2006 - Gives his cue away to a boy in the crowd after defeat by Graeme Dott in the World Championship semi-finals
  • 2006 - Walks out of UK Championship midway through his quarter-final against Stephen Hendry
  • 2008 - Hints at retirement after winning the World Championship
  • 2012 - Announces in November that he will miss the rest of the season because of “personal issues”
  • 2013 - Returns to the sport to defend World Snooker Championship title

“I didn’t know what was going to happen here but I’ve made a little bit of money now so I can go and pay the school fees now for the next two years.

“But really I don’t think snooker is for me. This could be my last proper major event.”

O’Sullivan won prize money totalling £449,430 during the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons, including £250,000 for clinching his fourth world crown at the Crucible 12 months ago.

His career earnings are reported to be in excess of £6m, second only to seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry.

Currently ranked 28th in the world after his spell out of the game, O’Sullivan’s reward for defeating Bingham is an enticing last-four encounter with Judd Trump, who overcame Shaun Murphy 13-12 in a thrilling quarter-final.

Despite confirming he has fallen out of love with the game, O’Sullivan promised he will give his all against Trump.

He added: “I’m a competitor and I hate losing. I will fight to the death. They’ll have to scrape me off the table.

“I’ve got five days left potentially, it could possibly be three, and if I can’t get through that then something’s seriously wrong.

“The light at the end of the tunnel is it doesn’t have to go on any longer.”

Even if he successfully defends his World Championship title, O’Sullivan said he will not be returning to the Crucible next year.

“I’ve no intention to come back,” said O’Sullivan, who is contracted to play in 10 more events, although those could include Legends tour events, and low-profile tournaments.

“If I find something else to do, you definitely won’t see me.

“I’ve kept my cards close to my chest but there’s no reason to keep them close now. This is my last farewell, it’s my swansong. I’m happy; I’m done.

“I’ll fulfil my contract and keep my sponsor happy. It’s just 10 events and I’ll see them out.”

:’(

Gutted.com :(

Via Ronnie O’Sullivan’s official website…….

June 6, 2012 – Ronnie O’Sullivan: statement by Jo in News | Posted on June 6th, 2012 |

Ronnie O’Sullivan statement Ronnie O’Sullivan has decided to make good on his desire to take some time off from competitive snooker. He said today:

“I have decided not to enter any tournaments for the time being including this year’s Premier League and forthcoming WPBSA ranking events. “I have not signed the player’s contract as I feel the contract is too honerous and am in a stage of my career where I don’t wish to make this commitment. “I still want to play snooker and visit those places around the world such as China where snooker is enthusiastically received and adored. “I hope to remain involved in the sport in some way in the future.”

Ronnie O’Sullivan Wins His 4th World Snooker Title :) 7.5.12

World Snooker final 2012: Ronnie O’Sullivan wins fourth title

By Ben Dirs BBC Sport at the Crucible

Ronnie O’Sullivan beat Ali Carter 18-11 to secure his fourth World Championship title at the Crucible.

O’Sullivan, 36, resumed the day 10-7 ahead and took the first four frames, including a quick-fire break of 101, his 12th century of the tournament.

Carter looked a beaten man but rallied to win three frames in a row and take the match into a final session.

But Carter won only one more frame as the unstoppable O’Sullivan wrapped up proceedings in a little under an hour.

O’Sullivan, who had talked about retiring after his semi-final win, immediately announced his intention to take a six-month sabbatical from the game.

Image of Steve DavisSteve DavisSnooker Analyst, BBC Sport

“I don’t think I have seen Ronnie O’Sullivan look so good for a whole tournament or play so well. The balance in his game is magnificent and when he plays like that he truly is the greatest player ever to play the game. He’s a demi-god with what he can do with a cue in his hand.”

“A few people doubted me but I’ll let them know when I’m not ready,” the Englishman told BBC Two. “I certainly haven’t gone yet.

“I am going to enjoy my time off with my family and thenassess the situation, but it’s all good and I want to enjoy the moment.”

O’Sullivan, whose previous titles came in 2001, 2004 and 208, is the oldest winner since his former mentor Ray Reardon claimed his fifth crown in 1978 at the age of 45.

His victory, which earned him a cheque for £255,000, secured his position as second seed in all of next season’s ranking events and his break will not effect his ranking.

The final was a repeat of 2008, when O’Sullivan won 18-8, one of 11 victories over Carter in 11 previous meetings in ranking events.

And while Carter’s obdurate displays before the final suggested he would be a tougher nut to crack than four years ago, O’Sullivan, who demonstrated unerring focus throughout the tournament, had too much poise and too much class.

O’Sullivan was suffering from food poisoning on Sunday but he appeared to have shaken off the effects before Monday’s opener, rattling in a break of 101 to stretch his lead to four frames.

Carter missed a relatively straightforward pink to hand his fellow Essex player the next frame, and the next two frames followed a similar pattern.

Image of John ParrottJohn ParrottSnooker Analyst, BBC Sport

“Ronnie O’Sullivan can win as many world titles as he wants to, he’s got more talent than any human being deserves to have, he’s been sprinkled with star dust.

Carter is certainly good enough to compete, he shouldn’t be thinking about flying aeroplanes, he’s lost to a genius twice”

In the next, Carter had three chances to secure the frame but missed them all, before the 32-year-old, with only the colours to clear, missed two attempts at the yellow to allow O’Sullivan to surge into a 14-7 lead.

At that stage it looked like O’Sullivan might win the match with a session to spare, but Carter avoided the ignominy, returning after the mid-session interval to take a scrappy frame before raising his arms in mock triumph.

Having steadied the ship, Carter compiled a battling 105, his first century break of the final, before reducing the gap to four courtesy of a break of 53. But O’Sullivan refocused, making a run of 64 to lead by five frames.

After the restart, O’Sullivan demonstrated his superior safety game once again, waiting for Carter to make a mistake before taking the frame with a run of 70.

Carter took the next, capitalising on a missed black by his opponent to chisel out a frame-winning break of 64, only for O’Sullivan to hit back, moving to within one frame of the title with breaks of 26 and 46 after some errant safety play from Carter.

And O’Sullivan wrapped up proceedings in the next, launching into his final assault on the world title with a thin cut to the middle which culminated in a match-winning break of 61.

Ronnie almost at the finishing post!!!! just 3 more frames needed to be World Champion for the 4th time :)

7 May 2012Last updated at 17:47

World Snooker final 2012: Ronnie O’Sullivan closing on world title

By Ben DirsBBC Sport at the Crucible

Ronnie O’Sullivan is on the brink of winning his fourth World Championship, having opened up a 15-10 lead over Ali Carter heading into the final session.

O’Sullivan resumed 10-7 ahead and proceeded to win the first four frames, including a quick-fire break of 101, his 12th century of the tournament.

Carter looked a beaten man but rallied to win three frames in a row and take the match into a final session.

But O’Sullivan took the final frame and needs only three more to win the title.

The final was a repeat of 2008, when O’Sullivan won 18-8, one of 11 victories over Carter in 11 previous meetings in ranking events.

Image of Steve DavisSteve DavisSnooker Analyst, BBC Sport

“I don’t think I have seen Ronnie O’Sullivan look so good for a whole tournament or play so well. The balance in his game is magnificent and when he plays like that he truly is the greatest player ever to play the game. He’s a demi-god with what he can do with a cue in his hand.”

And while Carter’s obdurate displays before the final suggested he would be a tougher nut to crack than four years ago, O’Sullivan, who demonstrated unerring focus throughout the tournament, had too much poise and too much class.

O’Sullivan was suffering from food poisoning on Sunday but he appeared to have shaken off the effects before Monday’s opening frame at the Crucible, rattling in a break of 101 to stretch his lead to four frames.

Carter missed a relatively straightforward pink to hand his fellow Essex player the next frame, and the next two frames followed a similar pattern.

In the next, he had three chances to clinch the frame but missed them all, before Carter, with only the colours to clear, missed two goes at the yellow as O’Sullivan surged into a 14-7 lead.

At that stage it looked like O’Sullivan might win the match with a session to spare, but Carter avoided the ignominy, returning after the mid-session interval to take a scrappy frame before raising his arms in mock triumph.

Having steadied the ship, Carter compiled a battling 105, his first century break of the final, before reducing the gap to four courtesy of a break of 53.

But O’Sullivan refocused for the final frame, making a run of 64 to lead by five.

The final session starts at 1930 BST.