World Snooker Championship: Ronnie O'Sullivan beats Judd Trump to equal Stephen Hendry's record of seven world titles
Ronnie O'Sullivan beats Judd Trump to win World Snooker Championship for record-equalling seventh time, matching Stephen Hendry: "We can share the record for a year," says O'Sullivan after becoming oldest winner of the game's flagship tournament
Last Updated: 03/05/22 1:34pm
Ronnie O'Sullivan described his victory over Judd Trump as the "greatest result I've ever had" as he matched Stephen Hendry's record of seven World Snooker Championship titles.
The 46-year-old defeated Trump 18-13 in front of a capacity crowd at The Crucible in Sheffield to become the oldest winner of the game's flagship event, beating friend and mentor Ray Reardon, who was 45 when he triumphed in 1978.
O'Sullivan, who added to his previous titles in 2001, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2013 and 2020, was in tears after clinching victory and shared a long embrace with 2019 champion Trump - before suggesting he will be back to pursue an eighth crown next season.
He told the BBC: "That's probably my greatest result I've ever had. As far as I'm concerned, this fella [Trump] is already an all-time great. The way he plays the game, he just plays such dynamic snooker.
"To put up with that pressure for two days - even when he's not playing well you think he's just going to spark into action, so you're kind of having to be on your guard at all time.
"[Stephen Hendry and I] can share the record for a year. The Crucible brings out the worst in me. It's probably not the best idea but we'll probably go again next year.
(Trump first): 98-0 (72), 0-120 (120), 1-78 (68), 66-73 (Trump 52), 13-62, 4-105 (105), 98-0 (97), 79-50, 100-36 (73), 7-117 (66,50), 9-122 (118), 15-107 (97), 0-77, 26-94 (87), 80-4 (80), 0-79 (60), 33-88 (88), 115-22 (107), 90-25 (59), 81-0, 45-71 (64), 66-20, 60-51, 1-68 (55), 126-0 (105), 12-82 (82), 12-88 (88), 72-27 (64), 1-91 (75), 151-0 (109), 0-93 (85)
"I've never bothered about records. I've never performed well if I'm going for stuff like that. I like to win, but it's not the be-all and end-all.
"I just try to enjoy the game, compete, enjoy being on the circuit, try to enjoy what I do and work hard at my game.
"Then you just let the snooker gods decide what they are going to decide. These 17 days, they were on my side."
O'Sullivan overcomes Trump fightback
O'Sullivan, who secured a sizeable 12-5 lead heading into Monday's final two sessions, had to hold off a Trump fightback in the afternoon as the 2019 winner claimed six of the first eight frames to pull to within three.
O'Sullivan won the first two frames of the evening session to again earn himself a handy cushion, before Trump responded by clinching two of the next three, the second of those a fabulous century break - the 109th of the tournament, breaking the record for the most ever at the championship.
It would not, however, prompt a remarkable Trump turnaround as O'Sullivan wrapped up a memorable triumph with a masterful break of 85 in the sixth frame of the night.
Trump said: "Massive congratulations to Ronnie. He's been a pleasure to share the table with. He's always been so good to me throughout my career, letting me practise with him when I was young, and try to learn things off him.
"It's an amazing achievement and he will go down as the best player of all time. He keeps getting better and better. I think his determination, dedication... you can see it out there, he barely missed a ball over the 31 frames."
Trump won the opening three frames on Monday, and really should have won all four before the mid-session interval. Having compiled a break of 45, he missed an ambitious plant to the middle pocket and O'Sullivan duly cleared to the pink to limit the damage.
Trump quickly rattled off back-to-back frames upon the resumption, the latter of which saw O'Sullivan trickle a red into the jaws of the top pocket and Trump nervously clear to pink to make it 13-10.
A missed black off its spot cost Trump dear in the next, as he let in O'Sullivan for a break of 51 which proved enough for him to restore a four-frame lead before Trump took the final frame of the session.
The epic comeback quest was not to continue in the evening, though, with O'Sullivan back to his fluent best to rattle off the first two frames of the night on his way to his record-equalling triumph.
O'Sullivan given formal warning after clash with referee
O'Sullivan had built a handy overnight lead with a dominant display of snooker on Sunday, though the day will be remembered for the 46-year-old's furious response to an admonishment for allegedly making an obscene gesture midway through frame eight.
Olivier Marteel gave O'Sullivan what World Snooker Tour later confirmed was a "formal warning" for a "gesture" he made after failing to get out of a snooker, prompting a plainly irritated O'Sullivan to challenge the official to check the camera and insist he "saw nothing".
O'Sullivan is already facing an investigation by the WPBSA disciplinary committee for allegedly making a lewd gesture after missing a black in the 13th frame of his 10-5 first-round win over Dave Gilbert.