O’Sullivan won the Crucible at the age of 46, defeating Trump 18-13 in the final. Following his victory, O’Sullivan and Trump hugged for over a minute. Ronnie O’Sullivan broke down in tears after winning the World Snooker Championship for the seventh time in his illustrious career after sharing a lengthy embrace with opponent Judd Trump after the match.
At times, O’Sullivan appears to be completely unconcerned about the magnitude of his achievements in the game. But anyone who knows snooker knows that this moment, a seventh world title to tie Stephen Hendry’s modern-era record and draw level with him, is the one that has meant so much to him since he first lifted the trophy aloft inside the Crucible 21 years ago. Given Hendry’s absolute dominance in winning his seven world championships, it seemed impossible that anyone could ever scale that mountain again. But if anyone was ever going to join him, it was always going to be O’Sullivan, the great entertainer and grand master of snooker. O’Sullivan is arguably playing in a much tougher field than Hendry did, but the fact that he has now won world titles spanning in three different decades is a staggering testament to his longevity as a player who, worryingly for his peers, appears to be getting better and better.
On this most historic of snookering occasions, Trump couldn’t help but admire his hero. “He will be remembered as the greatest player of all time,” he predicted. “He keeps improving. You can see it in his determination and dedication. Throughout the tournament, he was by far the best player. This afternoon, I was content to simply make a match out of it.” If there were any doubts about O’Sullivan’s status as the greatest player of all time, they may now be dispelled.
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