Snooker: Ronnie O'Sullivan takes sabbatical after title No 4

 

The Crucible

Ronnie O'Sullivan toasted sweet success last night as he won his fourth World Championship crown.

The "Rocket" blew away his fellow Essex player Ali Carter with a stylish 18-11 win here in Sheffield - and, with victory in the sport's gruelling best-of-35-frame final, pocketed a handsome £250,000 top prize.

"I've come here to try and entertain this tournament because I just wanted to show people what I'm capable of," said O'Sullivan, who admitted he is now going to take a six-month break, having originally threatened to retire after this year's event. "It's very hard to win this, it's a real endurance test. It's the equivalent of the iron man. I don't think it's too much about the snooker, to be honest, I think it's more about controlling your emotions and keeping it together. I was able to do that over 17 days, which is a great feeling."

It was O'Sullivan's fourth world title and his first since 2008 - when he beat the same opponent 18-8 with a dominant performance at snooker's spiritual home. Not that O'Sullivan was any less dominant this time around, but this was a measured performance from the 36-year-old, often plagued by his mental demons on and off the table.

O'Sullivan, who has been seeing the sports psychiatrist Dr Steve Peters to prolong his colourful career, never looked in any trouble as he remained firmly focused against Carter.

"I wouldn't have been playing if it hadn't been for Steve," he admitted. "It's been tough because I've had to face things I didn't want to face, but once I faced them it felt better. Sometimes you want to run, but I've faced my problems - and this victory tops them all."

He became the oldest Crucible winner for 34 years after Welshman Ray Reardon, then aged 45, claimed victory in 1978. And the records continued to tumble as O'Sullivan clinched a 12th successive victory over Carter, his opponent still having never beaten him in professional play, as well as the 24th ranking title of his career.

It was perhaps fitting that Carter sarcastically held his arms aloft in the penultimate session of the match after he had at least spared himself the ignominy of being beaten with a session spare. A big underdog to beat O'Sullivan, the Tiptree player was left glued to his seat as his opponent, having resumed with a slender 10-7 lead, reeled off four frames on the spin to power 14-7 ahead. At that stage, O'Sullivan had the chance to become the first player since Stephen Hendry beat Jimmy White 18-5 in 1993 to win the Crucible final with a session to spare.

But Carter rallied and pinched a scrappy 22nd frame to stop the rot, before adding breaks of 105 and 53 to reduce his arrears to four frames. However, Carter's comeback was cut short as O'Sullivan finished the session with breaks of 64 and 55 to leave himself needing three frames for victory.

Carter needed to stamp his authority early in the evening session, but O'Sullivan started with a stylish 70 break to pull further ahead. A break of 64 gave Carter the next frame to trail by five, but defeat was just around the corner as O'Sullivan compiled breaks of 46 and 61 for a deserved triumph.

"Maybe if he retires I might win it, who knows?" reflected Carter, who took home £125,000 as a worthy runner-up at this year's tournament.

"I just kept punching, but I'm disappointed with how I played in the final. Ronnie put me under all sorts of pressure, his safety play was better than mine from ball one. He's a genius, so all credit to him. It's great to have been in another final, but it's very disappointing to lose."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: 3rd Line Virtualisation, Windows & Server Engineer

£40000 - £47000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A 3rd Line Virtualisation / Sto...

Recruitment Genius: Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Service Engineer

£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A successful national service f...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive / Sales - OTE £25,000

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Fixed Term Contract

£17500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We currently require an experie...

Day In a Page

Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?