Snooker World Championships: Ronnie O'Sullivan prepares to defend his title as he rockets into final with a 17-7 victory over Barry Hawkins

O'Sullivan can rest on Saturday before the final where he will face the winner of Neil Robertson and Mark Selby's semi0final, which concludes today

Ronnie O'Sullivan can enjoy a leisurely Saturday after booking the chance to defend his world title with a day to spare.

The reigning champion concluded a 17-7 win over Barry Hawkins on Friday night, with a mesmerising four-frame run giving him the day off and sparing him the slated final session.

The five-time winner also beat Shaun Murphy in the quarters with a session left and, short of a second-round tussle with Joe Perry, has cruised to the final.

The 38-year-old is, by his own admission, a part-time player these days, but still continues to wow the Crucible audiences and will be the favourite against either Neil Robertson or Mark Selby when the best-of-35 final starts on Sunday.

"To have got such a comfortable result against Barry is great for me," O'Sullivan said on World Snooker's official website.

"I hadn't played for two months going into this tournament so I'd got a bit bored of practising, but that's because I didn't enter any tournaments so that's my own fault.

"As each match goes on you do feel like you get into it."

O'Sullivan has never lost a Sheffield final, winning his first in 2001 and then adding to it in 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2013.

The Essex man has previously spoken of the six and seven titles won by snooker greats Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry and, should he continue his perfect record in Crucible finals, he will be level with one of them.

"I've still got one more match to play so I can't afford to get all excited," he added.

"It's all about the final for me on Sunday and Monday now. I just want to enjoy my day off and get ready to play in what is our biggest tournament, competing in the final.

"I'm just buzzing to be playing and enjoying it. To get to three finals in a row having already won two - if you'd have told me that three years ago it would've never entered my thoughts that I could do it."

The world number one or three will face him, with Robertson and Selby locked in a gruelling clash which is unlikely to leave the victor feeling fresh ahead of Sunday.

Selby currently leads 9-7 as he chases his first title, with Robertson hoping to add to the 2010 one he won.

The duo will play on Saturday morning and evening, with tournament organisers having to fill the void left by O'Sullivan's early finish.

World Snooker has said there will be an exhibition match for ticket holders, with the raft of former players on the various commentary teams in place likely to be called upon.

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
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

Tradewind Recruitment: Phase Co-ordinator for Foundation and Key Stage 1

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Phase Co-ordinator for Foundation and Key S...

Tradewind Recruitment: SEN Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: SEN Teacher We have a fantastic special n...

Tradewind Recruitment: History Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an 11-18 all ability co-educat...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 6 Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 6 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee