Snooker: Genius O'Sullivan cruises to world title

Ronnie O'Sullivan eased to an 18-8 victory over Graeme Dott in the Embassy World Championship final here last night to win his second world title and the 15th ranking event of his tumultuous career.

Ronnie O'Sullivan eased to an 18-8 victory over Graeme Dott in the Embassy World Championship final here last night to win his second world title and the 15th ranking event of his tumultuous career.

"I never ever thought that I wasn't going to win it," he said when asked if doubts had crept in after falling 5-0 behind during Sunday's first session. "It was a good performance [overall]. My last three matches have been comfortable. I feel ready to go again to be honest. I know I can get better. There's room for improvement."

Entering last night's final session with a 16-8 lead, O'Sullivan needed only two of the possible 11 frames for victory. To cacophonous cheers, he reeled them off in little more than time than it had taken a pre-session streaker to dash around the table and be hauled away by the security guards.

After the triumph, the mood switched briefly from joy to something rather more sombre. Shades of dark and light have long been a feature in the life of The Rocket and they flickered again as he dedicated his title to his father, Ronnie Snr, who is serving life in prison for murder. "That one's for him," he said. "It was emotional during the match, sitting there thinking of him in his cell. They bang them up early on Bank Holidays."

Dott, a 200-1 outsider at the start of the tournament, brought more levity to the post-match press conference. "I wasn't getting carried away," the Glaswegian said of how he felt at 5-0 up. "I'd have got carried away if it was first to six."

And what had he learnt here? "That Ronnie is phenomenally good."

Indeed he is. At times in the past two weeks, this ambidextrous robot in an Alice band has played so flawlessly with both hands, changing at will as the situation has required, that he has made his game look effortless. That is his genius.

If, against Dott, he did not quite reproduce the coruscating form of the quarter-finals (when Anthony Hamilton was beaten 13-3) and semi-finals (when the seven-times former champion Stephen Hendry was thrashed 17-4), he did enough to show that he is the most naturally gifted player in the world by a margin. From 5-0 down he won 18 of the next 21 frames.

Hanging in there is one of Dott's traits. Scaling mountains is not. The bottom fell out of his championship challenge swiftly yesterday, missing reds in the first two frames to let O'Sullivan to increase a 9-7 overnight lead to 11-7. Frame 19 was a curiosity, a blaze of defiance. O'Sullivan snookered himself and gave away 12 points in fouls. When he eventually hit the target green, he smiled and waved a fist. Dott missed the next red. O'Sullivan potted a red but missed the black. Dott came in, ice in his veins, and cleared with 106, the biggest break of the final.

Game on: 11-8. An excitable radio reporter in the press room here yelled to his listeners: "Amazing! The Scot Dott has stopped the rot!"

He hadn't, of course.Dott always knew he would probably be going home without a title, for about the 80th time in 10 years as a pro. Before this tournament, he had only ever made it to two finals, and had lost both.

O'Sullivan has now twice won the most prized, yesterday's win adding to 2001's against John Higgins.

Whenever O'Sullivan went to the table in this showdown, it was likely he would rack up points and retreat. Dott's breaks were stealthier, always fragile affairs.

A nerve-jangling break of 29 in the 20th frame was a case in point. It ended with an attempted black being hit with such force that it jumped on to the wooden rim of the table, ran along for a little way, and fell off. So did Dott, metaphorically. O'Sullivan was 30-11 down at the time but made a break of 65 for 12-8.

The next frame saw a break of 37 by Dott to go 43-0 ahead. O'Sullivan came to the table needing to slide a missable red down the rail to score. He did, and made a break of 85 to clear up and take a 13-8 lead. The next five also went his way.

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS (Sheffield) FINAL: R O'Sullivan (Eng) bt G Dott (Sco) 18-8 (Frame scores: O'Sullivan first: 34-71, 9-77, 0-108, 0-97, 0-61, 100 (100 break)-0, 63-17, 87-0, 87-0, 0-59, 64-47, 78-0, 0-87, 68-48, 68-1, 69-0, 71-1, 85-0, 2-119 (106 break), 76-30, 85-43, 69-8, 91-44, 72-13, 92-8, 88-16).

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

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Administrative Assistant / Order Fulfilment

£14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join a thrivi...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

Recruitment Genius: Production Operative

£13000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to a period of sustained an...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent