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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Fraser Watson Sports Trends Writer

BREAKING: Ronnie O’Sullivan crowned World Champion as he beats Judd Trump to equal Stephen Hendry record

Ronnie O'Sullivan is a seven-time world champion after beating Judd Trump in an absorbing final at The Crucible.

The iconic left-hander further cemented his status as one of the greats of the game, holding off a spirited fightback from Trump to eventually prevail 18-13. He finished the contest in style, executing a break of 85 to rapturous applause from the sell-out crowd.

After dominating the first two sessions on Sunday, the outcome looked inevitable as 'The Rocket' began the day with a commanding 12-5 lead. Indeed, many were speculating if Trump would even be able to force a final session, needing a minimum of three of the opening eight frames to avoid a harrowing early defeat.

However, any thoughts of a procession were dispelled the 2019 champion then mounted a brave fightback, taking the opening session 6-2 to leave things standing at 14-11. Suddenly, not only was the contest in the balance, but also O'Sullivan's hopes of equalling Stephen Hendry's record of seven world titles.

But having looked unusually tense in the afternoon, O'Sullivan settled nerves with a break of 82 in the opening frame of the night. After Trump then missed a crucial black, the Wordsley star capitalised again with a clearance of 88 to make it 16-11.

That left him just two frames from glory, and threatened to break free again with a break of 27 only for a rare miscalculation to halt the break. Both players then missed a series of chances in a tense period of play, before Trump sank a long red before negotiating some tricky positional play with a break of 64 to stem the tide.

O'Sullivan began the final session with two 80-plus breaks to regain full control ((Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images))

Not for long though, with O'Sullivan handed another chance to get amongst the balls in the next frame, and he racked up a break of 75 to leave himself on the brink. And when the players re-emerged after the mid-session interval, there was a sense of inevitably amid the crowd cheers.

With little to lose, Trump sank a long red to get off the mark and then proceeded to attack, with a dynamic break of 109 delaying his opponent's slice of history. Incidentally, Trump's effort was the 109th century break of the Championship, exceeding the previous record set in 2021.

But in the next frame, O'Sullivan ended a tense opening by delicately cutting a red into the pocket, and with the balls already spread, he was at his clinical best to finish matters. After making 85, he embraced his rival, and the pair appeared to share some poignant words before the tearful champion celebrated with his family.

O'Sullivan has thrilled throughout the tournament in Sheffield, and as so often the case, has made headlines for more than his scintillating play alone. In the first-round, he was reprimanded after making a lewd gesture in his win over David Gilbert.

Following his semi-final win over John Higgins, he joked he would be bringing a hairdryer into his clash with Trump, after seemingly sitting on a soaking wet seat. And even when at his best in the final, he was rarely content as he frequently argued with match referee Oliver Martell.

Regardless, his ability shows no sign of waning, and he will now surely now seek to surpass Scottish legend Hendry with an unprecedented eighth world title in 2023. His success in Sheffield has also extended his record number of major triple crown titles to 21.

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