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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Ben Parsons

Mark Williams insists Ronnie O'Sullivan is 'miles past' best in stark message to snooker rivals

Mark Williams insists Ronnie O'Sullivan is the best snooker player in the world 'when he tries' - despite being 'miles past' his best.

Seven-time world champion O'Sullivan proved once again why he remains the world's greatest with a stunning 10-6 victory over Judd Trump to claim his fourth Champion of Champions title on Sunday. The Rocket was imperious against his generation's next most exciting player, putting on a break-building clinic in an enthralling final in Bolton to secure his latest title.

O'Sullivan, 46, held off a spirited comeback from Trump, who produced his own moment of magic with a 147 in frame eight, to win the prestigious event. Three-time Crucible champion Williams is part of snooker's famous 'Class of 92' alongside O'Sullivan and John Higgins after the legendary triumvirate graduated as professionals three decades ago.

But Williams believes the Class of 92 moniker should only be reserved for the brilliance of O'Sullivan. And the Welshman is adamant that the Rocket is still the king in snooker when he is motivated to perform, despite being 'way past his best'.

"Way past his best and still the best player in the world when he tries. Incredible, like him or not just enjoy watching him play," Williams tweeted. "He's more than a little past his best he's miles past it," he added when quizzed on his claim.

Williams' admission is a stark reminder to elite snooker players that O'Sullivan remains the man to beat as he approaches his 47th birthday, despite not being in his prime.

Williams believes O'Sullivan is still the best player in the world (VCG via Getty Images)

However, some snooker fans would argue that O'Sullivan is now playing as well as he ever has, after he picked up his second big invitational title of the season following victory at the Hong Kong Masters last month. He has also won two of his seven world titles in the last three seasons.

O'Sullivan produced masterful moments in the final against Trump, firing three centuries and further breaks of 96, 88, 85 and 81 in Bolton. And he is now favourite to win an eighth UK Championship title, with the Triple Crown event set to get underway this weekend.

A jovial O'Sullivan joked that he is ready to add to his tally at the Barbican in York. "I’ve got seven of them so I suppose eight sounds good," he said. "I could always do with another one I suppose."

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