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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Fraser Watson

More people watched Ronnie O'Sullivan win World Snooker Championship than Coronation Street

Ronnie O'Sullivan's historic world title win proved more popular with TV viewers than the daily soaps on Monday.

O'Sullivan, 46, was seemingly cruising to a seventh crown after leading 12-5 on Sunday, with opponent Judd Trump needing three of the first eight frames to simply force an evening session. Then came a fightback however, with the 2019 champion giving himself a chance by narrowing the gap to 14-11.

It set the stage for a tense Monday night, but O'Sullivan dismissed any notion of nerves with two 80 plus breaks to open up a five-frame lead. Again though, Trump refused to go away, taking two of the next three frames to delay his opponent's coronation.

However, 'The Rocket' finished things in style, racking up a break of 85 to cement his status as one of the greatest players of all time. And afterwards, there were emotional scenes between the two players, with O'Sullivan breaking down in tears as they exchanged kind words.

Afterwards, the champion labelled the victory "the greatest I've had," and confirmed he would be back in 2023 to bid for an unprecedented eighth title. And it seems it wasn't just The Crucible audience captivated by his play.

According to The Sun, nearly five million viewers tuned in to watch the climax of the final on BBC Two on Monday. The final session averaged over three million - while coverage of the first day of the final on the BBC website had over two million views.

The figures made it the most popular programme on British TV, beating prime time soaps like Coronation Street and Eastenders. The ITV show had storylines such as Rhona returning to work and Ethan feeling the pressure of his upcoming case.

Over on BBC One, Bernie and Dotty building an unlikely friendship in Eastenders wasn't considered as enthralling as O'Sullivan's moment of glory. And Manchester United's 4-0 win over Brentford on Sky Sports didn't seem to deter snooker fans either.

Of course, O'Sullivan's appeal has long been synonymous with snooker, and during the 17 days in Sheffield, he made headlines for more than just scintillating play. In his first-round match over David Gilbert, he was reprimanded for a lewd gesture after missing a simple po t.

Following his semi-final win over John Higgins, he joked he would play Trump armed with a hairdryer after sitting on a soaking wet seat. And in the final, he regularly rowed with the referee and even got into a spat with a security guard.

But after he lifted the silverware, BBC pundit John Parrott labelled him the best to have picked up a cue : "He is a player for all ages. He is the most talented player we've seen in the sport and this is just rewards for his talent," he said.

"I think he's the most talented sportsman in Britain. This is Tiger Woods level. He has 21 majors, seven in all of the big ones, and plays to a level a lot of players can never aspire to."

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