Snooker news - O'Sullivan wins record-breaking seventh UK Championship title
Ronnie O'Sullivan defeated Mark Allen 10-6 in the final of the UK Championship on Sunday to lift a record-breaking seventh title in York.
O’Sullivan’s triumph saw him surpass the previous record he shared with Steve Davis, as well as edging past Stephen Hendry to win a 19th ‘triple crown’ title – comprising the World and UK Championship and the Masters.
O’Sullivan said: “It’s great to make history. To beat Davis’s record and to beat Stephen Hendry, who is my hero and the ultimate player, is just crazy.
“I never thought I would be chasing these kinds of records. I just want to get my head down and play but I don’t want to stop there – I want to put in some distance and make it harder for the next guy to overtake me.”
After years of threatening to walk away from the sport, O’Sullivan, who celebrated his 43rd birthday in the middle of the tournament, now appears thoroughly intent on committing himself to his sport for the long-term.
He added: “I was playing for the fans today. It’s payback time – they have supported me for so long and they go through it all with me so I just need to play with a smile on my face.
“I am not setting myself any limits. I will play as many tournaments as I think I can play, whether they are big or small. It’s just about playing and trying to enjoy it, because it’s a fantastic sport.”
'Ronnie is the greatest ever'
The mutual respect between the pair at the end was obvious, with O’Sullivan tipping Allen to go on to end his long search for a world title, while Allen described his opponent as the best player of all time.
“I congratulated him at the end, not just for the win but for making history,” said Allen. “To beat Steve Davis’s record and to beat Stephen Hendry’s 19 shows where Ronnie is and there’s no question in my mind he’s the greatest ever.
“I didn’t feel like I did much wrong but I got really punished for it. That’s the fine margins and Ronnie’s game was really devastating in that first session.
“That’s why you play the game, and it’s up to me to go away and try to get closer to Ronnie’s level but at the moment he’s by far and away better than everyone else.”
O'Sullivan responded to a tense opening mini-session early on Sunday that finished 2-2, in which he scored career century No. 986, by rattling off four frames in a row with as many half-century breaks to lead 6-2 at the interval.
He took the first frame of the evening session but any chances of a quick victory were scuppered when Allen won back-to-back frames, which included a magical century break of 105.
Allen was up and looked in control before O'Sullivan returned to the table and knocked in a fantastic break of 57 to steal the frame and go to within one of victory.
A tense opening the in the 15th was compounded when Allen left the brown over the bottom left pocket and after a safety exchange the Northern Irishman left a stray red over the opposite corner.
O'Sullivan sunk the red and the brown but a missed red to the middle allowed the Masters champion back in.
Allen began to clean up but he then failed to pot a simple red, which allowed O'Sullivan in only to see the Rocket clip one red off another.
Allen cut a narrow red in, which barely dropped, and he cleaned up at the second attempt, starting to echo Judd Trump, who four years ago came from 9-4 down against O'Sullivan to force a decider at 9-9.
However it wasn't to be as a superb long red got O'Sullivan in and he went about his business of potting the balls at the bottom of the table.
A fine red to the middle was the crucial pot as O'Sullivan ended with the match with a break of 78.