Ronnie O'Sullivan has talked about the emotions of having his dad at the Crucible this time, seeing him win his seventh title at the World Championship.
The 46-year-old became the oldest champion in Crucible history after seeing off Judd Trump 18-13 in a titanic match-up to mark the showpiece of an enthralling tournament in Sheffield.
The triumph saw O’Sullivan join Stephen Hendry on seven world titles with the Rocket having won his first world title in 2001. He also claimed snooker’s biggest prize in 2004, 2008, 2012, 2013 and 2020 before his triumph over the Bristolian on Monday.
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O'Sullivan's joy at making history with his stunning seventh crown was multiplied by having his family in attendance in the Crucible Theatre, including his father, Ronnie Senior, who missed his son's first world title after being jailed for murder.
For O'Sullivan, it made it all the more special having his dad there with him to celebrate making history on the biggest stage the sport has to offer.
"Listen, my dad tells me the story about what it was like when I won my first world title and he was in a cell on his own," O'Sullivan said in the Eurosport studio.
"The story was so different to this one, but it was still, just for him to be here to see it, for my kids to be here, little Ronnie was really young, he is older now. It was just lovely, just lovely to have them all here, you know what I mean?
"They have enjoyed it. My dad has had a great time here. The kids have had a lovely time. I didn't think I would make another world final so I was like 'you may as well come down and try and experience it' and after this afternoon's session, they must have thought 'ah, what have we come to watch this for? Dad is falling apart!' I was falling apart!
"It was just a mammoth, mammoth, mammoth tournament."
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O’Sullivan admitted in his Eurosport studio interview that he never believed he would win a seventh world title as he spoke about his emotional embrace with Trump at the end of what ended up being a thrilling final.
"I was so emotional. To finally get over the line, I just thought it would never happen,” he said. “I gave him a big hug and I was just sobbing in his arms. And he said such lovely words.
"What he said to me blew me away, to be honest. It just blew me away. I love Judd. I love him, he’s a great lad, and I didn’t realise what he thought of me until then.
"Different respect there, you know. I didn’t realise how he sees me and how I’ve been part of his development.
"It’s great for snooker that we’ve got someone like Judd, playing the way he plays. There’s a couple more coming through [Zhao] Xintong, it’s going to be brilliant. That’s my best result ever I think."
When asked if it was the nicest moment he had experienced in the Crucible, O’Sullivan replied: “Without a doubt. What he said, Judd, just done me in! Honestly.”
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The 2019 world champion Trump, meanwhile, had an ominous warning for the rest of the tour when he paid tribute to O'Sullivan and noted that he is not slowing down at all.
"Ronnie has been a pleasure to share the table with,” began Trump during his post-final interview.
"He's always been so good to me throughout my career. Let me practise with him when I was young to try and learn things off him. [This is] an amazing achievement, and he will go down as the best player of all time.”
Trump also paid tribute to the Rocket’s determination and dedication, and added that he was not only the best player over the course of the two weeks, but also that he was still getting better and better.
"He just keeps getting better and better,” said Trump. “I think his determination, dedication, you can see out there he barely misses a ball over the 31 frames.
"I think he was the best player throughout the whole time by quite a distance, and I was just happy to make a sort of a match out of it this afternoon."
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