Ronnie O'Sullivan does not intend to retire from snooker any time soon and believes he "could probably play to my mid-50s if I wanted to".
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 in the modern era 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, and he is enjoying his snooker at the moment with the end to his career not in sight.
The 2019 world champion Trump 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. O'Sullivan clearly agrees as he insisted he could keep playing for a long time to come.
"I could probably play to my mid-50s if I wanted to,” O'Sullivan was quoted as saying in the wake of his famous triumph at the Crucible.
"I could probably pitch up and maybe win one or two matches in my mid-50s but I’d have no chance of winning it.
"I don’t need the money. If I’m enjoying it and having fun with it then I’ll play as long as I want to play.
"I don’t consider myself the greatest ever at all. I won’t consider myself the greatest if I win eight. I don’t want to be considered the greatest. I want to be known as someone who loves snooker and loves playing.
"I’m not bothered about awards, trophies or accolades. I just want to enjoy my life, be happy and have some peace. We’re not here forever so it’s about being content.”
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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.”
‘Probably my greatest result’ – O’Sullivan on seventh world title
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