Tearful O’Sullivan wins record-tying 7th world snooker title

SHEFFIELD, England (AP) — Ronnie O’Sullivan finally got to No. 7.

Widely regarded as the most talented snooker player ever, O’Sullivan surely secured his status as the game’s greatest by beating Judd Trump 18-13 to win a record-tying seventh world championship on Monday.

“That’s probably the greatest result I’ve ever had,” O’Sullivan said after sharing a long, tearful embrace with Trump at the end of the final at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield.

The 46-year-old Englishman joined Stephen Hendry in holding the modern-day record, adding to his world titles from 2001, ’04, ’08, ’12, ’13 and ’20. Hendry won all of his in the 1990s.

O’Sullivan also has won a record seven titles at each of the Masters and the U.K. Championship, the other two so-called “majors” in snooker.

A right-hander who is also comfortable playing left-handed, O’Sullivan has the most career ranking titles (39), is the only player to make more than 1,000 competitive centuries, and has made more maximum breaks of 147 in competitive play than anyone else.

Reaching seven world titles has long been a target of O’Sullivan’s, though, and establishing a 12-5 lead over Trump after two of the final’s four possible sessions set him on the way.

Trump, the 2019 champion and also from England, recovered in the afternoon session and twice came within three frames of O’Sullivan.

O’Sullivan held himself together to compile a match-clinching break of 85 before breaking down in tears in the arms of Trump.

“It’s been a pleasure to share a table with him,” said Trump, who grew up idolizing O’Sullivan. “It’s an amazing achievement and he’s the best player of all time.”

Hendry was in the commentary box at the Crucible and said it was a privilege to share the record with O’Sullivan.

“I’m actually surprised it’s taken him so long to get to No. 7,” Hendry said.

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