Finals

Ronnie O’Sullivan Runs Away With English Open Success

Ronnie O’Sullivan has won the English Open after an impressive 9-2 victory over Kyren Wilson at the Barnsley Metrodome on Sunday.

Ronnie O'Sullivan English Open 1 (WS)

O’Sullivan’s last ranking triumph was the 2016 Welsh Open. Photo credit: World Snooker

By lifting the Steve Davis Trophy in front of a big crowd on home soil, O’Sullivan collects his 29th ranking event title – taking him above the six-time world champion on the all-time winners’ list and alongside old foe John Higgins in second place.

The triumph for the 41 year-old, for which he netted £70,000, never looked in doubt as he claimed a first ranking crown in just shy of two years.

Success also means that the “Rocket” is the sole competitor remaining who is still in with a shout of the million pound bonus on offer for the improbable task of capturing all four Home Nations series trophies.

Not many give much hope of that eventuality occurring, but if one cueist could threaten the unlikely feat, it’s O’Sullivan.

The former world number one was approaching his very best at times throughout today’s showdown, which everyone is well aware represents an untouchable force in the game.

O’Sullivan compiled four century breaks – terrific runs of 115, 131, 127, and 132 in completing the rout – but he could have had a few more as his pot success rate finished at an incredible 98%.

One of the key moments came early in the final when the scores were still tied at 1-1 and O’Sullivan produced a rare miss while in amongst the balls.

Wilson, despite numerous brilliant long pots and an unlucky run of the balls when he went in-off from a great pink when attempting to swing the cue ball around the table for the black, couldn’t capitalise as a visibly grateful O’Sullivan finally sank the last black after his opponent rattled a difficult cut back that stayed over the jaws of the pocket.

From there, it was mostly one-way traffic as the former world number one reeled off one sizable contribution after another.

O’Sullivan led 6-2 after the opening session and never looked like relinquishing his advantage, keeping Wilson in his seat for a short evening session that lasted less than an hour.

For Wilson it’s a second disappointment suffered in as many months after a similarly one-sided defeat in the World Open against Ding Junhui in September.

The Kettering cueist is still trying to add to his sole ranking glory from the Shanghai Masters in 2015, but must be pretty content with his form overall this season having also claimed the gold medal at the World Games during the summer.

In truth, there wasn’t really much the 25 year-old could have done differently on this occasion and there’s no doubt that his star is on the continuous rise in the sport.

It’s likely that Wilson will be in the mix for several tournaments this campaign and another piece of silverware is unlikely to be too far off.

Yet, there are few competitors who can live with O’Sullivan in the kind of form he demonstrated for the majority of this week.

It’ll be intriguing to see if he can maintain that run over the course of the next few months as the UK Championship and Masters approaches, and of course the Home Nations series continues with the Northern Ireland Open in Belfast next month.

The week began with O’Sullivan causing minor controversy and plenty of headlines for his choice of footwear in overcoming an injury suffered while running.

It’s not unusual for O’Sullivan to cause a stir, which whether he means to or not can often taken away from the focus of his game on the table.

Sometimes this can have a positive effect and it certainly materialised that way over the last few days as he constructed a barrage of century breaks to, in the end, coast to his latest victory.

When he is in full flow there’s nobody better to watch and, despite supposedly being in the twilight years of his career, he shows no sign yet that his career is about to wind down any time soon.

For fans of the game, that can only be a good thing.

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