Ronnie O’Sullivan produced the goods yet again on the big stage – beating rival Judd Trump 10-6 to win the Champion of Champions for a fourth time on Sunday.
It’s another prestigious title in a career that has been full of them, and there couldn’t really be a more fitting way to describe the Rocket’s status within the sport.
Just shy of his 47th birthday, O’Sullivan has been a star on the Main Tour for 30 years, specifically ever since he burst onto the scene with victory as a teenager at the 1993 UK Championship.
- CLICK HERE: 1993/94 Snooker Season: Hendry meets O’Sullivan
There have been a record 21 Triple Crown titles in the intervening decades – seven each in the UK and World Championships, and a further seven at the Masters.
He is the sport’s record holder in terms of ranking titles won and centuries compiled, and he’s a perennial presence at the business end of all the major tournaments, including last week’s.
O’Sullivan is an enigma who transcends the game, a charismatic but at times infuriating personality who has spearheaded the spread of snooker’s interest all around the world.
Despite approaching a period in his career when most others would be considering retirement, the Englishman is the current world number one and the reigning world champion.
He may not be producing quite at the highest level he once did, but he’s not far off it and that in itself is remarkable.
O’Sullivan generally controlled Sunday’s Champion of Champions final in Bolton to see off the challenge of one of his greatest rivals.
Trump has enjoyed his fair share of success from their head-to-head over the years, including in numerous title-deciding affairs.
But despite compiling a majestic 147 break during their latest showdown, the 33 year-old couldn’t avoid a repeat outcome of their World Championship final from May.
O’Sullivan began the contest strongly and only lost one out of the opening seven frames as a result of an uncharacteristic miss on a straightforward red.
At 6-1 down, his younger opponent did well to fight his back into contention, but O’Sullivan raised his game when it mattered the most.
After the final mid-session interval, he reeled off contributions of 124, 85, and 81 to power past the winning post.
- CLICK HERE: Hong Kong Masters triumph for Ronnie O’Sullivan
With the £150,000 champion’s cheque, O’Sullivan has already earned more than a quarter of a million pounds this season, with this victory adding to his glory in the Hong Kong Masters last month.
Under a revised format for the upcoming UK Championship, O’Sullivan will now surely be the favourite again with fewer rounds to negotiate in York.
The success, which often comes so naturally to him that he doesn’t appear to appreciate it as much as many of the sport’s fans would like, rolls on in seemingly never-ending fashion.
But even though he might not always visibly show it, it’s clear that winning means the world to him or else he really wouldn’t put the required effort in to consistently sustain this kind of elevated level.
Long may his tenure at the top be prolonged, because even though he can annoy people away from the table, what he produces on it continues to mesmorise and amaze.
People say that snooker will survive without O’Sullivan, and that of course is true, yet the sport will unquestionably be poorer upon his decision to eventually hang up his cue.
Ronnie O’Sullivan is the complete competitor, the ultimate winner, and snooker’s everlasting Champion of Champions.
Featured photo credit: ChampOfChamps
This was O’Sullivan’s 77th professional title, according to Phil Yates. Only Steve Davis has won more. I wouldn’t be that surprised if O’Sullivan ended up winning 100 titles. At his best, nobody is his superior.