Ronnie O’Sullivan continued his impressive run of form by winning the 2024 World Grand Prix on Sunday in Leicester.
The Rocket fought his way back from 4-0 behind to beat Judd Trump 10-7 at the Morningside Arena.
Success takes O’Sullivan to a record-extending 41 career ranking titles and marks his second of what is developing into a spectacular 2023/24 campaign.
The 48 year-old has now won 14 matches in a row on the World Snooker Tour, a special streak that also saw him pick up silverware in both the UK Championship and at last week’s Masters.
O’Sullivan also triumphed in the prestigious Shanghai Masters in China during the first half of this term.
The title-deciding showdown at the World Grand Prix paired the world numbers one and two against each other in a blockbuster battle.
But the outstanding occasion that many had predicted – especially after O’Sullivan’s mesmerising performance in the semi-finals – didn’t quite materialise.
While there was plenty of drama and tension throughout the day, neither competitor was able to produce at their highest levels.
At first, Trump was able to take advantage as he established a 4-0 cushion by the mid-session interval.
Yet the top seed, three times a ranking event winner this season himself, was nowhere near his best and looked increasingly edgy the longer the tie went on.
O’Sullivan scrambled his way back by winning three of the remaining four frames to trail by only two at the end of the opening session.
When the seven-time world champion missed an opportunity at the start of the evening’s play, Trump pulled three clear again and appeared to be let off the hook.
But breaks of 58 and 74 saw O’Sullivan quickly reduce the deficit to one, and he duly restored parity by taking a tight 12th frame on the black.
After he then moved in front for the first time, there were two pivotal moments that well and truly swung the encounter in his favour.
Trump had big opportunities to win the next two close frames, but he rattled the final black in the 14th frame and the brown in the 15th frame to eventually lose both.
To his credit, the Bristol potter dug deep and stayed in contention with a timely contribution of 73.
Trump then had a chance to get back to within one but played a poor positional shot and then a bad safety – allowing his illustrious opponent in to clear the colours and triumph 10-7.
O’Sullivan pockets the £100,000 champion’s cheque and victory over his fierce rival reaffirms his status as the best player in the world at present.
2024 World Grand Prix draw and schedule
Round of 32 (bo7)
Judd Trump 4-2 Jamie Jones
Lyu Haotian 4-3 Chris Wakelin
Mark Selby 4-3 Yuan Sijun
Ali Carter 4-3 Wu Yize
Barry Hawkins 3-4 Cao Yupeng
John Higgins 0-4 Shaun Murphy
Hossein Vafaei 4-3 Matthew Selt
Mark Williams 4-3 Thepchaiya Un-Nooh
Zhang Anda 4-2 Dominic Dale
Mark Allen 4-2 Jack Lisowski
Noppon Saengkham 4-1 Xiao Guodong
Ding Junhui 4-3 Ricky Walden
Tom Ford 4-1 Jordan Brown
Gary Wilson 4-2 David Gilbert
Zhou Yuelong 4-1 Stephen Maguire
Ronnie O’Sullivan 4-2 Pang Junxu
Round of 16 (bo7)
Judd Trump 4-0 Lyu Haotian
Mark Selby 4-3 Ali Carter
Cao Yupeng 4-0 Shaun Murphy
Hossein Vafaei 1-4 Mark Williams
Zhang Anda 4-2 Mark Allen
Noppon Saengkham 1-4 Ding Junhui
Tom Ford 2-4 Gary Wilson
Zhou Yuelong 3-4 Ronnie O’Sullivan
Judd Trump 5-1 Mark Selby
Cao Yupeng 5-4 Mark Williams
Zhang Anda 2-5 Ding Junhui
Gary Wilson 1-5 Ronnie O’Sullivan
Judd Trump 6-2 Cao Yupeng
Ding Junhui 1-6 Ronnie O’Sullivan
Judd Trump 7-10 Ronnie O’Sullivan
Featured photo credit: WST