Ronnie O’Sullivan gave a glorious reminder of his brilliant skills in the Cazoo World Grand Prix final, going from 7-5 behind to overcome Neil Robertson 10-8.

O’Sullivan had lost his previous five ranking finals and had been without a championship for 16 months; even his most ardent supporters must have wondered if he could still rise to the occasion in major times. He proved his doubters wrong tonight with a spectacular performance at the end of a fantastic contest.

The Rocket didn’t take the lead until the 15th frame, but after struggling with his game all week in Coventry, his technique and confidence clicked as he rifled in pots from all angles, making a difficult sport appear incredibly easy.

O’Sullivan’s reward is a 38th ranking championship, which extends a record he already held, a top prize of £100,000, and, perhaps most crucially, restores faith in his ability to beat the greatest players when it matters most.

Regardless of how many times he says that enjoying his time on the circuit is more important than results, this triumph will undoubtedly provide him with deep satisfaction.

The world number three was beaten in five finals last season, but put that right in his first of this campaign for his first title since the World Championships of 2020.

The 46-year-old from Chigwell climbs up to third position on the one-year ranking list and appears to be on track to qualify for all three Cazoo Series events, as well as a seat in next year’s Cazoo Champion of Champions.

Robertson may regret his missed opportunity to create a lead in the first session when he was comfortably on top, but he made very few errors from 7-5.

After a 4-4 tie in the previous session, Robertson won the first frame tonight with a break of 59. In the next, he trailed by 27 points with only the colours remaining, but he blew his chance to force a respot when he rattled the yellow in the jaws of a baulk corner, allowing world number three O’Sullivan to tie the match at 5-5.

If that felt like a shift in momentum, there was a greater one on the way. Following the break, O’Sullivan blitzed over four frames in 37 minutes with top breaks of 90, 77, and 77 to take a 9-7 lead.

Robertson’s trademark long red put him up for a break of 78 to cut his deficit, and he had his first opportunity in frame 18 but only hit 7 before a blunder as he attempted to pot the black. That was his final stroke, as O’Sullivan won the tournament with a 77-shot run.

“Robertson was playing the best snooker and he’s the younger guy, he’s at his prime and I’m past my peak, so he was the favourite,” said O’Sullivan, a six-time World Champion. “Some of the previous great players didn’t win much after the age of 30, so it’s nice to be playing at 46.”

“I’m always working on minor details in my technique.” Players like myself and Alex Higgins are unpredictable; we’re simply searching for a vibe, and when you find that vibe… bang! Everything is back up and running.

“I get that sense from jogging every day, and it’s an amazing feeling. When I’m playing well, there’s a different vibe in the room, and it’s good to bring that energy to the people, the venue, and the game. That is only found in a few players.

Tiger Woods, Rafa Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Lionel Messi all add something unique to the game. When I start going, I have that — I think that’s why people pull toward me.

“I’d rather play well and lose and be a part of a terrific match than win and play poorly.” I would have been upset and felt horrible for the spectators if I had won today without discovering an extra piece of equipment.

It was fine since I got a buzz and Neil performed great. It’s not a pleasant sensation to be stinking gaffs out. Neil is a wonderful person, a fantastic sportsman, and an excellent advocate for snooker and Australia. ”

“I could have had a lead after the first session, but Ronnie battled extremely hard to win the last frame and tie it up at 4-4,” Robertson said. Throughout the final, I felt amazing. At 7-5, all I wanted was three more opportunities.

Ronnie came out and played some fantastic music. The only thing that irritated me was the blunder on the black at 9-8, which would have forced a decision. I know Ronnie lost a few finals last season, so it was amazing to watch him play so well today as a fan of the game and of him. ”

Click Here For More On Snooker News  




Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here