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O'Sullivan seals Tour triumph to top rankings

 

Ronnie O'Sullivan
Ronnie O'Sullivan

By Robert Jones

Ronnie O'Sullivan has returned to top of the world rankings for the first time in nine years after sealing victory in the Tour Championship final in Llandudno.

O'Sullivan eclipsed Neil Robertson 13-11 to end Mark Selby's six-year reign at the top, also becoming the oldest world champion in 36 years at the age of 43.

He said: "I've never been driven by being number one but to get there after only playing half the tournaments is probably one of my best achievements."

O'Sullivan started the final session locked together at 8-8 with the Australian, who repeatedly fought back from two frames down but never managed to nudge ahead.

From a 12-10 deficit Robertson hauled back one more frame to threaten a decider but a superb 96 clearance by O'Sullivan saw him also draw level with Stephen Hendry on 36 career ranking titles.

O'Sullivan added: "Congratulations to Neil - him and Judd Trump have been the two best this season along with myself."

'The Rocket' pocketed the £150,000 top prize at Venue Cymru with a performance built more on fortitude than flair.

It will boost his hopes of winning a sixth world title at the Crucible, and he is optimistic his form gives him every chance of succeeding in Sheffield.

O'Sullivan has won 38 of the 43 matches he has played this season in an astonishing show of consistency that suggests he is improving at a time when players traditionally appear to be on the wane.

Belfast Telegraph

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