21 years after his first UK Championship victory, Ronnie O’Sullivan has tonight defeated Judd Trump to claim his fifth UK title and the top prize of £150,000, but he was certainly made to work hard for it here in York as Trump fought back from 9-4 down to force a deciding frame, before O’Sullivan managed to get over the line…
- Click here to view all of the results from the tournament
- Click here to view the updated world rankings after the UK Championship
- Click here to view the new projected seedings list
Ronnie O’Sullivan 10-9 Judd Trump
54-44, 32-87 (50), 103-0 (82), 87-13, 118-0 (81), 77-49, 36-75, 49-69, 67-53 (RO 53), 67-56 (JT 56), 0-62, 133-0 (133), 89-35 (54), 32-66, 0-120 (120), 0-127 (127), 8-86 (86), 59-67 (67), 75-14 (51)
It was the final that most neutral observers wanted, but for the much of the match there looked to be only one outcome, as Ronnie O’Sullivan took five of the opening six frames to open up a 5-1 lead.
To his credit, Judd Trump took the final two frames of the session to close to 3-5 at the end of the session, which given how the session had unfolded was not a bad result for the 2011 champion.
Ronnie though was not to be fazed at the start of the evening session and took the ninth frame with a clearance of 53, before adding the next to go four clear again at 7-3. The next two were shared, Ronnie making it 8-4 at the mid-session interval with a break of 133 to go within five of the all-time record of Stephen Hendry, before he took the next to make it 9-4.
Just as he did in the final of the Champion of Champions last month, Judd hit back, consecutive centuries of 120 and 127, as well as a break of 86 seeing him close the gap to 9-8, before he added the next to set Twitter alight and force an unlikely deciding frame.
Both players had chances in the final frame, but it was Ronnie was was to earn the decisive opportunity with a snooker behind the green and he was to make no mistake, sealing victory with a break of 51.
The reaction of his fellow professionals on Twitter said it all, it was an unbelievable finish to what has been a tournament full of stories and one that once again shows just how exciting snooker can so often be.
There is little else still to be said about Ronnie, who after his challenging start to the week given his injury to his foot threatened to pull out of the tournament prior to his match against Peter Lines, but a week on stands £194,000 richer, following his title success and 13th maximum break earlier on in the week.
He might not have been quite at his brilliant best here in York, in surviving the challenges posed by the likes of Anthony McGill, Stuart Bingham and Judd Trump, he has come away with the trophy to further cement his legacy in his game.
In his press conference he told us:
“I kinda had the upper hand through most of the match and I lost a bit of concentration at 3-1, I went off the boil a little bit and let him back to 5-3, but from 9-4, 9-5 up to 9-all, he has not missed a ball really, he just knocked everything in and I didn’t get a chance.
“It happened so quick and at 9-8 I had a good chance but to be honest with you my mind was just gone, I felt really nervous because having such a lead you are thinking…if I lose it from here the disappointment would have been just unbelievable, so the pressure was mounting and mounting and it is difficult to put that out of your mind.
“But in the last frame I managed to get a chance, the balls were nice and I just had to concentrate on hitting solid shots.”
For Judd, disappointment as for whatever reason he did not produce the sort of snooker against O’Sullivan that he had done during the rest of the tournament until he was on the brink, but having reached another major final and climbed four places up the rankings thanks to the £70,000 runners-up prize, it has nevertheless been a strong week for him overall.
He told us:
“I knew I had that form in me but it is just when Ronnie clears up on you every time, it is kind of demoralising. I did it to a couple of opponents and it really hurts. towards the end I was just kind of giving in and then I managed to get to 9-5 and I got a few chances, made a few breaks and I felt good, made a really good clearance to go 9-all.
“Then I felt so relaxed going out there and I was just looking for a chance. I potted a really good pink in the middle and tried to split the pack off the red and just finished on the wrong angle on the pink and didn’t quite hit it hard enough to come down the table. To be honest I didn’t really do anything wrong…a little bit annoyed that I didn’t really have a chance in the last but I didn’t bottle it so I gave it my best.
“He’s definitely the best player to ever play so for me to…he still played well today, he didn’t play as well as in the Champion of Champions but he still played really good stuff. I’m getting closer, but for me I’ve lost the last two of the biggest tournaments to the best player ever really so there’s not that much to be disappointed about.”
My full reflections and reactions to the tournament will follow in a separate article later in the week, but for now O’Sullivan can relax until he is due to play in the German Masters qualifiers in around 10 days time in Wigan. For Trump meanwhile, he will return to action next weekend at the ET5 event in Lisbon.