World Championship Final – And Ronnie O’Sullivan burst into tears: “What Judd said to me made me crack up”

The Crucible Theater in Sheffield made history on Monday night with Ronnie O’Sullivan’s seventh world coronation. The snooker legend thus offered himself one of the last records that still eluded him, by joining Stephen Hendry, seven times also winner in the 90s. But the public was treated, as a bonus, to a sequence of rare strength emotional a few seconds after the end of this final that The Rocket will have led almost from start to finish to win 18-13 against Judd Trump.

Spontaneously, O’Sullivan went to greet his opponent. The embrace between the two men lasted more than a minute. Undoubtedly a record, there too, even if one doubts that there are official statistics for that. Doesn’t matter. The moment speaks for itself. Ronnie slipped a few words to Judd but soon only the second spoke while the first cried on his shoulder like a kid.

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He’s a great guy. I love it

What did Judd Trump tell him? The now seven-time world champion, who spent a long time in the Eurosport studio after the final, declined to give details. It’s her elegance. It was between them. If Trump wants it, he will say it, but deep down, it would be nice if it stayed between them. This minute belongs to them. And the picture was enough. No sound needed. But one can always imagine the tenor of the matter through the words of Ronnie O’Sullivan: “I hadn’t realized until that moment what he thought of me, how he perceived me and how much I had counted in his development. It was more than respect.”

In an interview with Eurosport before this final, Judd Trump had confided that, for him, O’Sullivan had been a model: “When I was a kid, he was my hero. I owe him a lot. It was a dream to face him in the final of the World Championship.” Pretty much, that’s probably what “The ace in the pack” slipped into the ear of his executioner, whom he had neither the strength nor the desire to hold it against.

I hugged him and then I was sobbing in his armssays Ronnie Rocket, who became Monday, among his multitude of records, the oldest world champion in history. What he told me made me crack up. He had such kind words. He’s a great guy. I love it. As far as I’m concerned, he’s already one of the greatest champions in history. It’s a chance for snooker to have a champion like him, with this way of playing, this snooker so dynamic.”

Today was torture

Then, once released from this embrace which he described as “the greatest moment lived in my career at the Crucible”, O’Sullivan joined his people. The tears, again, with two of his three children, Lily and Ronnie Junior, now teenagers, whom we see growing up as the father fills his prize list. His father was there, too. Three generations of Ronnie, since from grandfather to grandson, all have the same first name. That dad, Ronnie Senior, who got him started in snooker and was in jail for his genius son’s first three titles.

Ronnie O’Sullivan with his son, Ronnie jr, and daughter, Lily.

Credit: Imago

If he was moved as we had never seen, it is also because, by his own admission, he did not think of reliving such a moment. At 46, this seventh title seemed almost inaccessible to him. That such a legend could have felt this speaks volumes. “I didn’t think it would be possible to equal this record, he admits. It’s been a long trip, and it’s a deliverance.”

This quest for seventh heaven has been the thing”The hardest” of his career. The score sheets suggest that he walked from A to Z. He did not experience it like that: “Today was torture. All matches were tough. But Judd was so hungry. Even at 12-5, I knew he wouldn’t give up and it wasn’t over. What an incredible competitor. This afternoon, I experienced a hole of four to five frames and I said to myself ‘Hold on, hold on!’. But it was a titanic battle“And as often, in the end, it’s The Rocket who wins. And who cries, therefore, from now on.”I get emotional. It must be the age.” Above all, let him not apologize. May he be thanked, even.

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