London, May 7 (IANS) Ronnie O’Sullivan beat Barry Hawkins 18-12 to win the world title for the fifth time at the World Snooker Championship in Sheffield.
The 37-year-old Monday became the first player to win back-to-back Crucible crowns since Stephen Hendry in 1996, reports Xinhua.
O’Sullivan led 15-10 after the afternoon session but Hawkins fought back in the evening with a break of 127. The world 14th-ranked Hawkins took the next with a run of 66 to make it 15-12.
But O’Sullivan sealed the victory in a frightening way, winning last three frames in just 30 minutes.
“I thought it was a brilliant final,” said O’Sullivan. “I put him under a lot of pressure this afternoon, I felt I had to. Tonight he came out all guns blazing and I feared the worst. I had to make my chances count because if I did not then he could have got it back to 15-14.”
“In the final I had everything to lose and nothing to gain. I know how good Barry is – to the outside world they think I should never lose but on the snooker circuit everybody knows how good Barry is.”
Asked how many events he is likely to play in next year, O’Sullivan added: “I just do not know what is going to happen because things are always changing. Come December or January I will have a much better idea of what I will be doing.”
Hawkins said: “I put him under as much pressure as I could. But every time I missed an easy ball he punished me. I tried my hardest in that final and I just made a few more mistakes than Ronnie. You cannot afford to do that against a player of his calibre because he is just unbelievable. The way he makes it look so easy is just amazing.”