Ronnie finds himself 12-5 ahead after the first day of the 2022 World Championship, but it was far from plain sailing … those are the scores and stats so far:
And the reports by WST:
O’Sullivan Leads Crucible Final
Ronnie O’Sullivan leads after the first session of the Betfred World Championship final, but Judd Trump took the last two frames to end the afternoon just two behind at 5-3.
O’Sullivan is chasing a historic record equalling seventh Crucible crown, which would tie Stephen Hendry’s tally. The 46-year-old would become the oldest ever World Champion if he were to win the event, eclipsing Ray Reardon who was 45 when he claimed his sixth world title in 1978.
Trump is bidding for his second World Championship win. The Ace in the Pack tasted Crucible glory back in 2019, when he scored a stunning 18-9 win over John Higgins in the final. Bristol’s Trump edges the head-to-head standings with O’Sullivan, leading 13-12.
They entered a packed Crucible arena to a standing ovation ahead of play and both hit the ground running with a standard befitting of the occasion.
It was Trump who took the first with a break of 72. O’Sullivan swiftly responded and contributions of 120 and 68 saw him take to the front at 2-1.
Trump had looked set to restore parity when he left O’Sullivan needing a snooker in the fourth, but missed a red which he attempted to play right handed on 52. O’Sullivan then got the snooker he needed and eventually forced a respot. Trump put the black to the side cushion, before 38-time ranking event winner O’Sullivan nailed a cocked hat double to steal the frame and lead 3-1.
O’Sullivan then moved three in front by taking the next and a break of 105 saw him make it five frames on the bounce. Trump hit back with a run of 97 to reduce his arrears to 5-2. O’Sullivan had a chance to take the last but snookered himself on the final yellow. Trump got in with a mid-range yellow and cleared the colours to end two behind at 5-3.
Rocket In Command
Ronnie O’Sullivan requires just six more frames for a historic seventh Betfred World Championship title, leading Judd Trump 12-5 after the second session of the final.
Barring an epic fightback tomorrow, O’Sullivan stands on the verge of equalling Stephen Hendry’s record of seven Crucible crowns. His performance today has seen him earn his biggest ever overnight lead in a world final.
The 46-year-old has been producing inspired snooker in this year’s event and is yet to be pushed close. He defeated John Higgins 17-11 in the semis to make the title match.
Trump had a far more exerting last four clash with Mark Williams. He had led 12-5 himself, but nearly succumbed to a superb fightback from Williams. Trump eventually held the Welshman off and came through a 17-16 victor. However, that semi-final appears to have taken its toll on the 23-time ranking event winner.
The afternoon session saw O’Sullivan earn a 5-3 lead, although it was Trump who claimed the last two frames of the session to give himself hope.
A break of 73 saw Trump take the first frame of the evening and pulled him within one of his opponent. However, at that point the Rocket moved into overdrive. Runs of 66, 50, 118 and 97 helped him to take the following three frames and lead 8-4 at the mid-session.
When play resumed O’Sullivan pressed on, as Trump toiled in the Crucible cauldron. Trump missed a long range red by several inches and allowed O’Sullivan to step up and clinch frame 13 with a break of 42. A contribution of 87 then made it five in a row for O’Sullivan at 10-4.
Trump claimed a much needed frame by knocking in a break of 80 to take the 15th. However, runs of 60 and 88 gave O’Sullivan the last two frames to end the evening in complete control.
The Final: Frame By Frame
Follow frame by frame updates as Ronnie O’Sullivan takes on Judd Trump in the Betfred World Championship final…
On a break of 33, Trump runs out of position and goes for a risky long brown, but it rattles in the jaws. Inevitably, he is punished as O’Sullivan makes 88, his tenth break over 50 so far in the final. O’Sullivan’s seven-frame lead is the biggest he has held overnight in a world final. He needs six more frames to take the title, while Trump must win 13 of a possible 18 on Monday. They return at 1pm for eight more.
Trump 5-12 O’Sullivan
Trump could do with the slices of luck falling in his favour, but when he pots a long red, the cue ball flicks off another red and goes in-off. That hands O’Sullivan the chance to make 60 and restore his six frame cushion.
Trump 5-11 O’Sullivan
Better from Trump! O’Sullivan fails to find his target with a mid-range red and Trump reminds us of his break-building class with a run of 80. The start of a fight back? Two more to come tonight.
Trump 5-10 O’Sullivan
The trend continues as Trump misses the pink to a centre pocket, leading 26-1. He hangs his head in his hands, perhaps feeling that the session is slipping away from him. O’Sullivan is making few mistakes and his 87 puts him six frames in front.
Trump 4-10 O’Sullivan
Four in a row for O’Sullivan. Trailing 35-0, Trump misses an attempted long red by several inches, and his opponent adds 42 to seal the frame. This is looking like a significant overnight lead for O’Sullivan – though bear in mind he was 10-5 up on Mark Selby at a similar stage in 2014 and ended up losing 18-14. Long way to go…
Trump 4-9 O’Sullivan
Leading 15-10, Trump misses a straight-forward black to a top corner. A few minutes later, once O’Sullivan has made a rapid 97, Trump is four frames behind. They head for the dressing rooms, set to return at 8.55pm. Five more frames to come tonight – how many more can O’Sullivan take?
Trump 4-8 O’Sullivan
Another early chance for Trump goes begging as he misses a difficult black along the top cushion on 9. And again his opponent takes advantage as O’Sullivan makes a fabulous 118. That’s his 15th century of the tournament, just one short of the record. Can he pull away or will Trump battle back again?
Trump 4-7 O’Sullivan
Trump has an early chance to level the match, but makes just 6 before missing the yellow to a baulk corner. He then makes a hash of a safety shot, gifting O’Sullivan an opening. A run of 66 gives him control, and he later adds 50 to double his lead.
Trump 4-6 O’Sullivan
O’Sullivan has first chance and makes 32 before missing a tricky red to a centre pocket. Trump counters with 73 and that proves enough to give him three frames in a row.
Trump 4-5 O’Sullivan
Drama at the end of the session as O’Sullivan, trailing 52-42, has a chance to clear from the last red, but snookers himself on the yellow. He fails to escape, and Trump converts a pressure pot on a mid-range yellow and clears to reduce the gap to two frames. Fascinating match so far! They resume at 7pm for nine more frames.
Trump 3-5 O’Sullivan
…and he gets one. Trump pots a long red and gets a slice of fortune as the cue ball kisses three other reds and finishes perfectly on the black. He goes on to make 98 to pull one back. If he can escape the session just 5-3 down he’ll be relieved. Important last frame coming up.
Trump 2-5 O’Sullivan
Five in a row for O’Sullivan. A long red initiates a break of 105, his 14th century of the tournament. That’s his personal best tons tally at the Crucible. Trump needs to gain a foothold…
Trump 1-5 O’Sullivan
After a promising start, Trump has lost his rhythm. He has a scoring chance but makes only 13 before missing a difficult red to a centre pocket. O’Sullivan, clinical among the balls throughout the tournament, takes advantage with a run of 40 to extend his lead.
Trump 1-4 O’Sullivan
An early tactical exchange is interrupted by a long debate between O’Sullivan and referee Olivier Marteel about the position of the cue ball after a foul and a miss. When the snooker resumes, O’Sullivan misses the green to a baulk corner on 25, and Trump responds with 52 before wobbling the last red in the jaws of a top corner. O’Sullivan gets the snooker he needs on the green, and later clears with 25 to force a respotted black. The Rocket’s first shot on the respot is a cocked-hat double which flies into a centre pocket. Trump may spend the interval stewing on the chances he missed to clinch that frame.
Trump 1-3 O’Sullivan
A cracking long red from O’Sullivan sets up a break of 68, before he misses a red to a baulk corner. He’s soon back in and adds enough points to take the lead.
Trump 1-2 O’Sullivan
Trump’s attempted long red misses its target, and O’Sullivan’s first chance yields a break of 120. That’s his 13th century of the tournament – three more would equal the record held by Stephen Hendry and Mark Williams. Tremendous standard so far!
Trump 1-1 O’Sullivan
First blood to Trump. He makes a break of 20 from an early chance then runs out of position. After a safety exchange, he spots a plant among the pack, and smashes it in, splitting the reds perfectly. That sets up a run of 72. O’Sullivan is yet to score a point.
Trump 1-0 O’Sullivan
The atmosphere on the day though was marred by a couple of rather heated cleashes between Ronnie and the referee, Olivier Marteel.
Ronnie O’Sullivan Accuses Ref Of “Looking For Trouble” In Heated Crucible Final
Ronnie O’Sullivan was involved in a battle with referee Olivier Marteel on Sunday as the dream Crucible final turned ugly.
A fired-up Rocket is bidding to equal Stephen Hendry’s greatest record by winning the Betfred World Championship for a seventh time.
But the hugely anticipated showpiece against 2019 winner Judd Trump was overshadowed in the first session by two heated clashes between the world No1 and the Belgian official.
And that resulted in the furious 46-year-old legend accusing Marteel of “looking for trouble”.
The biggest flashpoint came in a tense eighth and final frame of the opening afternoon session – creating a poisonous atmosphere in the arena.
O’Sullivan, standing 5-2 ahead, snookered himself behind the blue on the final yellow looking to clear up – and then fouled the black attempting an escape.
But after angrily storming back to his chair the referee paused the game asking Trump to wait – and gave the Rocket an official warning, claiming he made a lewd gesture.
O’Sullivan furiously denied the charge with no clear TV evidence either way – and demanded “Tell me what you saw?”. He then raged: “You saw nothing, don’t start – go and look at the camera”, pointing Marteel to the marker’s video.
Trump had been kept waiting to play his shot all this time at a key stage of the session.
And the unhappy world No4 then joined in, querying the way in which the official had dealt with the issue.
After Marteel told Trump “I had to say something”, the Juddernaut replied: “Couldn’t you have done it after the game?”
O’Sullivan, still protesting his innocence, said on re-entering his dressing-room: “He’s looking for trouble, you get a vibe from the guy.
“They have hundreds of cameras out there and he can go and check them all. I’m not going to have any of it because he is just trying to create something.”
A statement issued by World Snooker Tour after the second incident read: “Ronnie O’Sullivan received a formal warning from the referee following a gesture he made in the eighth frame. There will be no further comment on this matter.”
That effectively meant he was walking a tightrope, with a further warning meaning a frame being docked, and another seeing the final forfeited.
Though O’Sullivan fiercely denied this latest charge of making a gesture, he has been referred to the disciplinary panel over a separate incident earlier in the event.
Incredibly that was O’Sullivan’s SECOND clash with the official with the titanic showdown still in its early hours.
Earlier O’Sullivan, who made his 200th World Championship century in frame two, demanded of Marteel:“ You play the shot” following a row about where the white was replaced.
O’Sullivan could only just see the tiniest edge of a red behind the blue – and asked both Marteel and Trump to check that before his first attempt.
When he failed to make contact a miss was called meaning the white was replaced – but not to O’Sullivan’s satisfaction.
And the resulting argument led to a delay of SIX minutes as roars of laughter rang out from the sell-out 980 crowd.
At one point in the drawn-out process an exasperated Marteel said: “You can see the red on the left-hand side.”
But that only drew the response from O’Sullivan who insisted he couldn’t: “You try, then – do you want me to play another shot? I can’t see it.”
Peacemaker Trump helped resolve the situation, agreeing to move the white slightly, and O’Sullivan then managed to hit the offending red.
The fireworks were not even over in that frame – as Trump blew a chance to level at 2-2 and then saw his rival pot a re-spotted black with a ‘cocked-hat double’ off two cushions to lead 3-1.
O’Sullivan, who refused the traditional shake of the referee’s hand at the end of the first session, had also complained about a security guard at the back of the arena – insisting that he was moving.
But with renowned sports psychiatrist Steve Peters – who helped save O’Sullivan’s career in 2011 when he was on the verge of quitting – in his corner and dressing room for the evening session, things took a calmer turn in the Sunday evening session, the second of the final.
Without acknowledging he had made any gesture O’Sullivan did apologise to Marteel for how he had handled the whole situation – and there was a fist-bump at the start of the second session.
The incidents were quite unsettling and I’m honnestly not sure what to make of it all. I know them both, Ronnie and Olivier, and like them both but they are very different personalities and that’s at the core of the clash IMO.
The first incident – the ball replacement argument – was a strange one really. Ronnie knew, right from the start, that he may fail to make contact and invited Olivier to have a good look at the situation, saying that he could see a thin edge of the ball “on”. He invited Judd to have a look as well, and, for some reason that appeared to irritate Olivier. I’m sure though that Ronnie’s intention was only to make sure that the ball would be replaced accurately, should he miss and he probably expected the “exact” replacement to be difficult. Ronnie is many things, but he’s not a cheat. He did fail to make contact, and the replacement indeed proved difficult and time consuming. There was no reason why Ronnie should accept it, if he felt that the balls were not replaced accurately, BUT he could certainly have expressed himself with more patience … this is not an easy job by any means. Eventually, Judd’s contribution proved to be very valuable and would not have been possible if he had not got the opportunity to take a good look at the original situation.
Regarding the second incident, there is no denying that a frustrated Ronnie got very angry, spoke to Olivier in a very aggressive way and that was definitely not on. Ronnie has little patience and not much “filter”. I’m not making excuses here, I’m stating facts. That said, you have to wonder if he would protest so vehemently, insisting that Olivier should look at the footages, if he had indeed made an inappropriate gesture. That would be daft, as he would be found out there and then … and Ronnie is not stupid. Therefore I’m not sure what Olivier actually saw although I’m sure he didn’t “make it up”. He’s a person with the highest integrity. The only explanation I can think of is that there is/was a huge and extremely unfortunate misunderstanding here… between two guys who were both already upset because of what had previously happened in the session. We should remember that they are both working under extreme pressure out there.
And thanks heaven for Steve Peters!