2022 Champion of Champions – Ronnie is your Champion!

Ronnie won the Champion of Champions for a record fourth time yesterday evening, beating Judd Trump by 10-6 in a hard fought final.

Congratulations Ronnie!

Here are the scores:

And the reports shared by WST:

Afternoon session

Rocket In Control Of Final

World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan established a 6-3 lead over Judd Trump following the first session of the Cazoo Champion of Champions final in Bolton.

The last time the pair met was in the World Championship final earlier this year in Sheffield. O’Sullivan emerged victorious on that occasion, notching up a historic and record equalling seventh Crucible crown thanks to an 18-13 win. However, there is nothing to split them in their head-to-head record, with the pair dead level at 13-13.

O’Sullivan is aiming to capture the Champion of Champions title for the fourth time in his career. Defending champion Trump is aiming for a second, after beating John Higgins in the title match 12 months ago to claim his first.

An electric start from 39-time ranking event winner O’Sullivan saw him take the first two frames with breaks of 96 and 103 to gain a stranglehold on proceedings. A nervy third swung one way then the other. Trump spurned his first opportunity by missing a straightforward pink to the middle, but an unexpected missed red to the top left from O’Sullivan on 52 allowed his opponent to steal with 51 to make it 2-1.
From there the Rocket went into cruise control, making breaks of 52 and 88 on his way to a run of four consecutive frames which earned an imposing 6-1 lead.

However, 23-time ranking event winner Trump refused to back down and a moment of magic reignited the contest. He fired in the seventh 147 break of his career in the eighth frame to make it 6-2. The Ace in the Pack followed that up with 96 to take the last of the afternoon to end 6-3 behind.

Evening session

Rocket Lands Fourth Champion of Champions Crown

Ronnie O’Sullivan captured his fourth Cazoo Champion of Champions title with a 10-6 victory over Judd Trump in the final at the University of Bolton Stadium.

The win sees O’Sullivan take the £150,000 top prize and it is the first time he has claimed the Champion of Champions title since 2018. He was also victorious in 2013 and 2014.

It continues the Rocket’s fine form this season, which has already seen him pick up silverware at the Hong Kong Masters last month. O’Sullivan defeated Marco Fu 6-4 in the final at the Hong Kong Coliseum, which was played out in front of a world record 9,000 fans.

Today’s encounter was the latest clash in what is quickly becoming a defining rivalry for the modern game. This is the first time O’Sullivan and Trump have met since contesting the World Championship final earlier this year. On that occasion 39-time ranking event winner O’Sullivan emerged victorious by an 18-13 scoreline, to win a historic seventh Crucible crown.

O’Sullivan now edges in front in the head-to-head standings with Trump, leading 14-13. However, despite losing their last two title matches, 33-year-old Trump still leads 7-5 in finals with O’Sullivan.

The afternoon session saw O’Sullivan open up a commanding 6-1 lead, before Trump roared back into contention. He fired in the seventh 147 break of his career in the eighth frame and then took the last to end just three behind at 6-3.

O’Sullivan showed great intent at the start of the evening session and a century run of 106 moved him four ahead at 7-3.

However, Trump refused to wilt and allow the night to become a procession. He kept O’Sullivan at bay by winning the next three frames without conceding a point. Runs 82 and 100 helped him to close the gap to a single frame, at 7-6 heading into the last interval of the match.

That break came at the wrong time for the Ace in the Pack, with O’Sullivan stepping it up a gear when play resumed. Contributions of 124 and 85 saw him reverse the momentum and move within a frame of the title at 9-6.

Trump had the first chance in the 16th, but broke down on 18 and O’Sullivan ruthlessly stepped in with a run of 81 to get over the line a 10-6 victor.

We both know we didn’t flow today. It was a grafting performance. I didn’t leave anything out there. My temperament and attitude, I was just trying to stay as professional as I could and stay in the moment,” said 46-year-old O’Sullivan.

Even at 6-1 up, I didn’t once think about the lead. I know what Judd is like and I knew he could do what he did and pull back to 7-6. I was just pleased with how I dug in at the end there. We both like to play well every frame, but that is just not possible. This game is too hard for that.

I’m not as hungry as all of the other players. I am happy to be here, I like to compete and I like to enjoy the game. No matter what I do, whether it is running or the gym, I am very competitive. I don’t need to be competitive, I am just relaxed and chilled out. I take every match as it comes and I enjoy being out here, it is like being on a holiday to me.”

Trump said: “I am disappointed with how I played. I thought Ronnie scored very heavily all day. That puts you under pressure, every time you get a chance you have to clear up in one visit. I obviously didn’t do that enough. His scoring was too heavy and well done to him.

At that point (the 147 in the seventh frame), I had nothing to lose. I just thought I would go for a max and see what happens. It is always special to make them and even more so in a final against Ronnie. It is another thing ticked off the CV, but I’m disappointed to lose.

No matter what the players said afterwards, it was a high quality match. The scores show that much.

I won’t lie, as a Ronnie fan I was very worried when Judd made it 6-7 having trailed 1-6 and 3-7. The way Ronnie came out fighting in the last mini-session shows how competitive he still is, and, not matter what he wants us to believe, how much it still matters to him!

Here are some videos, shared by Matchroom on their YouTube Channel:

First session highlights

Session two highlights

Judd’s 147

Something strange happened here. Ronnie doesn’t shake Judd’s hand after this maximum, which is weird all the more so because because they get along well. Ronnie was criticised for this, notably by Mark Allen on twitter. But then, Marcel Eckardt, the referee, who was just next to Judd when he potted the last black, doesn’t appear to do it either and that’s very unusual as well. It’s quite bizarre.

And here is the post-match interview

Now our attention will turn to the 2022 UK Championship. It’s already underway actually.

Ronnie could really do with a good run in that one. Indeed, he has already won two big titles this season, but both came in invitational events. In the one year list… he’s currently well out of the top 64. If he wants to be in the “Cazoo Series”, which he loves, he needs to do something about this!

Addendum (8 November 2022)

Hector Nunns spoke to both players about the “147” snub

Judd Trump has lashed out at Champion of Champions winner Ronnie O’Sullivan for failing to acknowledge his superb 147 in the final. And the Juddernaut, who did not win a penny for his maximum under the event rules, also insists that there should be a minimum prize of £10,000 for the feat.

World No 1 O’Sullivan, 46, scored a third huge win this year over his rival with a 10-6 victory over Trump in Bolton on Sunday night. It was a repeat of the Crucible final that saw an emotionally drained Rocket clinch a record-equalling seventh world title and then slump into his beaten opponent’s arms in a long embrace.

But at the weekend when Trump made a magnificent maximum to close to 6-2 adrift O’Sullivan stayed in his chair and did not offer the customary handshake and congratulations. He was criticised by TV pundits Stephen Hendry and Ken Doherty for the unprecedented lack of response, with former Masters champion Mark Allen also weighing in on social media.

Trump said: “You celebrate making the 147, turn around and put your cue down – and I kind of expected Ronnie to get up and say well done. That is just the normal thing to do. He chose not to do that for whatever reason.

It is a special feat for anyone and it would have been nice to get his seal of approval as well, but that didn’t happen. At that point in the final when he was still 6-2 up, he knows if he plays half-decent he is going to win. He is too good not to.

So you would have expected him to be relaxed enough to say good things, especially after what happened at the World Championships final. He was very emotional and I was polite and kind enough to stay with him while he was hugging me. But maybe he still just feels under so much pressure to win every event.

In any tournament you should be rewarded for making a 147, whether it is money or some kind of other reward. It is such a special feeling and moment, you can tell by the way the crowd reacts and every maximum is special wherever it is.

In a big tournament like this the minimum should probably be around £10,000 to £15,000 mainly to incentivise the players to even go for them. It is good for the fans if they see them, and there is always good publicity for the tournament. With this one I knew there was no reward, but making 147s is just something I want to do anyway.

Nothing really matches that buzz, so that’s great – but it would be good to get a reward as well, and more players would go for it when the frame is won or nearly won. The 147 was a good one, even from the first red it wasn’t easy to get on the black – I ended up with a tough black to the middle pocket, and there a few chances to play for other colours.

Overall to play that badly in the final bar the 147 when you have played so well in the rest of the tournament was a bit annoying.” But a defiant and unrepentant O’Sullivan hit back, saying: “I don’t know – what do they want me to do? I may as well just go out there and knock a few balls around.

It’s brilliant Judd made the 147, but we still had a match to play as far as I was concerned. People have got their opinions and I don’t care what anyone thinks of me or what I do or don’t do. I absolutely do not give a monkey’s. I am not being disrespectful – but I just don’t.

So there you have it. And Judd is right about rewarding 147s.

14 thoughts on “2022 Champion of Champions – Ronnie is your Champion!

  1. BtW.: 123.th Final (excluding ’98 IMs : )) another absolute record. (S.D.: 122; S.H.: 121; J.H.: 101;…)
    147: give or get!…”Just you know, my Lord!”…Sorry, sorry.

  2. To be fair to Ronnie about the lack of handshake, he hadn’t had a maximum made against him since Hendry made one all the way back in 1997, so perhaps he forgot how you’re supposed to respond to your opponent making a maximum against you…;)

    It was definitely not comfortable to see Judd come back to 7-6 after Ronnie led 6-1, but Ronnie’s response was excellent and reminded us why we should have faith in him. It’s remarkable how well he can (still) play when he decides that he wants to play well…

  3. the handshake thing is VERY weird and it should not be downplayed. Ronnie looked completely disintetested and unhappy about the maximum and did not even mention it post match. that is very bad sportsmanship and I am disappointed in him

    • I don’t know how you can judge if he was disinterested or not, as he was barely shown at all during the break. Marcel Eckardt didn’t shake hands with Judd either. I don’t know the reason for it but I doubt it’s bad sportsmanship. Refs are usually happy and proud to officiate on a maximum.

      • Nobody asked Ronnie about it in any postmatch interview? Maybe it is not so outstanding an event (or lack thereof) after all… 🙂

      • I think somebody should explain the discrepancy between the dynamics between Ronnie and Judd after the world final and now because it’s frankly inexplicable. you can’t be hugging someone for 5 minutes and then a few months later completely ignore his maximum. also Ronnie always says he plays for fun. now if that was the case, there is nothing more pure snooker fun than watching somebody make a 147 from up close. I love Ronnie but he is a major hypocrite and pretty much everybody knows it.

      • Actually Ronnie is LESS an hypocrite than most of his rivals. He wasn’t happy to see this 147. The last thing he wanted was Judd regaining momentum and he was right to be worried because after that, Judd won 4 of the next 5 frames It actually shows how much he rates Trump’s abilities and how well he knows him. As he said afterwards, he had a match to win. The long hug happened after the match, this was during the match. In 2007, Ronnie drew Ding in the first round at the Crucible. They are friends. They had become close friends after what happened at the 2007 Masters. Ronnie had been welcomed in Ding’s family. It was a difficult draw for both. Asked about it before the match, Ronnie explained “The shop will open at seven, it will close after the match. Before and after, we are friends. In-between it’s war.”. This is how it should be. This is professional sport, not a knock down the club.

      • I suppose after the Worlds Ronnie would have been sobbing on any available shoulder. 🙂

        I remember how he cheered on Ding for his (ultimately failed) 147 at the Masters semi a few years ago. It would have been better to follow etiquette or at least congratulate Trump at the end of the session to avoid criticism, but otherwise I’m not surprised Ronnie was not happy about this maximum. The most disservice he does to himself is with the constant talk about playing for fun and being on holiday, while it was palpable how much he wanted to win: for this particular title or because it was against Trump, I’m not sure, but he certainly did not want to concede an inch.

  4. Congratulations, Ronnie! I was getting really nervous at 7-6, although I’m sure it was enjoyable for the neutral. But the result is beautiful and Ronnie really played very well during the whole tournament, minus longpots of course, but he compensated for that be beautifully.

    I too was surprised that no congratulation followed the 147 from Ronnie or Marcel Eckhart, but I didn’t feel it warranted that much bending out of shape as some did on social media.

    I hope Ronnie l will have a good run at the UK to secure his place at the WGP at least.

  5. It was strange that no Ronnie or referee reaction after that majestic 147.
    As our commentator always says that 147 is only one frame.

    Ronnie looked very very focused right from the first shot against Milkins.
    Very calm very professional. Always good to see that he bounced back after disappoint event.
    And snooker is not “boring, one face job”. He has showed that again last week.
    Well done Ronnie, congrats Ronnie!

    If I remember right, Trump said something like (before the World Grand Prix) that Ronnie will never win a tournament.
    So since then:
    4 titles (Grand Prix, WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, Hong Kong Masters and CoC), the head to head against Trump is 3-0 and Ronnie beat Trump 2 big title match.

    • And how Ronnie reacted that from 6-1 up the ahead is only 7-6 is massive one.

      Anyway his long game was very poor overall during the event but the scoreline is the only thing that really matters: 4-2 Milkins, 6-1 Zhao, 6-2 Fan, 10-6 Trump.

    • Why would Ronnie shake Judd’s hand after a 147 when he doesn’t shake hands before and after a match, only fist bumps?

      • good point, but he didn’t seem to do any gesture to congratulate him. Of course he may have said something and we would never know it because it isn’t audible on the footage.

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