The 2013 Betfair World Champion is Ronnie O'Sullivan after he completed an 18-12 victory over Barry Hawkins. in what was probably the best final we have seen in many years.
Starting with Ronnie leading 10-7 any thoughts that he had weathered the Hawkins storm were quickly put to rest as Barry won the first of the session .Ronnie as he had done throughout day one,responded by winning the next to go 11-8 and with one of the best clearances we have seen all tournament he clinched the next after Hawkins had missed a frame ball red.
You would have forgiven Hawkins at that stage if his head at dropped,but he found his form again in the next to close to 12-9 at the interval.This was already a better final then what had been expected and Ronnie upped his game even more,winning the next with a majestic 133.The next two frames were shared before Ronnie ensured that he would keep his record of wining every session ,knocking in his 6th century of the match to go within three of the title at 15-10.
One session remaining then and Hawkins was now at the point of no return,knowing he needed perfect snooker to have a chance.To his credit that was how he started,rolling in a 127 in the first and a 66 in the second to reduce the deficit to 15-12.He was also in first in the next but a missed red to the corner allowed Ronnie the chance he had been waiting for and he moved to 16-12 with a break of 77.That became 17-12 in the next courtesy of an 88 and the end came in the first after the interval when he rolled in an 86 to claim the 18-12 win.
So that was it then. Ronnie claimed his fifth World crown and became the first man since Hendry in 1996 to successfully defend the title. In doing so he has proven himself yet again to be not just the best player in the world now, but agruably the greatest of all time.In this championship he showed not just the superb break building that we sometimes take for granted from him,but also a level of match play snooker that was as good as anything we have ever seen.I know we are sick of hearing it but to be doing this after a year out was truly phenomenal All this provided proof,if proof were needed that when he put it together,he is practically unbeatable.
I also must pay tribute to Barry Hawkins who produced one of the performances of his career on the games biggest stage, I will admit to been one of those who thought he would just be blown away here but he really put it up to Ronnie and who knows ,another opponent on another day and he could have been holding the trophy.Hopefully he can carry this new confidence forward into the new season and claim the titles his talent deserves,
The night though belonged to Ronnie.Who knows how many more times we'll see him play in the future,he probably doesn't know himself,but no matter how many time it is we should savour them, because we will never see his like again.All Hail King Ronnie.