- World Snooker Championship
Slick O'Sullivan seals place in final
Ronnie O'Sullivan cruised into the final of the World Snooker Championship after he completed a 17-11 victory over Judd Trump.
'The Rocket' is into his fifth Crucible final and has a 100% record and the world trophy to defend - against Barry Hawkins after he got the better of Ricky Walden 17-14 in the other semi-final contest.
Trump, the 2011 finalist, was able to stick with O'Sullivan after the first session on Thursday, but since then O'Sullivan has made his experience at the top level count as he always had the edge over the 23-year-old and raised his game when it mattered most. On numerous occasions he produced great tactical play to outdo his opponent and punished Trump with excellent pots from long distance.
O'Sullivan intends not to continue with snooker once he is finished in Sheffield - although he did reveal World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn could convince him to carry on - and given the way he has played throughout the fortnight at the Crucible it will be difficult for anyone to deny him a fifth triumph.
"It was tough because I don't think either of us played anywhere near our best," O'Sullivan said. "There was a lot of tension out there during the sessions. We practise in the same environment and used to have the same manager so obviously that creates a derby match feel.
Trump knew he had to make a positive start in order to give himself a chance from 14-10 behind. Instead, he missed a red along the cushion, and O'Sullivan stepped in to clear and pull further ahead.
O'Sullivan broke down on 32 in the following frame, but Trump could not capitalise as he snookered himself when he potted an important red. Two missed attempts to escape did not cost him initially, but it handed the advantage to O'Sullivan, who went on to take the frame and go one away from a place in the final.
A break of 77 from Trump kept the contest alive for another frame, but when he tried to cut in a long red and missed in the 18th frame, O'Sullivan pounced to seal his place in the final.
Hawkins made it through to the final on the back of fighting from 12-8 down on Saturday morning to level at 12-12. Hawkins won the first four frames of the evening to go within one of victory at 16-12, but despite Walden taking two frames to close the gap to 16-14, Hawkins held his nerve to make it through.