Ronnie O’Sullivan has revealed how he was sustained throughout his successful quest for a sixth world snooker title by re-runs of the sitcom classic ‘Only Fools and Horses’.
O’Sullivan proved anything but a plonker as he turned a tight 10-8 advantage into an 18-8 triumph over Kyren Wilson at the Crucible to pull level with Steve Davis and Ray Reardon on the all-time list.
O’Sullivan said: “I’ve watched a bit of Del Boy and Rodney before my games rather than practising.
“(My fiance) Laila says I’m like Rodney and my dad is like Del Boy. I kind of relate to that show a lot – Ronnie the plonker, rather than Rodney the plonker.
“I watch a lot of good stuff – I watched Storage Wars – then I get a knock on the door and I go, ‘Sweet, I can go and hit a few balls now.”
O’Sullivan’s stunning run in the afternoon session was in stark contrast to his laboured performance in the first two sessions on Saturday, when he very nearly let slip an 8-2 lead.
His rapid improvement meant those fans allowed back in for the final session after a relaxation of social distancing rules might have wished they hadn’t, as O’Sullivan took 609 seconds to compile a break of 96 and win the match.
Talk inevitably turned to Stephen Hendry’s modern record of seven world titles but O’Sullivan insisted: “I’m not out there to break records and stuff like that.
“I think if I wanted to break records I probably wouldn’t play as well as I do. I think you need to play with as much abandonment as you can and I think that means not putting too much meaning into records.
“If I start looking at that trophy for meaning and the history that’s in it, I’d probably freeze. I think my greatest asset is that I can look like I’m in a practice match down at the club when I’m playing at the Crucible.”
The scoreline did scant justice to Wilson, who will especially rue the red along the cushion that could have left him a solitary frame adrift overnight, and the pink to the middle that could have dragged him back to 10-9.
Wilson told the BBC: “I’m a fighter. I’ll always be a fighter. I really struggled in the first session – I think we probably both had a little bit of a hangover from the semi-finals and then I thought I’d relax, get the shackles off and go for it.
“But, at the end of the day, the night belongs to Ronnie. He was amazing throughout the final. He showed his class when he probably wasn’t quite at his best and still stuck it out.”
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