Ronnie O’Sullivan’s 18-11 victory over Ali Carter on Sunday saw him clinch a fourth World Snooker Championship title, with Ladbrokes top-price about ‘Rocket’ winning next year’s tournament at 13/2.
O’Sullivan proved once again that he is still the man to beat at the Crucible, as he became the oldest player to win the tournament since Ray Reardon back in 1978.
In a competition where Stephen Hendry announced his retirement from the sport after a quarter-final exit, O’Sullivan’s display has now led to a market on him overhauling the legendary Scotsman.
Hendry racked up seven world titles during his illustrious career, and O’Sullivan can now be backed at 16/1 to match this total by 2020.
The Essex cueman is ready to take a break from snooker, but is expected to return to defend his crown at next year’s event, currently favourite to claim back-to-back Sheffield triumphs.
This year’s win was his first at the Crucible since 2008, and he will hope to land success at less sporadic intervals in future, which could tempt some to back him to match Hendry’s tally.
O’Sullivan hailed his mental coach, Dr Steve Peters, following his victory of last night, and a renewed consistency in his play was clearly evident throughout the Sheffield event, which he will hope to continue.
“Deep down I love to play snooker but I’ve got too involved in it. I live and breathe this game and I was too wrapped up in trying to be perfect,” he told BBC Sport.
“You can’t be perfect, but as long as you give it your best that’s all you can do. He’s enabled me to be happy in my life and enjoy my snooker as well.”
Also, having already proved he can re-write history by becoming the oldest player to win the tournament in over 30 years, ‘Rocket Ronnie’ could be primed to do so again by racing to seven championships, and will see support as a 16/1 shot to do so.