On this day in 2013: Ronnie O’Sullivan lifts World Championship for fifth time

O’Sullivan rolled up in Sheffield without any competitive match practice and proceeded to tear through the draw.

By Press Association Published: 6 May 2022 - 5.00am

Ronnie O’Sullivan lifted the World Championship trophy for a fifth time on this day in 2013 after banishing his demons to secure Crucible glory.

After going into self-imposed exile from snooker for almost a year, O’Sullivan rolled up in Sheffield without any competitive match practice and proceeded to tear through the draw, culminating in an 18-12 triumph against surprise finalist Barry Hawkins.

Hawkins, the 34-year-old world number 14 from Kent, emerged from their tussle with huge credit, in the biggest match of his life.

Ronnie O’Sullivan, right, defeated Barry Hawkins in the 2013 World Championship final (Anna Gowthorpe/PA)
Ronnie O’Sullivan (right) defeated Barry Hawkins in the 2013 World Championship final (Anna Gowthorpe/PA)

His reward was £125,000 – more than treble the size of his previous highest pay cheque – and the respect of his opponent and the watching millions.

But O’Sullivan magisterially took the title, becoming the first man to successfully defend the world title since Stephen Hendry in 1996.

He did so in record-breaking style too, with his six centuries one more than any player has managed before in a World Championship final, and with his career total of three-figure Crucible breaks now at 131, four ahead of former front-runner Hendry’s haul.

“You have to face your demons during this tournament and that’s why it’s such a hard tournament to win,” O’Sullivan said.

“In the final I had everything to lose and nothing to gain.

“People said it would be a procession, but everyone on the snooker circuit knows what a good player Barry is.”

Pressed on whether he would return to defend his title, O’Sullivan added: “I can’t say that I am, because I had my year out and enjoyed my year out.

Ronnie O’Sullivan won his seventh world title earlier this week (Zac Goodwin/PA)
Ronnie O’Sullivan won his seventh world title earlier this week (Zac Goodwin/PA)

“Now I’ve got to enjoy one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done, retaining the World Championship title.

“I’m well equipped to win more titles but it’s not easy.”

O’Sullivan reached the final the following year but has gone on to win the tournament on two more occasions, most recently earlier this week, when he overcame Judd Trump 18–13 in the final to equal Hendry’s record of seven world titles.

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