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article imageRonnie O'Sullivan is world snooker champion

By Tim Sandle     May 6, 2013 in Sports
Sheffield - Ronnie O'Sullivan has won his fifth world snooker title by beating Barry Hawkins by 18 frames to 12 at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield.
England's Ronnie O'Sullivan rattled in six century breaks in his victory over first time finalist Barry Hawkins, to win the world snooker championship. This has O'Sullivan's fifth title in all. By winning, O’Sullivan become the first man to successfully defend this title since Stephen Hendry back in 1996, as well as securing the top prize of £250,000 (~$389,000).
O'Sullivan's win was all the more remarkable for the fact that O'Sullivan had not played a snooker match all season due to a contractual dispute with the sport's governing body. Throwing off any rustiness, O'Sullivan produced mesmerizing spells of heavy scoring.
At 37 years-old, O'Sullivan is the oldest winner since Ray Readon who was 45 when he won the sixth of his titles in 1978.
Given O'Sullivan's track record few commentators thought Hawkins stood much of a chance. However, the 34 year-old player displayed commendable form and occasional flashes of brilliance.
As the two-day final began, it was O'Sullivan who made the early running, winning the first two frames aided by breaks of 74 and 92. Hawkins was not put off and compiled breaks of 88 and 81 to level; the match, and then went one up to lead 3-2. O'Sullivan however fought back and opening session ended with O'Sullivan 5-3 ahead. In doing so, O'Sullivan knocked in two century breaks: 113 and 100.
By the end of the second session, O'Sullivan lead 10-7. This part of the match saw Hawkins compile a superb break of 133 and O'Sullivan countering with two century breaks, runs of 103 and 106.
The third session, completed on the second day, saw O'Sullivan leading 15-10. This session saw O'Sullivan make two further century breaks: 133 and 124.
In the final session, Hawkins drew two frames back, aided by his second century of the match (127). However, from 15-12 O'Sullivan ran out the three remaining frames he needed and secured victory at 18-12.
The frame scores were (O'Sullivan first):
87-4 (74), 92-10 (92), 0-98 (88), 0-81 (81), 13-101 (50), 76-7 (76), 113-0 (113), 104-0 (100), 0-73, 83-37, 9-61, 75-0, 0-91 (83), 4-133 (133), 103-0 (103), 117-5 (106), 69-62, 36-71, 134-0 (54,76), 57-56 (O 55), 0-90 (90), 133-0 (133), 75-49 (67), 38-87, 124-7 (124), 0-131 (127), 18-76 (66), 77-25 (77), 89-8 (88), 87-1 (86)
In reaching the final, O'Sullivan defeated Marcus Campbell (10-4), Ali Carter (13-8), Stuart Bingham (13-4) and Judd Trump (17-11).
Discussing the final and O'Sullivan's performance, Hawkins told the BBC that: "He is unbelievable. The way he makes it look so easy is frightening for most players, so I am glad I made a game of it and pushed him a bit. I tried my hardest but I just made a few more mistakes than Ronnie and you cannot afford to do that against him. It is a shame I lost, but Ronnie is by far the best player in the world."
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