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Monday, April 22, 2024

Ronnie O’Sullivan – ‘You possibly can have a Saudi world champion in 20 years’


Ronnie O’Sullivan emerged because the champion of the inaugural Riyadh Season World Masters of Snooker on Wednesday on the Boulevard Area.

Snooker’s first foray into the Saudi Arabian market ended with the sport’s biggest of all time touchdown one other large title.

The Rocket beat Judd Trump 4-1 within the semi-finals earlier than preventing again from 2-1 behind to beat Luca Brecel 5-2 within the remaining.

O’Sullivan pockets £250,000 for his triumph, matching the champion’s cheques he acquired at each the UK Championship and the Masters earlier this season.

Having additionally gained the Shanghai Masters and the World Grand Prix, it takes his general tally of silverware to 5 this time period.

That makes him probably the most prolific winner in the course of the 2023/24 snooker season to date.

“I’m delighted,” Ronnie O’Sullivan informed the World Snooker Tour after beating the world champion with breaks of 124, 121, 95, and 94.

“I got here right here desirous to do nicely on this event. It’s the highest gamers on the earth and the primary time coming to Saudi Arabia.”

“They’re placing on some unbelievable occasions over right here, so simply to be part of it was nice. However to win it’s just like the icing on the cake.

“I performed very well in opposition to John [Higgins], that’s most likely certainly one of my finest performances. I struggled a bit in opposition to Judd, I didn’t discover my timing and stuff like that.

“However then I performed a bit higher in the present day within the remaining, so hopefully there’s a little bit of some type coming again.

“[The fans] are so passionate, I’m so excited to see it. I like the tradition, I got here right here and I slot in right here completely.

“They’re very relaxed, take life at a pleasant leisurely tempo. The work nonetheless will get completed, and it’s simply laid again. That fits my persona very well.

“The followers have been unbelievable – chanting mine and Luca’s title on the finish there. It’s nice, and I can’t wait to come back again.

“It didn’t hassle me enjoying at 3am within the morning. I believed that’s the Center Jap method, that’s the Saudi method.

“You simply must embrace it and throw your self all into it. I felt a bit bit drained in the present day, however I had a few hours in the course of the day so I used to be alright.

“I believe they love the sport and benefit from the sport. I believe they’re on about making an attempt to open some academies and get some good coaches over right here.

“Try to get loads of these kids enjoying the sport. You by no means know, you possibly can have a Saudi world champion in 20 years time.”

O’Sullivan compiled six centuries within the competitors however was unable to land the mega jackpot bonus for setting up a 167 break.

The brand new 20-point golden ball, which might solely be performed on the finish of a 147 break, was by no means potted.

John Higgins got here the closest to attaining the feat throughout his preliminary-round contest with Mark Williams however missed the yellow whereas on 120.

Turki Al-Sheikh, the Saudi Arabian chairman of Basic Authority for Leisure, promised the bonus can be doubled from $500,000 to $1 million for the following version of the Riyadh Season World Masters of Snooker.

Snooker will return to Riyadh this summer time, in the meantime, for the inaugural Saudi Arabia Snooker Masters.

Dubbed the “fourth main” and boasting a profitable prize fund price greater than £2 million, the event can be a rating occasion open to all members of the World Snooker Tour.


World Masters of Snooker draw

Final 12 (bo7)

Ding Junhui 4-0 Omar Alajlani

John Higgins 4-0 Ali Alobaidli

Final 10 (bo7)

Ali Carter 4-3 Ding Junhui

Mark Williams 2-4 John Higgins

Quarter-Finals (bo7)

Luca Brecel 4-1 Ali Carter

Mark Allen 4-3 Mark Selby

Judd Trump 4-3 Shaun Murphy

Ronnie O’Sullivan 4-0 John Higgins

Semi-Finals (bo7)

Luca Brecel 4-2 Mark Allen

Judd Trump 1-4 Ronnie O’Sullivan

Ultimate (bo9)

Luca Brecel 2-5 Ronnie O’Sullivan


Featured photograph credit score: WST

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