O'Sullivan wins fourth world snooker title
Ronnie O'Sullivan won the 2012 World Snooker Championship after beating Ali Carter 18-11 in the final at the Crucible Theatre in London on Monday.
Victory gave O'Sullivan his fourth world title while defeat meant Carter had lost in his second final appearance after going down 18-8 to his fellow Englishman in the 2008 edition.
It also meant 'The Rocket', as O'Sullivan is known to his fans, maintained his record of never losing in a World Championship final and this year, at the age of 36, he became the oldest player to lift the trophy since Dennis Taylor triumphed in 1985.
O'Sullivan, who earlier in the tournament had, not for the first time in his career, threatened retirement beat several former champions in Peter Ebdon, Mark Williams, Neil Robertson, as well as two-time runner-up Matthew Stevens on his way to the final.
But after this convincing victory, O'Sullivan insisted he was not about to quit the sport.
"A few people doubted me but I'll let them know when I'm not ready," he told the BBC. "I certainly haven't gone yet.
"It's been very hard to come here and stand it for 17 days," O'Sullivan, who has been working with a sports psychologist, added.
"It's an endurance test, the equivalent of doing an ironman. It isn't so much the snooker, it's about controlling your emotions and holding it together."
Carter joined Jimmy White (six times) and Stevens as players who have appeared in more than one World Championship final without claiming the coveted title, snooker's ultimate prize.
But getting to this year's final was an achievement in itself for Carter.
He had been suffering so badly with Crohn's disease, the bowel condition he was diagnosed with nine years ago, he considered quitting the professional snooker circuit.
However, he knocked out Judd Trump, last year's losing finalist, and in the semifinals Carter defeated Stephen Maguire, the man who ended the career of seven-times world champion Stephen Hendry with a quarterfinal thrashing of his fellow Scot.
Carter, paying tribute to O'Sullivan, said: "Maybe if he retires I might win it, who knows."
He added: "I just kept punching, I was disappointed I was outplayed in the final. Ronnie put me under pressure, his safety was better and when he gets in he's just a genius.
"I've come back to playing half decent and feeling better in myself so I'll keep playing for a bit. I've been to two finals so I believe I can win it one day... if Ronnie retires."
O'Sullivan was rarely troubled in the final – making three century breaks including a best of 141 – and resumed Monday with a 10-7 overnight lead.
He was into his stride right from the start of Monday's play with a break of 101 and he then capitalised on a succession of errors from Carter, who also hails from Essex, east of London, to extend his advantage to 14-7.
However, Carter narrowed the gap to four frames, compiling his first century break of the final in the process, before O'Sullivan contributions of 64 and 55 left him just three frames away from victory.
O'Sullivan, widely regarded as the most naturally talented snooker player of his generation, started Monday's final session with a 15-10 lead.
Carter's break of 64 reduced his opponent's advantage to 16-11.
But a contribution of 46 in the 28th frame took O'Sullivan to within sight of the title and in the next a difficult red to the left middle pocket set-up a match-winning break of 61.