Ronnie O'Sullivan beats Judd Trump to reach World final

World Championship

  • Venue: Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
  • Date: 20 April-6 May

Coverage: Live on BBC Two, BBC Two HD, Red Button and online on the BBC Sport website, mobile and BBC Sport app. Updates on BBC Radio 5 live

Defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan reached his fifth World Championship final with a comfortable 17-11 victory over Judd Trump at the Crucible.

O'Sullivan led 14-10 after the first two sessions, although Trump played his part in some gripping exchanges.

But Trump's mistakes caught up with him on Saturday, with O'Sullivan winning three of the four frames played.

O'Sullivan will play Barry Hawkins, who beat Ricky Walden 17-14, in the final, which starts at 14:00 BST on Sunday.

"It was a very, very strong performance and a very dominant performance given that Ronnie wasn't at his best and wasn't knocking in big breaks. It was almost man versus boy.

"Judd has got huge talent and a huge future in the game, but until he learns to control the cue ball like O'Sullivan, he'll never be an O'Sullivan. But he's still young and has got the talent.

"People don't appreciate sometimes how Ronnie is playing because he makes it look so easy. But the impressive thing is the fact that he's on easy shots all the time, and there's nobody out there who can compete with that type of snooker."

"I'm quite surprised really to be sitting here talking about another world final," said O'Sullivan.

"I don't think either of us played anywhere near our best, there was a lot of tension out there. It was the newcomer, the future of the game, against someone who's been around a long time, who wears his heart on his sleeve.

"I might say some things that frustrate people sometimes but my fans always get behind me because they know I try my hardest every time I go out there."

Trump said: "I'm not going to make excuses, Ronnie played the better snooker. He's so much better than most of the other players.

"Match practice doesn't come into it; he's so good in the balls that he's never far away, so he's never got any pressure on himself. He's never out of position.

"If you watch him play the crowd hardly ever seem to clap because he's always perfect, whereas me and the other players are always having to pull out good pots.

"I don't think there was a lot in it. I've made the most centuries this season and if I was scoring like I have been it would have been a different outcome.

"I thought my safety was better than his and I created a lot more chances but he mopped up over and over again and hardly missed a ball.

O'Sullivan, 37, has never lost a Crucible final and will be a red-hot favourite to make it five world titles whether it is Walden or Hawkins who wins the other semi, which finishes on Saturday evening.

O'Sullivan warned for improper gesture

O'Sullivan has not been behind at any stage in the tournament so far, carving through the field despite the fact that he has barely played any competitive snooker since winning the tournament last year.

World number three Trump, runner-up in 2011, was expected to be the man to push him close and the 23-year-old was brimming with confidence before the match started.

And given the break-building pedigree of both players and the pre-match intrigue - O'Sullivan said he was likely to retire after the tournament, win or lose - the match was expected to produce plenty of fireworks.

Remarkably, there was only one century break in 28 frames, but the lack of heavy scoring did not make the encounter any less dramatic, with every session brimming with high-quality snooker and tension.

The pair were locked at 4-4 after the first session on Thursday before O'Sullivan won both sessions 5-3 on Friday.

Friday's evening session had pretty much everything, including a century break from Trump, some fine safety exchanges and an "improper" gesture from O'Sullivan, which drew a verbal warning from referee Michaela Tabb.

And it was also the session which demonstrated best the difference between master and pretender, with Trump making mistakes at crucial moments and O'Sullivan stepping up time and again to punish him.

Perhaps the best example of this was in frame 20, when Trump, with the balls at his mercy, fouled the yellow with the rest and O'Sullivan cleared up to make it 12-8.

The first frame of Saturday's final session followed this pattern, with Trump missing a cut-back red on 50 and O'Sullivan clearing up for 15-10.

Trump was in the balls again in the next frame but snookered himself on his intended colour and again O'Sullivan made him pay to stand one frame from the final.

The Bristol player showed his mettle to take the next frame with a break of 77 but O'Sullivan took the next to wrap up the victory and give himself the chance to defend the world crown for the first time in his career.