Home Donald Trump World Snooker Championship 2022: Ronnie O’Sullivan & Judd Trump meet in ‘dream’...

World Snooker Championship 2022: Ronnie O’Sullivan & Judd Trump meet in ‘dream’ final

World Snooker Championship 2022: Ronnie O’Sullivan & Judd Trump meet in ‘dream’ final
Venue: Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Dates: 1-2 May
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV and Red Button with uninterrupted coverage on BBC iPlayer, the BBC Sport website and the BBC Sport app

Six-time champion Ronnie O’Sullivan is a “dream” World Championship final opponent, says 2019 winner Judd Trump.

World number one O’Sullivan is eyeing a record-equalling seventh title in the modern era, while Trump is chasing his second Crucible crown.

Early Newspaper

A £500,000 winners prize and top spot in the world rankings is also at stake in the final, which begins at 13: 00 BST on Sunday.

“Ronnie was a hero of mine growing up,” Trump said.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to play him in the final. There have been times I didn’t think it would happen, but now it’s here.

“He’s already the best player that’s ever lived, but I think he wants to confirm it by winning a seventh title. You can see it in the last couple of weeks. He tries to play it down but I think he’s more determined than ever.

“It will be extremely tough to beat him but I am hoping I have saved my best until last.”

O’Sullivan, 46, holds almost every record in the game but has repeatedly played down the prospect of emulating Stephen Hendry’s tally of seven world titles – even if it is a landmark he clearly covets and one that would arguably settle any debate over who is the greatest player in modern times.

Ronnie O'Sullivan Triple Crown triumphs
Ronnie O’Sullivan has won more ‘Triple Crown’ events than any other player

‘The Rocket’ enters his eighth final as the oldest finalist since Ray Reardon in 1982, having cruised past David Gilbert 10-5, Mark Allen 13-4, Stephen Maguire 13-5 and John Higgins 17-11.

“I’ve always got butterflies and nerves that is why I do not like doing it,” O’Sullivan said.

“All the other tournaments are a doddle – I just pitch up and play. Maybe we are not used to playing in these type of atmospheres.

“We don’t play in a venue like this anywhere now. I suppose it is like playing at Leyton Orient every week and all of a sudden being asked to go and play at the Bernabeu Stadium in front of 100,000 people. It is a special atmosphere out there.”

A final for the neutrals

The climax of snooker’s biggest event pits two of the sport’s most flamboyant and attacking players against each other.

It will also be a battle of snooker’s different generations, with Trump, who has frequently been hailed as the natural heir to O’Sullivan, facing another of the ‘Class of 92’ following his semi-final win over Mark Williams.

While O’Sullivan beat Trump in their most recent meeting at the Players Championship in February, 32-year-old Trump has won eight of the 11 finals they have played against each other.

Trump also enjoys a marginally better head-to-head record – 15 wins in 29 matches – and will also draw confidence from his 10-4 victory in the 2019 Masters, in front of a crowd that was vehemently behind O’Sullivan.

Yet it is O’Sullivan who will start Sunday’s final as the favourite, having knocked in 12 centuries in the tournament in comparison to Trump’s eight.

World Snooker Championship 2022: Ronnie O’Sullivan & Judd Trump meet in ‘dream’ final