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By Ben Parsons at the Crucible
A tearful Ronnie O’Sullivan revelled in his ‘greatest ever result’ after equalling Stephen Hendry’s record of seven World Championship titles.
O’Sullivan, 46, became the oldest world champion in the modern era after beating Judd Trump 18-13 in an enthralling Crucible final.
The Rocket has now cemented his status as the all-time greatest after matching the last significant snooker record that eluded him.
He cruised through to his eighth showpiece final before dominating 2019 champion Trump to reach the magnificent seven.
O’Sullivan, snooker’s greatest showman, has had a film crew documenting his every move in Sheffield and provided the perfect climax.
"That's probably the greatest result I've ever had,” an emotional O’Sullivan said.
“I've never bothered about records. You let the snooker gods decide what they're going to decide and this 17 days, they were on my side."
“We can share it for a year,” he added when asked about matching Hendry’s record.
“I tried to be as relaxed as I could, but that is probably the greatest result I've had against somebody like Judd [Trump].
"I've never bothered about records. When you get them, it's kind of nice. I don't have targets. I've loved every tournament this year, I've just loved playing.
"I like to win, but it's not the be-all and end-all. The Crucible brings out the worst in me. It's probably not the best idea but we'll probably go again next year."
Trump trailed the irrepressible O’Sullivan 12-5 after a one-sided first day of the final but staged an inspired comeback to reduce the deficit to 14-11 ahead of Monday’s concluding session.
The world number four eventually succumbed to O’Sullivan’s brilliance but was honoured to share the iconic theatre with the Rocket in his self-confessed dream world final.
"I was just glad to make a match out of it," he admitted. It's been a pleasure to share a table with him.
"It's an amazing achievement and he's the best player of all time.
"He keeps getting better and better. His determination and dedication are clear to see. He's been the best player in this tournament by quite a distance."