05 May 2008 22:29:00
Ronnie O'Sullivan declared that winning the 888.com World Snooker Championship was his greatest buzz in snooker, and hopes that he can add to his tally of three Crucible crowns.
The Rocket completed an 18-8 defeat of Ali Carter tonight to become only the third player – after Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry – to lift the trophy aloft three times at the Crucible.
"It’s a real buzz to win it. There is no bigger tournament, this is our pinnacle, it’s our greatest stage,” said the 32-year-old from Chigwell. "I’ve got three now and I would like to win more. I wouldn’t like to put a number on it because that would be very foolish of me. There are a lot of hungry players out who are also very eager to lift this trophy. Hendry has won seven, Davis has won six, so I’m half way to that total - but I’m not young.
"It’s almost a feeling of relief because I was at unease with myself out there in the final, and it was just a case of digging in. I did feel great in the first three frames of the final and the last two frames. I think everybody had expectations of me just blowing Ali away after I won my semi final so well.
"Ali got to the final on merit. I used to practise with him, and you get to know each others’ game inside out, and know what they are capable of. So it can be harder to play someone you know, rather than someone you have no history of.
"I knew I would play well in patches, so it was a case of being patient and concentrating on my own performance and not looking at the scoreboard. If Ali could have got closer I’m sure I would have been able to respond, but at the end of the day it was a professional performance, because a job needed to be done, and I did it."
Carter, who was playing in his first ranking final, said: "I didn’t play particularly well. I’m disappointed with my own performance but I was really tired. It was a bit of a struggle for both of us but his game is so strong, even when he’s struggling.
"I didn’t have anything left in the tank after a tough game against Joe Perry. I haven’t had a night off or a day off and that probably took it out of me. Next year, there’s always next year. At this moment in time I don’t feel as if I’ve achieved what I wanted to do, the only way I would have done that would be to win it. Getting to the final is a great result and I’ll reflect on it in a couple of weeks and be pleased with what I’ve done.
"I’m in the top eight in the world so next year it makes it a little easier. Hopefully I can press on and go one better next time."