Phil Haigh ✍️
Ronnie O’Sullivan is happy to share the World Snooker Championship record with ‘absolute legend’ Stephen Hendry but feels that the feat means more to the Scot than it does to him.
The Rocket soared to a seventh Crucible title on Monday night, beating Judd Trump 18-13 to match Hendry’s amazing winning record in Sheffield.
The 46-year-old, who also became the oldest winner of the tournament, has always talked down his desire to achieve the record and is sticking to that even after reaching it.
‘I think it meant more to him than it does to me, to have seven world titles,’ O’Sullivan told a post-match press conference.
‘We share it, it’s alright to share that, Hendry’s a legend of the game, an absolute legend of the game.
‘It’s just a number at the end of the day, I don’t get too caught up with it to be honest with you.’
He told the BBC after potting the winning balls: ‘It never has [weighed heavily on me] and I’ve never bothered about records.
‘Don’t get me wrong, when you get home you go, “okay that was kind of nice” but I’ve never performed well if I’m going for stuff like that.
‘I just try and enjoy the game, compete, enjoy being on the circuit, try and enjoy what I do and work hard at my game.
‘Then you just let the snooker gods decide what they’re going to decide. This 17 days they were on my side.’
As for Hendry, he has previously said that he would absolutely not want the Rocket, or anyone else, to surpass his number of Crucible titles, admitting that it is annoying to see his records matched and broken.
‘I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t annoy me,’ Hendry told Metro.co.uk back in 2019. ‘I tried hard to create my own records when a lot of them belonged to Steve Davis, so to see someone else beat yours, you’d be lying if you said there wasn’t a twinge of regret there.
‘The thing is, with century breaks, maximums, ranking tournaments, these sorts of things are automatically going to be broken, it’s not if but when.
‘But obviously the big one is the World Championship. Of course I’d be hoping he [O’Sullivan] falls short.’
However, the legendary Scot had changed his tune by this World Championship, saying it would be an honour to share the record with a man who he says has elevated snooker.
‘It would be an honour for me to share seven with him, it really would because he’s taken snooker to a new level.’ Hendry told the BBC.
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