Phil Haigh ✍️
Stephen Hendry expects Ronnie O’Sullivan to go on to break his World Snooker Championship record, while Judd Trump thinks nine Crucible titles is within the Rocket’s reach.
The 46-year-old won his seventh world title on Monday night, beating Trump 18-13 in the final in Sheffield and equalling the record Hendry set back in 1999.
The debate over whether the Rocket could match Hendry’s record has been running for years and is now over, but attention now turns to whether he can break it.
Although O’Sullivan will play down his desire to do so, the Scot thinks he will now be fully focussed on getting to eight world titles to have the record for himself.
‘Deserved win. As I said on the commentary, he’s taken snooker to new heights.’ said Hendry. ‘I’m actually surprised it’s taken him so long to get to seven – that’s how good he is!
‘When I got six to equal Steve [Davis], I had to get seven. I presume it’ll be the same for Ronnie, he’ll have to get eight. I’m sure he won’t be happy until he’s done that. That will be the aim – as simple as that.
‘He’s a winning machine. He said he doesn’t look at the records but he’ll want to get eight. Absolutely. The way he’s dominated this World Championship from start to finish, it’s been an outstanding performance.
‘OK he’s maybe not been put under the pressure but that’s because he’s played so well and has refused to let people put him under pressure. He’s just been wonderful. The compliments, you can’t give him enough the way he’s played here.’
Beaten finalist Trump shared an emotional embrace with O’Sullivan after he potted the winning balls and he expects the champion to be back and winning more Crucible titles in the coming years.
‘I’m sure he’ll be back. It wouldn’t surprise me if he goes out now and beats the record and gets to eight,’ said Trump.
‘The level he’s played, apart from Mark Williams, he was different class to everyone in this tournament. It only ever looked like there was going to be one winner.
‘He’s at seven now. I think nine is quite achievable. 10 is a bit of a push. I certainly think he’ll get to eight, I’m pretty positive of that, playing the snooker he’s still playing.
‘I think he’ll definitely break the record. Even though he doesn’t say it, I think that’ll be a big, big target for him now. Just to set himself out there on his own. I think he’ll still be around for the next 10 years,’
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