Ronnie O’Sullivan is enjoying his best ever season after another sublime performance earned him his 32nd ranking title of a delightful career.
The five-times world champion won the World Grand Prix in style by thrashing China’s number one Ding Junhui 10-3.
O’Sullivan pocketed £100,000 and lifted his fourth ranking trophy of what has been an unbelievable campaign so far for the 42-year-old.
O’Sullivan has won the English Open, Shanghai Masters, UK Championship and now the World Grand Prix – it is the first time in a career spanning 25 years that he has won four ranking events in a single season.
And with more events lined up between now and April’s showdown – the World Championship – and given his form, O’Sullivan looks set for more glory.
He only needs one more ranking title this season to match Mark Selby, Ding Junhui and Stephen Hendry’s joint record of winning five ranking titles in one season.
And he is also closing in on another Stephen Hendry record. Victory gave O’Sullivan his 32nd ranking title of his career and now is just four behind Hendry’s tally of 36.
Players with most Ranking Titles
Stephen Hendry – 36
Ronnie O’Sullivan – 32
John Higgins – 29
Steve Davis – 28
Mark Williams – 20
A dominant O’Sullivan made three centuries and three breaks of over 50 to comfortably beat Ding at Preston’s Guild Hall.
The first four frames were shared before O’Sullivan started to accelerate and pull away from his opponent who got the better of the Essex cueman when they last met in last year’s World Championship.
But breaks of 124 and 104 saw O’Sullivan take a 4-2 lead. Ding pulled a frame back but breaks of 59 and 120 gave him a commanding 6-3 advantage into the evening session.
And the final session proved one sided as O’Sullivan quickly rallied winning four frames on the bounce to get over the winning line.
Ronnie O’Sullivan’s route to World Grand Prix glory
R1 – beat Robert Milkins 4-0
R2 – beat Yan Bingtao 4-3
Quarter-Final – beat Xiao Guodong 5-0
Semi-Final – beat Stephen Maguire 6-4
Final – beat Ding Junhui 10-3