FORMER world No1 Ronnie O’Sullivan insisted his epic UK Championship final clash with Judd Trump had proven the most testing match of his illustrious career after resisting a fierce comeback to win 10-9 in York last night.
The 39-year-old was on the cusp of victory at 9-4 before two century breaks helped Trump level the contest, while a match-winning break of 51 saw lift O’Sullivan lift the trophy for a fifth time.
Success at this year’s UK Championship comes 21 years after his inaugural victory in the competition in 1993, although O’Sullivan admitted he was rendered powerless in the face of Trump’s ferocious fightback.
“This was the hardest match I have ever played,” said O’Sullivan. “I honestly don’t know how I found the composure to get over the line. I was going through the motions.
“To be honest with you I had accepted that I was probably going to get beaten, with the way he was hitting the ball and the confidence he was playing with he looked unstoppable. But I got a chance and was able to make it.”
O’Sullivan’s fifth triumph in this competition means he has won the UK, World and Masters titles on five occasions, while his 27th ranking win leaves him one behind Steve Davies and nine behind Stephen Hendry on the all-time list. Victory sees O’Sullivan collect £150,000 in prize money, while he also pockets an additional £44,000 for the 147 – the 13th maximum of his career – in his last-16 showdown with Matthew Selt.