World Snooker Championship Final: Rocket's date with destiny or Warrior's coming of age

Ronnie O'Sullivan
Gary fancies Ronnie O'Sullivan to fire in the centuries in the World Snooker final

We're set for a fascinating final of the World Snooker Championship and Gary Moss likes the idea of getting Ronnie O'Sullivan on side in some of the Sportsbook markets...

Sheffield's iconic Crucible Theatre has become synonymous with snooker drama down the years and after a fortnight of more top-class baize action it's time for another edition of the sport's showpiece match.

Ronnie O'Sullivan and Kyren Wilson are waiting in the wings for the World Championship final to see who can write their name next in the sport's great history.

This year's event has been like none other since it was first staged at The Crucible back in 1977. Without a crowd almost throughout and held later in the year than its usual spring calendar slot, it's been a unique experience but has still managed to produce the magic we love so much about this event.

Yesterday's concluding day of the semi-finals was up there with the best we've ever seen at the venue with both matches going the distance to a deciding frame for the first time in history.

It's down to the last two men standing now and the doors are open to spectators again with all of Barry Hearn's efforts leading to 300 people given entrance to the two-day final.

It really is showtime.

O'Sullivan's date with destiny

The Rocket has been here and done it all before, of course.

This is his seventh Crucible final and having won five of his previous six, we know he usually comes up with the goods on the big stage.

A win would be a real milestone. It would tie him level on world titles with Steve Davis and Ray Reardon and take him just one behind the all-time record holder Stephen Hendry. It would also see him move past Hendry onto career 37 career ranking titles - a new record in itself.

Arguably greater than all of this, it would underline his fantastic longevity in the sport. To become world champion aged 44, he would be a year older than the age Hendry retired and it would also be 19 years after he won his first Crucible crown in 2001.

It's fair to say that the snooker press are probably more bothered about the stats and the numbers than Ronnie himself, whose aim has always been in striving to produce top-class, entertaining snooker. His legacy has most certainly been cemented in this regard.

But if he were to finish the job and get another world title on the board, it would be of vast significance coming seven years after his last and six years since he last reached the final where he lost to Mark Selby.

It was always going to take a special effort to avenge the scars from the defeat in that and he definitely started to avenge some of the demons with victory over Selby last night.

Aside from winning the first session 5-3, O'Sullivan held on to Selby but played second best pretty much throughout. At 15-13 and 16-14 down, he looked down and out before conjuring up some genius in the final three frames to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

He decided to revert to all-out attack mode and with it produced sheer brilliance to secure one of his finest ever Crucible wins in another of his signature moments.

Now he sits just four sessions and 18 frames away from being on top of the world again. It feels a bit like destiny now and love him or loathe him, you cannot deny that his involvement in the biggest matches like this adds that extra bit of sparkle to the sport.

*O'Sullivan has made 11 century breaks so far in the tournament, and if he continues, or reverts to the attack mode which saw him finish off Selby he could easily be among the centuries during the final. Back him at 5/4 to make five or more.

Warrior up for the fight

For Wilson, the task ahead to stop him is massive and this match in itself is the realisation of a lifelong dream to play in a world final.

He has the opportunity to test himself in the biggest match of the sport and it just so happens to be against the greatest player in the game's history.

The Warrior has long been touted as a future world champion owing to his great fighting attributes and ability to deliver under pressure and he'll need it all to become world champion.


He certainly showed he was up for the fight in his seesaw, semi-final match against Anthony McGill. He had to call on all his guts to get over the line in a drama-laden deciding frame now being labelled as the most incredible frame in snooker history which spanned over an hour in length and served up more twists and turns than you could dare imagine.

Wilson has his dreams to fulfil and while the narrative leading into the match will all about the greatness of the veteran O'Sullivan, he represents the younger generation of talent and by lifting the title would make it back-to-back champions in their 20s after Judd Trump's triumph a little over a year ago.

*All three of Wilson's matches so far have gone over the 'number of frames' line (13-9, 13-9, 17-16) so backing Over 30.5 Frames in the final at 5/4 looks to have a strong chance.

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