Ronnie O'Sullivan registers 1000th century in final frame of 10-4 win

Ronnie O'Sullivan

Ronnie O’Sullivan registered the 1000th century break of his extraordinary career to win the final of the Players Championship.

O’Sullivan dominated from the start against Neil Robertson, winning 10-4, and finished in style by reaching a career milestone which may never be passed.

Earlier breaks of 116 and 105 had moved O’Sullivan onto 999 and any speculation that he would wait for the World Championship to reach a thousand was ended with a sumptuous 134.

In typical fashion, the 100th point of his 1000th century was secured left-handed, and O'Sullivan - to continued, rapturous applause - went on to clear the table fully, even the white finding its way to the pocket to deny what would've been a 141.

After creating his latest piece of snooker history, O'Sullivan told ITV4: "I just played really, really well. I played well all week, but I played brilliantly today and to cap it off with 1,000 centuries is great.

"I suppose to me, it's just what I do since I was seven or eight, playing snooker, potting balls - I love the game. But to share it with the fans in Preston and any snooker fans, Preston are just lucky that it was here tonight.

"This should be the base for what venues should be because you will get better matches. Players love playing here. It's one of the best venues and it's great.

"When you put top-quality players in top-quality venues then you will get top-quality snooker and that is what the Guild Hall is.

"To me, snooker is just a sport, it's a game and everyone here loves to watch the game. But as far as human beings go, he's (Robertson) one of the nicest human beings on the circuit so for me that means more.

"It was nice that I have done it with an opponent I have a lot of respect for."

More: Richard Mann on the best of Ronnie O'Sullivan

Robertson did very little wrong, despite a one-sided scoreline, and heads to Sheffield next month with a live chance of winning another World Championship - should O'Sullivan allow any of his opponents a look in.

"Throughout the whole match, I think I only missed three balls that mattered," said Robertson.

"I don't feel as though he took my game apart - he took the table apart. I got punished for playing good shots!

"Sometimes you just have to hold your hands up. He was outstanding today.

"When you come up against someone playing as well as that, it's very difficult to deal with."

Ronnie rockets to title defence

It was clear early on in Sunday's final that O'Sullivan was in the sort of form which has tended to make the outcome of his matches inevitable.

There was no century during the first mini-session, but instead a series of frame-winning breaks which sent him into a 4-0 lead as the players left the arena for a short break.

Robertson, perhaps aware that he'd only wasted one serious chance, in frame four, got on the board immediately after - though O'Sullivan's response was a 116 break, the 998th century of his career, to move into a 5-1 lead.

That became 6-1 when he pounced on a mistake from the Australian, who took the next with a break of 78 only for O'Sullivan to make another century, this time a break of 105 to move into a 7-2 lead.

Any hope for evening drama required Robertson to take the final frame of the afternoon and that's what he did, before returning with a 120 break to get within three frames at 7-4.

That would be his final meaningful contribution, though, as O'Sullivan took the following two frames - both seeing chances for the 1000th century come and go.

Perhaps O'Sullivan was simply waiting for a frame of real magnitude, as there never appeared doubt from the moment the first red dropped that he would win the match by reaching the milestone.

The red which saw the score tick to 100 and his career centuries total to a thousand was a simple one, played left-handed for the sheer hell of it, the sort of chutzpah reserved for only the truest of geniuses.

At 43, O'Sullivan remains that, and whatever the final total when he finally waves goodbye to the sport, it seems like a record which will remain until they change the size of the pockets or the length of the table.

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