Rocket fires his way to title
Carter loses in Crucible showpiece for a second time
Last Updated: 08/05/12 1:37am
Ronnie O'Sullivan claimed the World Championship title for a fourth time with a comfortable 18-11 victory over Ali Carter at the Crucible.
'The Rocket' followed up his triumphs in 2001, 2004 and 2008 with an impressive performance against his fellow Englishman.
O'Sullivan led 10-7 going into Monday's play and promptly reeled off the first four frames in the afternoon, raising the prospect of completing victory in the best-of-35 contest with a session to spare.
But Carter - who was also beaten by O'Sullivan in the 2008 showpiece - emerged from the mid-session interval with renewed focus.
"I'm not saying I have retired. I'm saying family is the most important thing in my life."
Ronnie O'Sullivan Quotes of the week
The Tiptree potter won three frames in a row, including rattling in breaks of 105 and 53, to at least avoid that ignominy and raise the thought he could be set to produce the mother of all comebacks.
Yet O'Sullivan finished the session with a pair of half-centuries to stop the rot, then duly returned in the evening to get the three frames he needed.
Breaks of 64 and 55 gave him the opener and then a run of 70 put him on the brink of glory. Carter, to his credit, kept himself alive thanks to 68 in the next.
However it always was a case of delaying the inevitable, and O'Sullivan duly sealed the win in a rather scrappy 29th frame, making him the oldest champion in Sheffield since Dennis Taylor back in 1985.
O'Sullivan announced during the trophy presentation that he now intends to take a short break from the sport, though insisted it was not retirement, something that he had suggested could be a possibility on Saturday.
"I'm not saying I have retired," he said. "I'm saying family is the most important thing in my life.
"I work as hard as anyone in snooker and I just want to be treated fairly.
"That's up to the governing body to treat players right."
He also repeated his claim that World Snooker are "blackmailing" players into appearing at the low-profile Players Tour Championship events, and he added: "I'm not going to hang around two years to wait for things to be fair.
"I'm having four, five, six months off and I'll assess the situation."