RONNIE O’Sullivan successfully defended his Champion of Champions title in magnificent style after beating Judd Trump 10-7 at the Ricoh Arena on Sunday.
Both players produced exceptional snooker in what many have described as one of the best finals in recent years.
Such was the standard of both men that there were six centuries in the 17 frames as well as another 11 breaks over 50 as both players were at the peak of their respective games.
O’Sullivan had taken a comfortable 8-3 lead but Trump fought back by winning four successive frames to move to within one.
But O’Sullivan took the last two frames and finished the match with an impressive century to be crowned champions and claim the £100,000 top prize.
And afterwards the world number four said playing Trump had forced him to produce the best snooker of his career.
“That was as well as you can play,” said O’Sullivan.
“I had four centuries, two or three 70s and a couple of 80s. That is nine frames without reply. Judd played some good stuff as well and I am happy to have been involved in a match of such quality.
“At 8-3 I knew Judd is an aggressive player and would come out all guns blazing, he wasn’t going to sit on the fence and wait for his chances, he was going to try and make something happen.
“He potted some fantastic balls and got back in, but I always said in my mind that if he gets to within one or two frames then the balls get a bit harder, a bit more pressure mounts.
“I thought be patient, try and keep him honest and that is what I did. That is when it matters, at the end of the match.”
O’Sullivan had set the scene in the opening rack with a blistering 137 total clearance and then followed that with a frame-winning break of 82 to take a 2-0 lead.
Trump took the next two frames before runs of 87 and 80 restored the Rocket’s two frame margin.
It was mesmerising stuff from O’Sullivan and after Trump secured the seventh frame, a brace of 130-plus breaks from the defending champion crowned an outstanding session as he took a 6-3 lead into the evening.
O’Sullivan won the first two when they resumed to get to 8-3 as Trump looked dead and buried. He mounted his superb fight back though, before O’Sullivan pulled away to win.
Although disappointed to lose in the final Trump said there were plenty of positives to take from the defeat.
He added: “It was a good game, I really enjoyed it. It was probably one of the only games where I am not really too disappointed about losing.
“100 per cent I would have won if it was against anyone else, I would have won comfortably.
“For me, that is what the game is all about, getting that sort of opponent to bring you on and in other sports there is that kind of rivalry and I think I need Ronnie to push myself to the next level.
“I showed a lot of maturity this week. At times I wasn’t playing great stuff but I just stuck in there, which I probably wouldn’t have done a few seasons ago. The way I came back today under pressure, there is a lot to take and a lot to look forward to.”