8th of May 2012 Author: Johnny Karp
Ronnie 'The Rocket' O'Sullivan beat Ali Carter 18-11 to secure his fourth World Championship title at the Crucible in Sheffield. O'Sullivan, aged 36, who had talked about retiring after his semi-final win, immediately announced his intention to take a six-month sabbatical from the game.
"A few people doubted me but I'll let them know when I'm not ready," the champion told BBC Sport. "I certainly haven't gone yet. I am going to enjoy my time off with my family and then assess the situation, but it's all good and I want to enjoy the moment."
O'Sullivan was shared his triumph with his young son, Ronnie Jr, who joined his dad in the arena after the end of the match. "It was the best. I didn't think I'd ever get the opportunity to share those moments with him so it was so nice to have him here," Ronnie Sr. added.
Ali Carter, now a two-time runner-up, joked that he would win the title once Ronnie had retired. "The better man won. He's a genius. It's the Ronnie O'Sullivan show, isn't it? I'm pleased for the game that he's carrying on playing. He's got so much more to give', Carter said.
O'Sullivan, whose previous titles came in 2001, 2004 and 2008, is the oldest winner since his former mentor Ray Reardon claimed his sixth crown in 1978 at the age of 45. Ronnie joins last year's champion John Higgins on four titles while only Steve Davis and Ray Reardon, with six titles apiece, and seven-time winner Stephen Hendry, have clinched the trophy more times.
O'Sullivan's victory, which earned him £255,000, secured his position as second seed in all of next season's ranking events and his sabbatical will not affect that ranking.
The final was a repeat of 2008, when O'Sullivan won 18-8 against Carter. O'Sullivan was even suffering from food poisoning on Sunday, the first day of the final, but despite that he bagged a stunning break of 141 during the first session - the highest in World Championship final history.
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