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O'Sullivan beats Hawkins to win fifth world title

Updated: 2013-05-07 09:47

O'Sullivan beats Hawkins to win fifth world title

Ronnie O'Sullivan of England poses with the trophy after winning against Barry Hawkins of England in the final match of the World Snooker Championships at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England, on May 6, 2013. [Photo/]

LONDON - Ronnie O'Sullivan beat Barry Hawkins 18-12 to win the world title for the fifth time at the World Snooker Championship in Sheffield, England, on Monday.

The 37-year-old became the first player to win back-to-back Crucible crowns since Stephen Hendry in 1996.

O'Sullivan led 15-10 after the afternoon session but Hawkins fought back in the evening with a break of 127. The world 14th-ranked Hawkins took the next with a run of 66 to make it 15-12.

But O'Sullivan sealed the victory in a frightening way, winning last three frames in just 30 minutes.

"I thought it was a brilliant final," said O'Sullivan. "I put him under a lot of pressure this afternoon, I felt I had to. Tonight he came out all guns blazing and I feared the worst. I had to make my chances count because if I did not then he could have got it back to 15-14."

"In the final I had everything to lose and nothing to gain. I know how good Barry is - to the outside world they think I should never lose but on the snooker circuit everybody knows how good Barry is."

Asked how many events he is likely to play in next year, O'Sullivan added: "I just do not know what is going to happen because things are always changing. Come December or January I will have a much better idea of what I will be doing."

Hawkins said: "I put him under as much pressure as I could. But every time I missed an easy ball he punished me. I tried my hardest in that final and I just made a few more mistakes than Ronnie. You cannot afford to do that against a player of his calibre because he is just unbelievable. The way he makes it look so easy is just amazing."

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