O’Sullivan on course for title

Ronnie O’Sullivan (4/11 Tournament Outright) has insisted that he is staying focused on the task at hand as the two-time defending champion looks to secure a sixth World Championship title in Sunday’s final.

The Rocket has looked in imperious form at the Crucible since his opening round match against Robin Hull, and the 38-year-old eased into the last stage of the competition after demolishing Barry Hawkins 17-7 with a session to spare.

O’Sullivan also defeated Shaun Murphy in convincing fashion in the quarter-final, winning by 13 frames to three, highlighting the dominance that the charismatic character has been showing in Sheffield.

Despite the Rocket being widely tipped to claim a third successive World title, the prolific break-builder has insisted he is not letting himself get carried away.

“I’ve still got one more match to play so I can’t afford to get all excited. It’s all about the final for me on Sunday and Monday now,” he said.

“I just want to enjoy my day off tomorrow and get ready to play in what is our biggest tournament, competing in the final.”

Hawkins, who was also on the wrong end of an O’Sullivan thrashing in the final back in 2013, admitted he had taking a psychological battering after the semi-final defeat.

“I feel like I’ve been absolutely mentally bashed to pieces. After the first session I knew it was important to get off to a good start against him and I had a couple of horrendous kicks which cost me a couple of frames.”

O’Sullivan will face either Neil Robertson (5/1 Tournament Outright) or Mark Selby (9/2) in the final, with the ‘Jester from Leicester’ narrowly ahead of the world number one, leading by nine frames to seven.

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