Ronnie O'Sullivan landed his sixth World Championship title when he wiped the floor with first-time finalist Kyren Wilson in Sheffield. 

Snooker's long-time talisman moved one away from Stephen Hendry's record of seven titles at the Crucible Theatre as he scored an 18-8 triumph. 

Even Wilson admitted O'Sullivan was able to "walk all over" him, describing his conqueror as "the greatest of all-time". 

That is a view that even Hendry has recently expressed, and O'Sullivan said: "It's great to be able to win over the 17 days here." 

He had led 10-7 after the first day of the final but pulled away on Sunday afternoon, establishing a 17-8 lead, making his victory a formality in the evening session.

Spectators were allowed inside the venue in Sheffield for the final, with social distancing measures meaning around 300 were able to witness O'Sullivan land his first world title since 2013. 

The 44-year-old scooped the top prize of £500,000 as he won by the widest margin in a world final since his own 18-8 drubbing of Ali Carter 12 years ago, joining Steve Davis and Ray Reardon on six world titles. 

O'Sullivan finished with a break of 96, miscuing on the black as he went for a century, and said on the BBC: "I never really think about titles because when I was a kid I never thought I'd be here. 

"I was just playing for the fun of the game. It's a dream but it's becoming a bit of a reality too."

Kyren Wilson was in tears after reaching his first World Snooker Championship final following a staggering end to his semi-final against Anthony McGill.

A gripping contest went all the way to a decider, and it proved to be the highest-scoring frame in the history of the competition at the Crucible.

Wilson eventually took a cat-and-mouse duel 103-83 to win the match 17-16, and he became highly emotional and apologetic after fluking the green that left McGill needing a snooker late in the frame.

Scottish cueman McGill, who came into the tournament as a qualifier, said: "I feel like it's been stolen from me - not by Kyren but by the snooker gods."

Wilson had led McGill 14-11 but was pegged back and trailed 16-15, with the tension in the Sheffield theatre growing as the match neared its climax, despite it being played behind closed doors.

Englishman Wilson told the BBC: "I've dreamt of this moment, but I didn't want to get there like this. It's just mad what can happen on a snooker table. I felt it was one of the best semi-finals ever at the Crucible. I'm just a bit annoyed that it's ended that way, but it's just this game for you."

Six-time world champion Steve Davis said: "In the end, somebody had to win it. He fell over the line."

John Parrott, the 1991 world champion, said the final frame was like "nothing like I've ever seen".

Five-time world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan believes he is still able to compete at the highest level because snooker's next generation is "so bad".

O'Sullivan, 44, made the quarter-finals of the World Snooker Championship with a 13-10 win over Ding Junhui on Sunday.

He will face another veteran, 45-year-old Mark Williams, in the last eight and explained their longevity was an indictment of the future of the sport.

O'Sullivan was asked if he could have imagined when breaking through in the 1990s that he would still be contending for world titles at this stage.

He told BBC Sport: "Probably, if you asked me then, no. But when you look at the standard of play, I would say yes.

"People like me and John [Higgins] and Mark, if you look at the younger players coming through, they are not that good really.

"Most of them would probably do well as half-decent amateurs, do you know what I'm saying? Not even amateurs... they are so bad!

"A lot of them that you see now, you look at them and think, 'Oh, I've probably got to lose an arm and a leg to fall out of the top 50.' Do you know what I mean?

"That is probably why we are still hovering around, because of just how poor it is down that end."

Stephen Maguire beat Mark Allen in the final of the Tour Championship to win his first ranking title since 2013.

The Scot prevailed 10-6 in Milton Keynes to end his seven-year drought.

Allen had led 2-0 but the afternoon session ended honours even at four apiece.

Maguire took charge from there, the highlight a 139 break in the ninth frame, to claim the £150,000 winner's prize.

World champion Judd Trump will head a star-studded field after it was confirmed snooker will return in England next month.

The Championship League tournament in Milton Keynes will run from June 1 to 11, featuring 64 players who will be obliged to follow social distancing measures as they fight for a share of £200,000 in prize-money.

World Snooker Tour (WST) is run by Matchroom Sport, which is also behind ambitious plans to stage world-title level boxing within the grounds of its Essex mansion headquarters.

Snooker, like most sport across the globe, has been suspended since March, but there are plans in place for its delayed World Championship showpiece event to take place from July 31.

WST said all snooker players and officials at the Championship League would undergo COVID-19 testing before being allowed into the Marshall Arena venue, with competitors told to avoid customary handshakes.

Players will not be allowed to bring guests to the tournament and there will be no spectators, although the tournament will be broadcast on terrestrial television in the UK.

Trump is joined in the line-up by fellow top-five stars Neil Robertson and Mark Allen, and the tournament will operate on a round-robin basis, with £30,000 going to the winner.

Barry Hearn, chairman of the WST and Matchroom Sport, said: "While most other sports remain sidelined, we are ready to return from June 1. This sends out a message to the sporting world that snooker is at the forefront of innovation.

"We will be the first major sport [in the UK] to get back to live televised action. That's not by chance, it's because of the hard work and preparation we have done during the lockdown to make sure we are ready to get going again as soon as it is legal."

Hearn, father of boxing promoter Eddie Hearn, added: "These are challenging times but as always we are looking at the opportunities rather than the limitations."

Anthony Joshua will be hopeful of a huge heavyweight unification bout in the near future, but April 29 offers a chance to reflect on one of his greatest achievements.

A bout with IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in June has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic and Joshua will be keen to soon offer fans in the United Kingdom another taste of the thrills he supplied against Wladimir Klitschko on this day three years ago.

The Briton claimed a victory that effectively retired one of the sport's all-time greats after a fight for the ages.

We look back at that and other memorable events to occur on April 29 down the years.

 

1985 – Taylor takes 'black ball final'

Steve Davis was at the peak of his powers and headed into the 1985 World Snooker Championship at the top of the world rankings and having won three of the previous four editions.

After winning every frame in the opening session, Davis took an 8-0 lead over Dennis Taylor at the start of the second.

However, Taylor rallied and managed to tie the match at 11-11 on the second day and he refused to go away, reeling in Davis again to force a 35th and final frame.

It lasted a tense 68 minutes and continued into the early hours of Monday morning, with Taylor coming from 62-44 down to ensure the title would be decided by the final ball.

Taylor was the man to sink it on his fourth shot, lifting the trophy for the first and only time in his career.

2006 – Texans leave Bush on the board

Having gained 2,000 all-purpose yards in his junior year at the University of Southern California, won the Heisman Trophy – though he was later stripped of it – and clocked a 40-yard dash time of 4.33 seconds in USC's post-season pro day showcase, Reggie Bush was tipped to be the top pick in the draft.

He even signed an endorsement deal with Adidas in the days leading up to the event.

However, the Houston Texans took the much-derided decision to overlook Bush and take defensive end Mario Williams out of North Carolina State University.

Bush was taken second overall by the New Orleans Saints and was part of their success at Super Bowl XLIV after the 2009 season.

Williams went on to justify the pick with four Pro Bowl selections and Bush failed to live up to the heights he was tipped for.

2007 – Surrey world record

Ali Brown and James Benning earned Surrey a place in the record books with a gargantuan total against Gloucestershire in a One-Day Cup match.

The Surrey openers shared an opening stand of 294 before Brown, whose century came off just 50 deliveries and racked up 20 fours and eight sixes, was finally dismissed for 176 off 97 balls.

Benning reached 152 but fell to Anthony Ireland after 134 balls, though there was no let up for the visitors.

Rikki Clarke blasted an unbeaten 82 off just 28 deliveries – plundering nine fours and six maximums to lead Surrey to 496-4. It remains the highest innings score by any team in a limited-overs game.

Gloucestershire were skittled for 239 after 34.1 overs, with Surrey consequently claiming a crushing 257-run triumph.

2017 – Joshua clinches statement victory

After beating Charles Martin for the IBF heavyweight title in April 2016, Joshua enjoyed comfortable defences against Dominic Breazeale and Eric Molina.

The biggest test of his career was next and it came at a sold-out Wembley against Klitschko, who had dominated the division for the best part of a decade until a shock loss to Tyson Fury in November 2015.

Joshua scored the first knockdown in round five but was sent to the canvas by a resurgent Klitschko in the next session.

Questions had been asked about whether Joshua had the stamina to last the distance given he had not previously been required to go beyond the seventh round.

Despite looking wobbly at points, the Briton had enough in the tank to send Klitschko down two times in the 11th before the referee called a stop to the fight to hand him the vacant WBA belt in addition to his IBF strap.

Steve Davis blubbed away in his dressing room before drowning his sorrows in drink - but time has been the real healer for the man who lost snooker's most famous match.

It has been 35 years since 18.5million people in the UK stayed up beyond midnight to witness the mighty Davis lose 18-17 to Dennis Taylor in the World Championship final.

Of course, just 980 spectators could cram inside the arena at Sheffield's Crucible theatre to see the drama unfold in person.

But such was the growing tension in the match that it captured the country's imagination, now commonly regarded among the most famous sporting events of the 1980s. It was not only Davis with red eyes the next morning.

That 1985 defeat is one that Davis has carried with him ever since, the six-time world champion all too ready to acknowledge the match he will be remembered for was that loss.

At the time, it hurt Davis like he had never been hurt in a snooker match.

But speaking years later at the Crucible, Davis said: “I think the best moment of my career was missing the black against Dennis Taylor.

“At one stage I was the strongest player in the game so I was expected to win, so those moments when perhaps everybody is excited is when you don’t [win].

“With Dennis, that was the best and worst moment of my career because I think it just showed how greatly snooker had been appreciated by the public."

The red-hot favourite led 8-0, 15-12 and 17-15 in their epic encounter, only for Taylor to snatch the final three frames, including the last on the black after Davis horrendously over-cut a tricky chance to win the match.

To anybody not intimately acquainted with British culture in the 1980s, it might be difficult to appreciate how significant a figure Davis was.

By 1988, the ginger-haired 'Nugget' was seeing off competition from Olympic swimming champion Adrian Moorhouse and Masters golf winner Sandy Lyle to land the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year award.

In the days when football was not the television staple it has become, sports such as snooker and darts had their day. Wrestling, too, where the wiry Davis would have been fodder to the heroes of the day - Giant Haystacks, Big Daddy, Kendo Nagasaki et al.

Davis was merely the master of combat with a snooker cue, already a three-time world champion by the time he took on Northern Irishman Taylor, who with his unusual 'upside down' glasses and crowd-pleasing warmth was a popular finalist.

Taylor had crushed his opposition on the way to the final, having no trouble with Silvino Francisco, Eddie Charlton, Cliff Thorburn or Tony Knowles, but Davis was a step up.

As the finishing line approached, both Davis and Taylor went to jelly.

Davis, in his autobiography Interesting, wrote: "We were like two men having a game down the working men's club, knocking the ball around for the price of a pie and a pint in front of one man and his dog."

Reputations counted for nothing as the final came down to the final colours, Taylor needing brown, blue, pink and black to secure a maiden world title.

Davis has since reflected on how in the 1980s he was often "thinking I could walk on water", but this time Taylor made the big splash.

"Most of the stuff you only remember it from video footage," said Davis, looking back at the early years of his career.

Where once he watched this particular archive film in a state of high anguish, Davis has accepted his place in history is tied up in the legend surrounding the match that began on April 27 and finished minutes into April 29.

"I must have spent anything up to a year and a half of my life in Sheffield," said Davis.

Yet it was not days, weeks, months or years that gave snooker its meridian moment, but a spellbinding few minutes against Taylor, as both men grappled to control their emotions, with Davis' manager Barry Hearn barely able to watch and every shot a pint of blood.

"Let's be honest, getting tickets for the Crucible is harder than getting an Iron Maiden ticket, which is saying something."

Snooker's World Championship has been postponed from its traditional April and May dates because of coronavirus, causing huge disappointment to the devotees who flock to Sheffield each year.

Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain is a regular visitor to the Steel City, and the man who has played the world's biggest stadiums and rock arenas feels a unique magic every time he steps through the Crucible Theatre stage door.

Stuart Bingham was a long-time tour pro before he won the World Championship in 2015.

Both men told Stats Perform what you have missed out on if you have never paid a visit to snooker's greatest venue, which was due to host the first day of its 44th consecutive World Championship on Monday.

IT'S OH SO QUIET... SHHH... SHHH...

It's true, the silence can be overwhelming, especially when the tension ramps up.

NICKO MCBRAIN: "Oh my sweet Lord. It really is powerful. There’s certain lights that the TV use that have got fans in them, and that’s all you can hear.

"And you get the odd cough here and there. It’s super quiet, you could literally hear a pin drop. And I felt that sense of awe when the lights went down and the players came down the steps and past the press area where we were sitting.

“Even a whisper sounds like you’re shouting."

IT'S OH SO... SMALL!

The theatre might be renowned worldwide, now that snooker has spread its wings and established strong footholds in Europe and Asia, but it really is poky, seating just 980 spectators.

NICKO MCBRAIN: "Television doesn't do justice to it. Every red-blooded Englishman knows how big a snooker table is and you’ve got two of them sitting on the floor. It’s very tiny and intimate, like a club vibe in there rather than a bigger venue.

"My first impression was of the size and the intimacy in there, and I could really feel the essence of these snooker players, these wonderful professional guys, and [the difference to] novices like me who can’t break more than 39. You can see it’s an amazing atmosphere in the room, and with all the years of history, it’s in every true Englishman’s heart. As soon as you say 'Crucible', they don't associate the Crucible with theatre, which is what it was really built for."

THE PLAYERS WERE FANS ONCE - AND TO THEM JUST BEING THERE MEANS THE WORLD

Many of the top professionals had their first taste of the arena as paying spectators, including past champions.

STUART BINGHAM: "I remember coming in 1993 and 1994 to watch Brian Morgan play and getting an autograph, being a snooker fan, so I wore a Brian Morgan T-shirt as I sat in the crowd, just thinking how much I wanted to make it here as a player one day.

"So 20 years later to get my hand on the trophy... these events are every kid’s dream.

"It’s like winning the Masters or the Open in golf, winning the FA Cup or the World Cup. It’s that feeling, just unbelievable.

"I remember walking up the stairs, giving it the old Pat Cash moment, to see my manager who I’d been with since a year before I turned pro. It was just a priceless moment."

IT'S A 'MARATHON OF THE MIND'

That was a term coined by BBC commentary box great Clive Everton, and it aptly describes the 17-day tournament. The wild men of the 1980s snooker boom may have gone, but they have been replaced by a new breed of ravenous competitors. Not that the current set of players wouldn't have enjoyed those heady days of yesteryear.

STUART BINGHAM: "It would definitely have been fun to be part of it. It’s a bit more professional in these days.

"It was maybe a bit more relaxed then, with players having a drink and a smoke, but it’s so professional these days that you have to be match fit. You’ve got to be on your game from day one.

"I think this is the only tournament with the kudos. It’s special. You’ve seen so many special world champions, great memories and it comes about because of this place, the Crucible, and Sheffield."

Neil Robertson left Australia for England as a 16-year-old with £500 in his pocket and a snooker cue he dreamt would unlock the door to fame and fortune.

A false start or two followed, but 12 years later the ball-potting, modern-day Dick Whittington was wrapped up in the arms of mum Alison after getting his hands on the World Championship trophy.

Later, Robertson would parade the glistening silverware at the MCG, as his AFL first loves the Collingwood Magpies tackled the St Kilda Saints.

It was 2010, and the Melbourne boy had come good, becoming the first snooker world champion from outside the British Isles since Canadian Cliff Thorburn 30 years earlier.

Here is a 10-year anniversary look at how Robertson took his step into snooker legend, as he admits surprise visitors from Down Under almost knocked him out of his stride.

GET CARTER

Robertson beat resurgent six-time world champion Steve Davis in the quarter-finals, before taking charge early against Ali Carter in their semi-final and refusing to relinquish his grip.

Future wife Mille was days away from giving birth to their first child, but Robertson's focus was absolute and he powered to a 17-12 victory, earning a first Crucible world final appearance.

'HEY, SWEETIE, WE'RE LEAVING SINGAPORE'

Robertson's mother had been keeping a close eye on his matches from the other side of the planet, and a leap of faith led her to book flights to London.

"She'd come across without me even knowing," Robertson said.

"She and her partner Chris booked tickets when I was 6-2 up in my semi-final, thinking maybe they'd never have the chance again to see me in the final.

"So after I beat Ali in the semi-final, I switched on my phone and there was a message saying 'Hey sweetie, I've just seen that you’re 10-6 up in the semi-final, we're leaving Singapore and then we’ll arrive and hopefully you're in the final'.

"It was all really rushed. They got a taxi up from Heathrow and emotionally that was a huge moment for me.

"It was the first time I'd seen my mum for nearly a year. I'd always go home in the summer off-season and then wouldn't see them for 10 months, but here she was to watch me in the world final."

THE PRESSURE MOUNTS

Stoked to see his mum, Robertson was still worried her presence might prove a distraction against Scottish battler GraDott.

"It put a huge amount of pressure on me," Robertson said.

"The first session, I was almost in tears when I came out and saw her and waved at her. I actually had tears and had to really compose myself because it's not long before you're hitting the balls.

"I was 5-3 down after the first session but managed to turn it around in the end."

AUSTRALIA TOOK NOTICE

Robertson has spent most of his career without a great deal of attention from the Australian media, but a gaggle of reporters showed up in Sheffield for the climax against Dott.

He did his fellow Aussies back home a favour too, getting across the winning line 18-13 against Dott at 12.54am - desperately late in Sheffield, England, but mid-morning in Melbourne.

"When I potted the winning ball I blew a kiss up to my mum, who was up on the balcony. I had all these weird instant flashbacks to all the hard work and everything I’d had to sacrifice and all I'd been through to get to that point," Robertson said.

"I've flown my dad over every year since. I've told him I'll fly him over every year until I win it again. I'd love to win it with him there as well, and he doesn't add any pressure because I know that he's coming.

"When my mum arrived like that - 'Surprise!' - I was in the heat of the moment."

SAME AGAIN THIS YEAR?

Robertson hoped to return to the Crucible Theatre this month to mount another title challenge, only for the coronavirus pandemic to quash that prospect.

The World Snooker Tour is planning for a rescheduled July start to the 17-day marathon, but it could be a behind-closed-doors event.

Writing on Twitter, Robertson, now 38, said in those circumstances it would be "better to play than not".

Crowds or no crowds, the Thunder from Down Under would have his work cut out to beat the wonder of that first triumph.

Snooker's World Championship has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic and could now be played in July or August.

The tournament, which has been staged at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England, since 1977, becomes the latest sporting event to fall by the wayside.

It had been due to run from April 18 to May 4, with its qualifying event taking place from April 8-15.

England's Judd Trump is the reigning world champion.

In a statement confirming the postponement, the World Snooker Tour (WST) said: "WST intends to host the final stages at the Crucible on rescheduled dates in July or August."

WST chairman Barry Hearn said: "These are tough times for everyone but we are determined to get through it.

"Fans around the world – as well as the 144 players involved – are anxious to know if and when the World Championship will go ahead. I can assure everyone that we are doing all we can alongside our broadcasters, the venues and other partners to confirm new dates as soon as possible.

"Snooker players are self-employed, they need opportunities to earn prize money so we have a responsibility to them. We are currently exploring the potential to stage tournaments behind closed doors to keep the circuit alive, with more details to follow next week.

"Live televised coverage of the biggest sporting events can be an inspiration to people around the world in these challenging times, so it is important that we strive to find solutions for our tournaments."

The coronavirus pandemic continues to inflict chaos upon the sporting schedule.

Further delays to the return of the WTA Tour and the Bundesliga were confirmed on Monday as Cricket South Africa announced a blanket ban on games at all levels for 60 days.

There are still some competitions across the globe going ahead, though - here are five of the best to look forward to on Tuesday.

 

Rosario Central v Colon - Argentina Copa de la Superliga

The competition continues despite concerns from the likes of River Plate, who refused to play their scheduled match against Atletico Tucuman on health and safety grounds.

Tuesday's Group B game sees Angel Di Maria's boyhood team Rosario Central, who competed in last year's Copa Libertadores, host Colon.

Anadolu Efes v Bursaspor - Basketbol Super Ligi

Anadolu Efes can move top of the table in Turkey's top basketball league when they face Bursaspor on Tuesday.

The visitors will be eager to boost their own postseason ambitions in a match that was postponed back in February due to national team commitments.

Semi-finals - Pakistan Super League play-offs

Tuesday sees the final four compete at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore for a place in Thursday's final.

Multan Sultans, who finished top of the league, face Peshawar Zalmi in the first match before Karachi Kings take on Lahore Qalandars.

Goztepe v Rizespor - Turkish Super Lig

The top flight in Turkey continues, with Rizespor hoping to climb out of the bottom three when they take on Goztepe, who are eighth.

The visitors are winless in seven Super Lig matches but held Goztepe to a goalless draw in the reverse fixture in September.

Neil Robertson v Ding Junhui - Tour Championship

Seven of the world's top 10 male snooker players descend on Venue Cymru for the prestigious Tour Championship, which will be played behind closed doors.

With in-form Judd Trump not involved until Wednesday, the early pick of the quarter-finals sees world number two Neil Robertson against Ding Junhui, which will be just their second meeting in the past four years.

Shaun Murphy faces Mark Allen in a repeat of last month's Players Championship quarter-final, which the former won 6-2, and Mark Selby takes on surprise Southport finalist Yan Bingtao.

Judd Trump became the first snooker player to win six ranking titles in a season as the world champion landed the Gibraltar Open behind closed doors on Sunday.

The feat of five wins in a season has previously been achieved by Ronnie O'Sullivan, Stephen Hendry, Ding Junhui and Mark Selby, but Trump went one step further with his latest success.

Three centuries in a 4-3 win over fellow Englishman Kyren Wilson gave him a £50,000 winners' cheque, and Trump landed a £150,000 bonus too for finishing top of the European Series prize-money list.

The 30-year-old had runs of 125, 144 and 123 in his victory over Wilson, which saw history achieved without any spectators because of concerns over the spread of coronavirus.

World number one Trump's dazzling success in the 2019-20 season before carrying off the Gibraltar title had seen him win the International Championship, World Open, Northern Ireland Open, German Masters and Players Championship.

Snooker will join a growing list of sports to have held events in Saudi Arabia after a lucrative £2.5million tournament in Riyadh was added to the 2020-21 season calendar.

On the same weekend Anthony Joshua reclaimed his heavyweight boxing titles by defeating Andy Ruiz Jr in the latest major sporting occasion to be held in the nation, World Snooker confirmed it had agreed a 10-year deal with Saudi Arabia's General Sports Authority.

World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn, the father of Joshua's promoter Eddie, hailed the news, which will see a 128-player tournament take place in Riyadh from October 4-10 next year.

"This is a giant leap forward for our sport. We have enjoyed tremendous global expansion over the past decade, particularly in Asia and Europe, and we are thrilled to stage a new and momentous tournament in the Middle East," he said.

"We have a packed calendar throughout the year, which creates a competitive marketplace for new events. Snooker has grown to such an extent that we are now creating exceptional tournaments at this level."

However, the deal is also likely to prompt staunch criticism and accusations of 'sportswashing', with Amnesty International having last week labelled Saudi Arabia's human rights record as "dire", "heinous" and "appalling".

Eddie Hearn defended the decision to hold Joshua's rematch with Ruiz in the country, stating: "Our job is to provide opportunities to the fighters.

"I was driving up and down the road thinking of all the criticism I’ve been getting. And I passed Gucci, Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, Versace and Ralph Lauren. And although it is easy for us to also say Formula E, the tennis Super Cup, and the PGA Tour is here too, I also believe that no one has the right to tell a fighter how and where they can earn their money.

"The sportswashing thing is something over my head."

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