RONNIE O’SULLIVAN created more snooker history at the York Barbican, beating Ding Junhui 10-7 to win a record-extending eighth Mr Q UK Championship.

O’Sullivan made a blistering start by racing into a 4-1 lead, before Ding rallied to level the scores at 4-4 heading into the final’s evening session.

The Rocket moved back in front at 7-5 but once more thrice UK Championship winner Ding once again tied proceedings at 7-7.

But O’Sullivan saved his best for last, winning the final three frames with breaks of 100, 74 and a final-high 129, becoming the oldest-ever winning of the UK crown, at the age of 47, three decades on from his first in 1993.


The snooker legend breaks further ground as the only player in the sport’s history to win a Triple Crown event eight times. He also expands his existing records of the most Triple Crown titles and ranking event titles, at 22 and 40 respectively, as well as strengthening his position as the World Number 1.

O’Sullivan paid credit to the challenge that Ding posed in his battle to establish more historic feats in the sport.

“Ding played fantastically all week,” said O’Sullivan. “I’ve been watching his matches and his cue ball control is the best ever. He’s never out of position. It’s like playing a computer!

“It’s a pleasure to play Ding. He’s such a good man. He was a boy when I first started playing him, but he’s a man now. He’s a father. He’s a credit to China.

“Ding is the Godfather of Chinese snooker and he paved the way for everybody else to believe that they could come here and do it.

“Ding is a massive inspiration to all the snooker players. I’m a massive of Ding and it was an honour to play him in the final.”

The Rocket struggled to deliver his top gear earlier in the Championship, having been forced into deciders against both Robert Milkins and Zhou Yuelong, but found his best snooker in the final.

He explained of his mindset: “I had to come out and just have a good head. I thought, ‘If I’m going to lose, let’s make Ding earn it. It’s a big crowd here, so let’s give them their money’s worth. I’ll leave blood, sweat and tears on the table. If I don’t win, I’ve left it all out there’.

“But I came out and gave it my all. I just love competing and I loved competing with Ding.”

Despite having broken almost every record in the sport, O’Sullivan warned his rivals that he has no plans to hang up the cue anytime soon.

“I always keep beating myself up about my age”, he said. “I keep thinking at some point I’ve got to stop winning.

“But I keep doing alright. I’ll keep going until the wheels fall off.”

Victory for O’Sullivan denied Ding a fourth UK Championship title, having lifted the trophy in 2005, 2009 and 2019, and ended his fairytale run, having won two qualifying matches to even reach the York Barbican.

“It’s been a very good week,” Ding said. “I knew that it was going to be tough. I missed a couple of shots to win frames in the first (afternoon) session. It was a hard match. I tried to fight and to get to 4-4 was not bad. But he played better in the evening.

“I’d really like to thank the fans. Thank you for your support in every game, I love it here and I love everyone here.”