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Snooker: O'Sullivan sinks Trump to reach final

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Ronnie O'Sullivan booked his place in the World Championship final for the fifth time as the defending champion cruised to a 17-11 victory over Judd Trump in the semi-finals on Saturday.

O'Sullivan will take on Ricky Walden or Barry Hawkins in the final after the latest in a long line of dominant displays at the Crucible Theatre in the northern English city of Sheffield.

The four-time champion held a 14-10 overnight lead and he never looked likely to surrender that advantage as he clinched the three frames needed to progress to the final.

After almost a year out of snooker, reaching another Crucible final must ranks among O'Sullivan's finest achievements.

But the English star has already claimed this will be his last appearance at the World Championship due to a lack of passion for the game and that would be a relief to his rivals, who have once again failed to step up to his level.

However, despite an apparently comfortable victory margin, O'Sullivan said he had had to endure several moments of unease.

"It doesn't seem like you're being pushed, but there are times out there where you're that close to cracking," he said.

"Then something will happen and you'll pull ahead and that'll give you belief and confidence, but in every match there has been a point where I've felt, 'This could be slipping, this could be cracking.'"

Trump had talked up his chances of defeating the reigning champion prior to the match, but O'Sullivan said he sympathised with the 23-year-old.

"Obviously I've been in that position myself and you tell yourself you're not scared of someone," O'Sullivan said.

"But when you get out there and the pressure mounts, you then realise why someone like Stephen Hendry or John Higgins (is hard to beat). There's no hiding place out there.

"It's all right going in there with lots and lots of confidence and saying these things. Against some people it might knock them off their game, but there's always going to be players around, no matter what sport you're in, who choose to ignore that and use it as motivation."

Trump was 50-39 ahead in the opening frame of the session but missed a red to a corner pocket and O'Sullivan rifled in a 41 break.

O'Sullivan pinched the next frame after winning a tactical battle and finishing off with a crowd-pleasing 33.

Trump crashed in a 77 break to give himself the slightest hope, but the reprieve was all too brief as O'Sullivan produced breaks of 31 and 33 in the following frame to set up a showdown with either Walden or Hawkins, who were tied at 12-12 in their semi-final.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130504/snooker-osullivan-sinks-trump-reach-final-0