Trump endured an epic comeback Mark Williams to claim the win in a crucial frame while O’Sullivan duly delivered a 17-11 win John Higgins at 46, the oldest player to reach a Crucible final since Ray Reardon in 1982.
Alongside a record-breaking seventh world title for O’Sullivan or a second for Trump, plus a £500,000 first prize, the world rankings are also at stake in four sessions ending on Monday night.
Trump, who won the title in 2019, said: “It’s always been a dream of mine to play Ronnie in the finals. There were times when I didn’t think it would happen, but now it’s here.
“Ronnie was a hero of mine growing up and he’s already the best player that ever lived but I think he wants to validate it by winning a seventh title. He’s trying to downplay it, but I think he’s more determined than ever.
“In the past he could lose his head or play absolutely shocking, but now he’s so consistent that he doesn’t play rash shots. I don’t think I can get away with playing at the level I’ve had in this tournament to have a chance.”
Trump had seen a 12-5 advantage evaporate against Williams, who had fought back to lead 16-15 and be a frame away from the biggest semifinal rebound in Crucible history, and only behind Nine-frame lag deficit made up by Dennis Taylor in the 1985 final.
But after falling behind for the first time, Tramp bounced back at the top of the rankings and then produced two outrageous cross-doubles in what was a tense decider before which both players received a loud standing ovation.
“I was just trying to stay positive,” Trump added. “I was still enjoying it and there was nothing I could really do – my long shots didn’t go in but I didn’t have another shot so I had to keep going.
“It feels like a free kick because I didn’t expect anything from myself. I feel like I’m getting closer to the feeling I had [in the 2019 final]. I feel like my best is near now and I’m feeling positive.”
It was of little consolation to Williams that his four centuries in the match brought his tally for the tournament to 16, equaling Stephen Hendry’s one-year mark in 2002, but he regretted his inability to maintain a streak he had seen nine wins once-off 11 frames.
He joked: “I would rather have lost 17-1 and been home yesterday. I put so much pressure on him that he was gone. At some point I don’t think he shed a ball for 45 or 50 minutes, and who ever does that to Judd Trump?
O’Sullivan had effectively ended his semi-final as a contest after winning five of the eight frames in the morning session against Higgins to deduct two from the win at 15-9.
But despite shooting for three centuries, O’Sullivan had been more clinical than old-fashioned in cleaning up after a series of errors from Higgins. The Scot showed his frustration by slamming his cue on the ground as he let his opponent in early in the 22nd frame.
O’Sullivan did his best to prolong the inevitable, gifting Higgins two of the first three frames after their resumption before an 83 break late put him over the line.
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/snooker/judd-trump-ronnie-o-sullivan-snooker-final-b2069195.html Judd Trump looks forward to ‘Dream’ World Snooker Championship final with Ronnie O’Sullivan