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  Saturday, 5 May, 2001, 16:04 GMT 17:04 UK
O'Sullivan celebrates final place
Ronnie O'Sullivan and Joe Swail
Swail watches the Rocket in action
Ronnie O'Sullivan (Eng) beat Joe Swail (NI) 17-11

Click here for frame-by-frame coverage

Ronnie O'Sullivan has cruised into his first World Snooker Championship final, beating a determined Joe Swail 17-11.

The "Rocket" had his overnight lead pegged back in the first frame of the Saturday afternoon session when Swail racked up the sixth century of the match.

That left the score at 15-10, but O'Sullivan took two of the next three frames to close out the match 17-11.

He will face either Matthew Stevens or John Higgins in the final. Stevens is leading 13-11, with the match due to finish on Saturday night.


I've just got to move on and get on with the task of trying to win the final
Ronnie O'Sullivan

And O'Sullivan admitted that he had not expected it would take him so long to rise to these heights - he has been professional for nine years.

"I am surprised it took me so long to reach my first world final," he said. "I thought that I would have won it once or twice by now.

"I know how good I was and if I had kept my form up of 15-16 I believe I could have won it.

"I'm not being big-headed when I say that and a lot of good players have won the world title.

"But that's history now and I've just got to move on and get on with the task of trying to win the final.

"There are a lot of things I would have liked to have changed and for things to be different - but they aren't and I've just got to accept that and get on with things.

Scintillating

"Second place is no consolation. It has got to be the worst thing in the world, whatever the sport, watching someone else picking up a trophy.

"Hopefully that will be enough to spur me on and that I will be good enough over the next couple of days.

"It doesn't matter who I play. Whoever it is, then so be it. I am just looking forward to a good match over the weekend."

Swail opened the first frame of the last session with a scintillating break of 114 - breaking down on the yellow when it seemed that he would beat his own 140 highest break of the tournament.

Joe Swail at the table
Joe Swail: Put up stern resistance
The Northern Irishman looked relaxed and determined, and had the opportunity to send a few butterflies O'Sullivan's way in the next frame.

Uncharacteristically O'Sullivan miscued on a simple black leaving Swail an opportunity to close the gap to four frames.

Swail missed his chance and the rest was entertaining, relaxed, and ultimately inevitable snooker - with Swail taking two of four fine frames.

O'Sullivan reached his first final after producing a class snooker in the 28th frame which Swail could not escape without leaving a free-ball.

The "Rocket" obliged the opportunity, taking the frame with a clearance to the pink.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Clive Everton
"O'Sullivan needs only two frames to reach his first final"
Finalist Ronnie O'Sullivan
"I can't wait to get on with it now"
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O'Sullivan's title



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