By Saj Chowdhury
BBC Sport at The Crucible
O'Sullivan was underwhelmed by his third world title
Ronnie O'Sullivan was his own harshest critic despite trouncing Ali Carter 18-8 to win his third world title.
The 32-year-old, leading 16-8, took the first two frames of the final session to seal victory and collect £328,500 for the title and his 147 maximum.
"It feels strange because I'm relieved more than anything else," he said. "I played really good in the semi but I felt quite uneasy in the final.
"The best I felt was during the first three frames and the last two frames."
O'Sullivan never hit the heights he reached during his 17-6 win over seven-time champion Stephen Hendry in the semi-final.
"The Rocket" felt that his past association with Carter, 28, might have had a bearing on a performance in which he scored only one century break.
I'd like to think I can win maybe one or two more here
"Everybody expected me to blow him away," added a subdued O'Sullivan, who rattled in five centuries against Hendry.
"The problem was that I practised with Ali during our teens, so I know his game inside out and he knows my game. Sometimes it's difficult to play well because you know what they're capable of."
Carter appeared unable to find the sort of form that resulted in him edging out Joe Perry to make his first ranking final and was guilty of failing to punish O'Sullivan's uncharacteristic mistakes.
"I didn't play fantastically well," conceded O'Sullivan. "Even though I had the big lead I never really felt that comfortable.
"I was winning three and he was winning one but having that big lead did not put me at ease.
"The scoreboard was never in my mind because I was trying to get my own game up to a higher standard."
Straight after the victory, O'Sullivan told BBC Sport he would consider over the summer whether to take a break from the sport, something he has repeatedly threatened to do previously.
Sometimes I think it might be nice to go out as world champion, and with me being world number one and UK champion as well, it might be good to have a bit of a break," he said.
But later he told a news conference he intended to go for more Crucible crowns.
"I don't know how many I can win," said O'Sullivan, who lit up the tournament with a nine-minute maximum against Mark Williams.
"I'd like to think I can win maybe one or two more - I'm halfway to Steve Davis' tally (six, one behind Stephen Hendry's record of seven) now."
He added: "It's a great feeling to win at The Crucible but you have to put the enormity of the occasion out of your mind. However, I've never been one to let the occasion get to me."