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  Saturday, 4 May, 2002, 17:10 GMT 18:10 UK
O'Sullivan has no regrets
Ronnie O'Sullivan watches as his world title dreams are broken by Stephen Hendry
Ronnie O'Sullivan: Unrepentant after his defeat

Ronnie O'Sullivan's verbal assault appeared to have had no effect on Stephen Hendry as the Scotsman booked a place in his ninth World Snooker Championship final.

O'Sullivan mocked Hendry in the lead-up to their semi-final.

He accused the seven-time world champion of ungentlemanly conduct involving a miss rule in a match at the 1999 World Championship.


It wasn't a personal thing with Ronnie as far as I was concerned
Stephen Hendry
But Hendry refused to be drawn into the debate and clinched his place in the 2002 final with a 17-13 victory over O'Sullivan.

"I've only won the semi-final. The job isn't done yet," said Hendry.

"I'm playing in the final on Sunday and Monday. Losing the final will mean that it's been all a waste of time.

"It wasn't a personal thing with Ronnie as far as I was concerned and I don't remember that incident.

"I was motivated enough. As I said, this is the World Championship. If I win it I get back into the top four.

"What happens off the table doesn't matter."

O'Sullivan, who only managed to win one frame in the final session with a break of 82, was unrepentant about the comments he made against Hendry and former manager Ian Doyle before the semi-final.


What better than a grudge match?
Ronnie O'Sullivan
"I enjoyed making those comments," said last year's champion.

"I thought there was a better atmosphere out there because of it. You have to buzz it up a bit. There was some real tension out there - it was brilliant.

"What better than a grudge match? That's mega.

"Like I said, I was in Ian Doyle's camp. I know him and I don't like what he does."

O'Sullivan said Hendry was a class act at the World Championship.

"I'd love to see Matthew Stevens win it. But it'll take some stopping to beat Stephen Hendry. He loves this venue," he added.

"He's a great player. He keeps proving it and I can't question Stephen Hendry as a snooker player. He's probably the greatest that has ever lived."


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