There is no denying it, Ronnie O’Sullivan is a magician with a cue in hand.
The Englishman has more maximum breaks than any other player in history and has helped the sport of snooker reach an entirely new audience.
While ‘Rocket’ might hold the world record for the fastest maximum break, finishing off in five minutes and 20 seconds way back in the 1997 World Championships, it is an effort from 2012 that is considered better than the rest.
Ronnie hadn’t quite been his electrifying best in the build-up to the 2012 World Championships but soon silenced his doubters, making the final before producing a simply sublime maximum break in the showdown with Ali Carter.
With the match level at three frames apiece, O’Sullivan stepped up to the table to find a tricky spread that had the commentators doubting whether or not he could do much damage.
What followed, however, was a masterclass of precision and concentration as O’Sullivan methodically went about his business, slotting shot after shot and setting himself up beautifully for the next in the process.
You can feel the energy in the room start to grow as the commentary team and the gathered audience begin to sense something very special is on the cards.
O’Sullivan’s fierce focus never relents and, in truth, he made it look frightfully easy in the end.
Carter simply couldn’t recover and wound up losing the match 18-11.
O’Sullivan has struggled of late, however, relinquishing his iron-clad grip on the world number one spot after a year without a win at a ranking tournament.
That alarming dip in form has seen him slip from top of the pops to a measly sixth in the rankings and it looks like he simply has no answer to arrest the slide.
We all know what he is capable of though, and, should he rekindle some of the form he has shown all too regularly in the past, it won’t be long before he rockets back up to the top of the world.