This might have been the best I've ever seen Ronnie play throughout a whole tournament. No one has got near him. Hawkins played well in the final and to be fair to him winning 12 frames against Ronnie in this form is impressive, but everyone knew Ronnie was walking out with another world title. An absolute pleasure to watch, let's hope he sticks around because he truly is the GOAT.
I believe even Hendry himself has said multiple times that Ronnie is the most talented player ever. That doesn't necessarily mean the best, but I think had it not been for some of Ronnie's 'issues' he probably would have won the world title more times than Hendry. He's only two behind now though, so if he plays on for a few more years he could potentially tie it up.
Stephen Hendry played in an era that he was by far the best player. Steve Davis was winding down and Hendry took over, winning world titles year after year. Ronnie's been in era with the likes of Hendry, John Higgins, Paul Hunter, Mark Williams and in recent years Mark Selby, Ding Jinhui, Neil Robertson, Shaun Murphy etc. The field is far stronger than Hendry ever had to face.