1994 Dubai Classic - Al Nasr Stadium, Dubaihttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1994_Dubai_Classic
Held in early October, this was the first event of the 1994-95 season. It followed the qualifying rounds of the first 5 ranking events of the season, which took place over the previous three months.
Alan McManus won the event, beating Peter Ebdon 9-6 in the final. The Scotsman took an early (almost typed quick, but it probably wasn't!) 3-0 lead, but was pegged back to 4-4. He had the edge in the later stages though.
There were only 2 breaks over 50 in the final, and only 3 century breaks in total at the venue stages of the event, which ran from the last 32 stage onwards. Those must have been some tough playing conditions! Big credit therefore goes to those who did manage a century, Ebdon (130 SF v O'Sullivan), Doherty (127 QF v Hendry), and O'Sullivan (104 L32 v Finbow).
Alain Robidoux showed signs in this event that he may have a return to form. He beat Wattana and Roe on his way to the quarters.
And Dominic Dale started to make some headway in the rankings, reaching the last 16.
Graeme Dott and Matthew Stevens fared well in their first ever ranking event. Dott reached the venue, beating Joe Johnson along the way. And Stevens made it as far as the last 48, losing out to Robidoux.
Brian Rowswell, who has been a solid player ranked in the 50-100 range for a good few years and one of the few players in that bracket to maintain his position in these open entry years, qualified for the venue. He had had notable wins over Jason Ferguson and Anthony Davies along the way. Disappointingly though he withdrew and did not play in Dubai, gifting eventual winner McManus a bye in the L32. What a shame! I wonder if it were due to the cost of travel? a visa problem?...
Alan McManus (5) 5-4 Nigel Bond (11)
Stephen Hendry (1) 5-4 Ken Doherty (8)
Peter Ebdon (10) 5-3 Alain Robidoux (37)
Ronnie O'Sullivan (6) 5-2 Martin Clark (22)
McManus (5) 6-4 Hendry (1)
Ebdon (10) 6-4 O'Sullivan (6)
McManus (5) 9-6 Ebdon (10)
Following the event...
1, Stephen Hendry 26443
2. Steve Davis 20845
3. Jimmy White 20261
4. James Wattana 18181
6. Ronnie O'Sullivan 16778
14. John Higgins 6334
43. Mark Williams 3553
In: John Higgins; Martin Clark
Out: Tony Drago; Joe Swail
In: Billy Snaddon; Alain Robidoux; Mark King
Out: Stephen Lee; Tony Knowles; Jason Ferguson
In: Dominic Dale; Terry Murphy; Brian Rowswell; Ian Brumby; Karl Payne; Chris Small; Stefan Mazrocis
Out: Mark Bennett; Jason Prince; Paul McPhillips; Tony Chappel; Danny Fowler; Jonathan Birch; Jim Wych
In: Michael Judge; Roger Garrett; Paul Cavney; Graeme Dott; Jeff Cundy; Leigh Robinson; Euan Henderson
Out: Colin Morton; Mark O'Sullivan; Tai Pichit; Paul Tanner; Steve Duggan; John Giles; Kirk Stevens