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World Champs Semi-finals... WHAT IF ?

Postby badtemperedcyril

A few Crucible semi-finals have been quite career defining when you look back. Makes you wonder what might have been had these turned out differently...

1973 John Spencer 19-12 up on Ray Reardon - lost 23-22 (Ray then beat Eddie Charlton 38-32)

1979 Eddie Charlton 17-16 up on Terry Griffiths - lost 19-17 (Terry then beat Dennis Taylor 24-16)

1982 Jimmy White 15-13 up on Alex Higgins - lost 16-15 (Alex then beat Ray Reardon 18-15)

1983 Tony Knowles 15-13 up on Cliff Thorburn - lost 16-15 (Cliff then lost to Steve Davis 18-6)

2002 Matthew Stevens 16-14 up on Peter Ebdon - lost 17-16 (Peter then beat Stephen Hendry 18-17)

2003 Paul Hunter 15-9 & 16-14 up on Ken Doherty - lost 17-16 (Ken then lost to Mark Williams 18-16)

Re: World Champs Semi-finals... WHAT IF ?

Postby mick745

In 1972 Rex Williams missed match ball v Alex Higgins when it finished 31-30.

Imagine if Higgins hadnt burst onto the scene at that moment how different snooker history may have been.

Re: World Champs Semi-finals... WHAT IF ?

Postby badtemperedcyril

mick745 wrote:In 1972 Rex Williams missed match ball v Alex Higgins when it finished 31-30.

Imagine if Higgins hadnt burst onto the scene at that moment how different snooker history may have been.

Yes indeed. I was going to include that match but I'm not sure of the match progression, i.e. how they reached 30-30. May have something at home. You would would have to think Spencer would've beaten Rex in the final, although Rex had beat Reardon in the quarters.

Re: World Champs Semi-finals... WHAT IF ?

Postby Dragonfly

Hendry would probably have beaten Stevens in the 2002 final for his 8th title. I'm unsure as to whether White would actually have beaten Reardon in 82.

Another difficult one is whether Hunter could beat Williams in 2003. Hunter was superb in his Masters finals. But he collapsed badly against Doherty in that semi and I wonder was he quite ready to win a world final at the time. I'm sure he would have eventually if he was still with us.

Re: World Champs Semi-finals... WHAT IF ?

Postby badtemperedcyril

Pink Ball wrote:Stephen Maguire losing 17-15 to Higgins in 2007 was massive. He was 14-10 up at one point and playing brilliantly.

Had he won, and he should have, I think he'd have had plenty for a Mark Selby who was still learning the ropes.

I'd forgotten that one! Maguire has been such a frustrating player to follow over the years. He can be brilliant or dreadful. He's got everything technically but has probably the worst temperament of all the top players.

Would have been interesting against Selby, who was by no means the finished article but had definitely gone up a level during that Championship. Showed his metal with a couple of deciding frame wins as well.

Re: World Champs Semi-finals... WHAT IF ?

Postby Prop

Not as career-defining as the examples above, but the 2020 semi between Selby and Ronnie was effectively the difference between Selby levelling Higgins, or Ronnie levelling Davis and Reardon. Obviously there’s no guarantee Selby would have beaten Wilson, but it felt like a final on that Friday night. And quite a bonus that it was such an incredible match in itself.

Re: World Champs Semi-finals... WHAT IF ?

Postby badtemperedcyril

Dragonfly wrote:Hendry would probably have beaten Stevens in the 2002 final for his 8th title. I'm unsure as to whether White would actually have beaten Reardon in 82.

A lot of people assume that White would've beaten Reardon but he didn't have a very good record against him at that time. Jimmy was all out attack so Ray maybe would've tied him up? There would've been a lot of pressure on Reardon as well though - to win a 7th world title at the age of 49 would've been some feat.

Re: World Champs Semi-finals... WHAT IF ?

Postby Holden Chinaski

Prop wrote:Not as career-defining as the examples above, but the 2020 semi between Selby and Ronnie was effectively the difference between Selby levelling Higgins, or Ronnie levelling Davis and Reardon. Obviously there’s no guarantee Selby would have beaten Wilson, but it felt like a final on that Friday night. And quite a bonus that it was such an incredible match in itself.

:goodpost:

Re: World Champs Semi-finals... WHAT IF ?

Postby badtemperedcyril

Prop wrote:Not as career-defining as the examples above, but the 2020 semi between Selby and Ronnie was effectively the difference between Selby levelling Higgins, or Ronnie levelling Davis and Reardon. Obviously there’s no guarantee Selby would have beaten Wilson, but it felt like a final on that Friday night. And quite a bonus that it was such an incredible match in itself.

Odds on Selby would have beaten Wilson. Selby knew how huge that was in their careers as well. I know he doesn't get much sympathy in most quarters but he must have been (and no doubt still is) absolutely gutted. As you say, it would likely have led to him being on four world titles and just one behind Ronnie on five.

Re: World Champs Semi-finals... WHAT IF ?

Postby TheRocket

No disrespect to Wilson but Selby would have destroyed him. Wilson actually hasnt even beaten Selby in a match yet (well he only has in the CL). And over a bo35 distance and the biggest ever pressure match he would have been even more helpless. We saw how he collapsed against Ronnie.

So yes, I agree with Prop. If Selby had won the semifinal he would be a 4 times World Champion now. Just like Higgins. And Ronnie probably would have been stuck with 5 forever. As it is Ronnie has joined Reardon and Davis as a 6 time World Champ and has a real shot at number 7.

Re: World Champs Semi-finals... WHAT IF ?

Postby D4P

badtemperedcyril wrote:I know he doesn't get much sympathy in most quarters but he must have been (and no doubt still is) absolutely gutted.


I don't think there's any doubt that it was the most painful loss of his career, just as Ronnie's loss in the 2014 WC Final was his most painful loss. They're equal now, in that respect.

Re: World Champs Semi-finals... WHAT IF ?

Postby Andre147

TheRocket wrote:No disrespect to Wilson but Selby would have destroyed him. Wilson actually hasnt even beaten Selby in a match yet (well he only has in the CL). And over a bo35 distance and the biggest ever pressure match he would have been even more helpless. We saw how he collapsed against Ronnie.

So yes, I agree with Prop. If Selby had won the semifinal he would be a 4 times World Champion now. Just like Higgins. And Ronnie probably would have been stuck with 5 forever. As it is Ronnie has joined Reardon and Davis as a 6 time World Champ and has a real shot at number 7.


I'd say that match and the 2001 world final were probably the most important matches of his career.

Re: World Champs Semi-finals... WHAT IF ?

Postby Andre147

Pink Ball wrote:
TheRocket wrote:No disrespect to Wilson but Selby would have destroyed him.

Of course he wouldn't. He'd have stuttered over the line for an unconvincing 18-15 win.


I'm also not convinced Selby would destroy Wilson, but would he lose? Hell no, but would be closer than 18-8 I believe.

Re: World Champs Semi-finals... WHAT IF ?

Postby cupotee

Why limit it to semi finals , what if martin gould doesn’t blow an 11 - 5 lead vs robertson in the last 16 in 2010 , or trump holds on to beat carter in the last 16 in 2012 after leading 12 - 9 or michael white wins the last frame vs selby in the last 32 in 2014 .

Re: World Champs Semi-finals... WHAT IF ?

Postby Pink Ball

Andre147 wrote:
Pink Ball wrote:
TheRocket wrote:No disrespect to Wilson but Selby would have destroyed him.

Of course he wouldn't. He'd have stuttered over the line for an unconvincing 18-15 win.


I'm also not convinced Selby would destroy Wilson, but would he lose? Hell no, but would be closer than 18-8 I believe.

I find it very hard to imagine that Wilson would have beaten him, but I'd find it harder to imagine Selby destroying anything other than souls.

Re: World Champs Semi-finals... WHAT IF ?

Postby Andre147

cupotee wrote:Why limit it to semi finals , what if martin gould doesn’t blow an 11 - 5 lead vs robertson in the last 16 in 2010 , or trump holds on to beat carter in the last 16 in 2012 after leading 12 - 9 or michael white wins the last frame vs selby in the last 32 in 2014 .


Maybe he was refering to players that if they won that match had a real shot at winning the title?

The players you mentioned... they had a looooonnnnng way to go before even thinking about winning the title.

Re: World Champs Semi-finals... WHAT IF ?

Postby Prop

Pink Ball wrote:
Andre147 wrote:
Pink Ball wrote:
TheRocket wrote:No disrespect to Wilson but Selby would have destroyed him.

Of course he wouldn't. He'd have stuttered over the line for an unconvincing 18-15 win.


I'm also not convinced Selby would destroy Wilson, but would he lose? Hell no, but would be closer than 18-8 I believe.

I find it very hard to imagine that Wilson would have beaten him, but I'd find it harder to imagine Selby destroying anything other than souls.


<laugh>

Re: World Champs Semi-finals... WHAT IF ?

Postby TheRocket

Have to admit destroying was the wrong term here.

But Selby won his three World finals 18:14,18:14 and 18:15. And that was against three opponents who played at a higher level than what a very nervy Wilson showed in the 2020 final. He lost to a below average ROS 18:8.

Let me put it this way. I dont think Wilson would have won more than 11 or 12 frames.

Re: World Champs Semi-finals... WHAT IF ?

Postby mick745

badtemperedcyril wrote:
mick745 wrote:In 1972 Rex Williams missed match ball v Alex Higgins when it finished 31-30.

Imagine if Higgins hadnt burst onto the scene at that moment how different snooker history may have been.

Yes indeed. I was going to include that match but I'm not sure of the match progression, i.e. how they reached 30-30. May have something at home. You would would have to think Spencer would've beaten Rex in the final, although Rex had beat Reardon in the quarters.


I believe Williams led either 30-27 or 30-28. I dont know in which frame Rex Williams missed frame ball (i think it was a blue) but the incident certainly changed the career of both players and of the popularity of the sport itself.

Re: World Champs Semi-finals... WHAT IF ?

Postby badtemperedcyril

Andre147 wrote:
cupotee wrote:Why limit it to semi finals , what if martin gould doesn’t blow an 11 - 5 lead vs robertson in the last 16 in 2010 , or trump holds on to beat carter in the last 16 in 2012 after leading 12 - 9 or michael white wins the last frame vs selby in the last 32 in 2014 .


Maybe he was refering to players that if they won that match had a real shot at winning the title?

The players you mentioned... they had a looooonnnnng way to go before even thinking about winning the title.
Indeed, getting to a world final and you're on the cusp of doing something career defining. Earlier in the championship, less so.



Martin Gould was staying in the same hotel as me when he lost to Robertson. Poor guy was inconsolable - he was absolutely wasted when I bumped into him in the bar at 2am.

Re: World Champs Semi-finals... WHAT IF ?

Postby Pink Ball

TheRocket wrote:Have to admit destroying was the wrong term here.

But Selby won his three World finals 18:14,18:14 and 18:15. And that was against three opponents who played at a higher level than what a very nervy Wilson showed in the 2020 final. He lost to a below average ROS 18:8.

Let me put it this way. I dont think Wilson would have won more than 11 or 12 frames.

Yes he would. He'd have won about 15 or 16. However rubbish Wilson could go, Selby would go toilet facility for long periods. That's the Selby way :santa:

Re: World Champs Semi-finals... WHAT IF ?

Postby badtemperedcyril

mick745 wrote:
badtemperedcyril wrote:
mick745 wrote:In 1972 Rex Williams missed match ball v Alex Higgins when it finished 31-30.

Imagine if Higgins hadnt burst onto the scene at that moment how different snooker history may have been.

Yes indeed. I was going to include that match but I'm not sure of the match progression, i.e. how they reached 30-30. May have something at home. You would would have to think Spencer would've beaten Rex in the final, although Rex had beat Reardon in the quarters.


I believe Williams led either 30-27 or 30-28. I dont know in which frame Rex Williams missed frame ball (i think it was a blue) but the incident certainly changed the career of both players and of the popularity of the sport itself.

I've heard Rex saying he missed a blue from its spot in the decider when he was in the balls and set for a match clinching break. He said Alex made a few and then laid a good snooker which effectively was enough.

Re: World Champs Semi-finals... WHAT IF ?

Postby TheRocket

2015 semi final is also an interesting match.

Judd lost to Bingham 17:16. Assuming he wins the semi final would he have beaten Murphy in the final and already won his first World title back then? I think he would.

As for Bingham that was obviously his only World title. So big moment for him.

Re: World Champs Semi-finals... WHAT IF ?

Postby badtemperedcyril

Pink Ball wrote:
TheRocket wrote:Have to admit destroying was the wrong term here.

But Selby won his three World finals 18:14,18:14 and 18:15. And that was against three opponents who played at a higher level than what a very nervy Wilson showed in the 2020 final. He lost to a below average ROS 18:8.

Let me put it this way. I dont think Wilson would have won more than 11 or 12 frames.

Yes he would. He'd have won about 15 or 16. However rubbish Wilson could go, Selby would go toilet facility for long periods. That's the Selby way :santa:

Pink Ball doesn't like Selby very much...

Re: World Champs Semi-finals... WHAT IF ?

Postby Pink Ball

badtemperedcyril wrote:
Pink Ball wrote:
TheRocket wrote:Have to admit destroying was the wrong term here.

But Selby won his three World finals 18:14,18:14 and 18:15. And that was against three opponents who played at a higher level than what a very nervy Wilson showed in the 2020 final. He lost to a below average ROS 18:8.

Let me put it this way. I dont think Wilson would have won more than 11 or 12 frames.

Yes he would. He'd have won about 15 or 16. However rubbish Wilson could go, Selby would go toilet facility for long periods. That's the Selby way :santa:

Pink Ball doesn't like Selby very much...

Can't bucking stand him. Like watching a calf die.

Re: World Champs Semi-finals... WHAT IF ?

Postby Andre147

TheRocket wrote:2015 semi final is also an interesting match.

Judd lost to Bingham 17:16. Assuming he wins the semi final would he have beaten Murphy in the final and already won his first World title back then? I think he would.

As for Bingham that was obviously his only World title. So big moment for him.


That was a great match, and should get mentioned more.

Even Trump admited a few years later he kinda took Bingham for granted after Ronnie was knocked out, and when he started to see Bingham could seriously win the match, it was already too late.

Similar to Hendry, he never thought in a million years Ebdon could beat him, and it was his biggest mistake.


   

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