2009: John Higgins 18-9 Shaun Murphy*
2008: Ronnie O'Sullivan 18-8 Ali Carter*
2007: John Higgins 18-13 Mark Selby*
This is a big one for me. Selby had to come through a bruising 17-16 match with Shaun Murphy the night before, and fell 12-4 behind the following day. With a day off, he could have won this one.
2006: Graeme Dott* 18-14 Peter Ebdon
Dott managed to win his semi-final early enough against Ronnie O'Sullivan (17-11)
2005: Shaun Murphy 18-16 Matthew Stevens*
2002: Peter Ebdon* 18-17 Stephen Hendry
2001: Ronnie O'Sullivan 18-14 John Higgins*
2000: Mark Williams* 18-16 Matthew Stevens
1999: Stephen Hendry* 18-11 Mark Williams
1998: John Higgins* 18-12 Ken Doherty
Higgins won his semi-final 17-9 against Ronnie, this one doesn't really count
1996: Stephen Hendry 18-12 Peter Ebdon*
Ebdon came through a 16-14 semi-final with O'Sullivan
1995: Stephen Hendry 18-9 Nigel Bond*
1993: Stephen Hendry 18-5 Jimmy White*
1991: John Parrott* 18-11 Jimmy White
Parrott won his semi-final early, 16-10 against Steve Davis
1990: Stephen Hendry* 18-12 Jimmy White
Hendry won his semi-final against John Parrott comfortably, 16-10
1988: Steve Davis 18-11 Terry Griffiths*
1987: Steve Davis* 18-14 Joe Johnson
Davis won his semi-final comfortably, 16-11 against Jimmy White
1986: Joe Johnson 18-12 Steve Davis*
1984: Steve Davis 18-16 Jimmy White*
This is another important one. White fell 12-4 behind in this final, and very nearly won. He had come through a 16-14 match with Kirk Stevens the night before
1983: Steve Davis 18-6 Cliff Thorburn*
Thorburn was jaded for this one. 16-15 against Tony Knowles the night before.
1982: Alex Higgins* 18-15 Ray Reardon
1981: Steve Davis 18-12 Doug Mountjoy*
Right then. That's 13-9 to the player who won their semi-final in the afternoon. The thing is, the most of the winning finalist who came through an evening semi-final won their semi-final COMFORTABLY. Only Alex Higgins in 1982 (after the 16-15 with White), Mark Williams in 2000 (17-15 against John Higgins) and Peter Ebdon in 2002 (17-16 against Matthew Stevens) have really won after a true marathon semi-final.
So, what ought to be done? Many may not like the idea, but I feel the tournament should start on a Friday. On the Saturday, we could perhaps have a best-of-11 thrid place play-off in the evening, or a best-of-11 commemorative match between the finalists of 25 years ago (eg. this year you would have....a Taylor and Davis 85 commemorative match). Either that, or you could just a day free of snooker.
Another thing we could do, is this: On the first day of the semi-finals, have two sessions of one semi, and one of the other, rather than one session each as is currently the situation. This means that the second semi-final will finish in the afternoon, the first one in the morning.
A World Final is too important without going into it jaded and unable to play your best.
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