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A decade of snooker part one (2000-2004)

Postby Tubberlad

2000: A young gun by the name of Matthew Stevens was hitting headlines, winning the Masters 10-8 against Ken Doherty. Amazingly, Doherty missed out on his first 147 during the match, breaking down on the crucial final pot, a black off it's spot. World Championship favourites Stephen Hendry and Ronnie O'Sullivan were both knocked out in the opening round, and it was Mark Williams and Stevens that made the final. Stevens appeared to have wrapped up the title, leading his compatriot 13-7. Remarkably, Williams turned the game on it's head from there and took his first world title by 18-16. Jimmy White made it to the final of the British Open later that year, but found Peter Ebdon too tough in a match that even featured a streaker! John Higgins ended the year by winning his 2nd UK title.

2001: Paul Hunter came from 7-3 down to win the Masters final 10-9 against Fergal O'Brien, his wife Lyndsey playing her part in the amazing comeback, assisting with Paul's plan B. Ronnie O'Sullivan beat Stephen Hendry in a thrilling Irish Masters final by 9-8, before finally winning his first World Championship with an 18-14 win over John Higgins. Higgins won the first three events of the 2001/02 season, The Champions Cup, Scottish Masters and British Open, but it was O'Sullivan who won the UK Championship, hammering Ken Doherty 10-1 in the final. A potential split towards a rival TSN tour ended in September.

2002: Paul Hunter succesfully defended his Masters title, plan B again coming to the rescue after falling 5-0 down against Mark Williams. It would be another deciding frame win for Hunter. Peter Ebdon came through a deciding frame with Matthew Stevens while Stephen Hendry slaughtered Ronnie O'Sullivan 17-13 with a breathtaking performance. It was Ebdon who won the title though after a thrilling 18-17 win. Chris Small was a surprising winner of the LG Cup, and Mark Williams sentenced Ken Doherty to his third UK final defeat, winning 10-9.

2003: Mark Williams became Masters champion for the second time, and repeated the trick at the Curcible later that year. Williams hammered everyone in his way, but nearly came unstuck against Doherty in the final, seeing his 10-2 lead turn into 16-16 heading into the final stages. It was the Welshman that closed out the last two frames however. Doherty had made numerous fine comebacks throughout, his 17-16 win against Paul Hunter from 15-9 down in a classic. Williams went on the become only the third player to hold all four televised titles as he claimed the LG Cup. He couldn't defend the UK Championship however, but Matthew Stevens made sure the trophy stayed in Wales, winning his first ranking title.

2004: Steve Davis led Ronnie O'Sullivan 8-5 at the Welsh Open final, but was denied his first ranking title in 9 years, losing 9-8 to the Rocket. Paul Hunter made it three Masters titles with a thrilling 10-9 win over O'Sullivan. Jimmy White ended a 12 year wait for a ranking title, overcoming Paul Hunter at the Players Championship. It was Ronnie who was crowned World Champion later that year however, hammering Hendry 17-4 in the semi-final and Graeme Dott 18-8 in the final. John Higgins won his first ranking title for three years when he defeated the sensational Stephen Maguire 9-6 in the final. Maguire waltzed through the UK Championship though, hammering David Gray 10-1.

Re: A decade of snooker part one (2000-2004)

Postby Roland

seeing his 10-2 lead turn into 16-16 heading into the final stages. It was the Welshman that closed out the last two frames in true champion style however.

but Matthew Stevens made sure the trophy stayed in Wales, winning his first and only ranking title.


Nice round up tubberlad. Looking forward to part 2.

Re: A decade of snooker part one (2000-2004)

Postby Wildey

Bourne wrote:I like to look at this period as the Paul Hunter years, when he was at his best. <ok>

Paul was defiantly a big part of this time but the man that was as close to dominating as it got during this period was Mark Williams.

i think we would have been talking about Paul Hunter today as a contender for player of the decade had he lived because he was catching up Ronnie fast when he was diagnosed.

Re: A decade of snooker part one (2000-2004)

Postby Roland

Personally I was waiting for him to beat cancer and come back a more fearless player who wasn't scared of anything. I mean had he not been ill then the defeat to Doherty in the World Semi from 15-9 could've seen the end of him as a serious challenger. But that day when the news broke it knocked me sideways. He'd just been granted a freezing on his ranking points for 12 months so he could go away and concentrate on the fight, and he looked deceptively good in his last match at the Worlds. I thought he was on the mend.

Definitely the biggest tragedy in snooker history.