Matthew Stevens loses in final of snooker's Haikou World Open
MATTHEW Stevens's bid for a first snooker ranking event title in ten years was dashed by Mark Allen.
Carmarthen star Stevens went down 10-4 in the final Haikou World Open.
Allen, the defending champion, never looked back from winning the first four frames. Although Stevens narrowed the deficit to 7-4 in the evening session, the Northern Irishman pulled away again.
Stevens battled through the first two rounds of the tournament with a borrowed cue after his own was lost on the trip to China.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
He said: "The start of the match was important. It could have been 2-2 but I was 4-0 down and it's difficult to catch up after that. I could never get back to within one frame.
"It wasn't a great match but Mark's safety was a lot better than mine and he did the job, so well done to him.
"It's always disappointing to lose in finals, but it's still been a good week for me, especially after losing my cue.
"I've earned a lot of ranking points and I know I'm safe in the top 16."
Allen won the first three frames thanks to breaks of 48, 52 and 93.
Stevens led 55-0 in the fourth only to see his opponent respond with a clearance of 58.
But any thoughts Allen would storm to victory were put on hold when Stevens reduced the deficit to two frames with breaks of 67 and 112.
However, 27-year-old Allen regained a four-frame advantage, which included a break of 100, to go 6-2 ahead.
Stevens, competing in his first final in five years, ended the session on a high note by winning the last frame and keeping his hopes of a fightback in the evening session alive.
And the 35-year-old appeared set to narrow the deficit further but poor positional play in the tenth frame cost him dear, with Allen snatching it following a brilliant long pot on the blue.
A century break brought Stevens back to within three frames, but Allen made 55 and 68 to clinch victory.