Haikou World Open: Matthew Stevens to face defending champ Mark Allen in final
Last Updated: 03/03/13 7:04pm
Matthew Stevens: Reached his first ranking final in five years
Matthew Stevens reached his first ranking final in five years after coming from behind to win a controversial encounter 6-5 against Neil Robertson in the Haikou Open in China.
The Welshman won the last two frames with breaks of 60 and 51 respectively to overhaul his Australian opponent and book his place in his first final since the 2008 Bahrain Championship against defending champion Mark Allen.
Stevens, who was only able to use his own cue again on Friday after a travel mix-up left him having to borrow equipment earlier in the week, showed great composure to prevail in a final-frame shoot-out.
He came through, despite an early mistake from referee Eirian Williams, who incorrectly replaced the balls following a Stevens foul in frame four, with Robertson winning it and levelling the match at 2-2.
"It's my first final in China and it's a great feeling as we've got a lot of tournaments here," Stevens said on World Snooker's official website.
"As I've been saying all week, it's just a bonus to still be here after what happened to my cue.
"It wasn't the best match, both of us struggled a bit. I made most of the breaks but threw away a couple of frames and I would have been kicking myself if I'd lost."
Stevens, 35, will now face Northern Irishman Allen who cruised past Ding Junhui's conqueror John Higgins 6-2 in the second semi-final.
Allen had a break of 119 in the second frame and, after going into the interval level at 2-2, pulled away with an 81 putting him on the brink of victory.