Haikou World Open: Mark Allen beats Matthew Stevens in final
Last Updated: 03/03/13 9:05pm
Mark Allen: Retained his Haikou World Open title
Defending champion Mark Allen overpowered Matthew Stevens 10-4 on Sunday to claim his second successive Haikou World Open crown.
The Northern Irishman had taken a 6-3 lead after the first session in China and then won the last three frames of the evening session to seal the win.
In doing so, Allen became the first person to win a world ranking tournament in successive years since John Higgins triumphed in the Welsh Open in 2010 and 2011.
"I'm very happy to win and retain my title, to win the same tournament two years in a row is a great achievement," Allen told World Snooker's official website.
"The snooker wasn't as good as I had hoped. I didn't get into a rhythm and I didn't score very heavily. The scoreline was flattering, it wasn't as one-sided as that.
"But the result is all that matters. My form has been good for the last few months so I'm relieved, more than anything, to finally get a win. Hopefully I can push on now and win more."
Allen, who thumped Stephen Lee 10-1 in last year's final, made the perfect start to this year's renewal, opening up a 3-0 lead thanks to breaks of 48, 52 and 93.
While Stevens led 55-0 in the fourth frame, Allen responded with a clearance of 58 to push further ahead.
But Stevens then battled back and reduced the deficit to two frames with breaks of 67 and 112.
However, 27-year-old Allen reopened a four-frame advantage, which included a break of exactly 100 to go 6-2 ahead.
Welshman Stevens, competing in his first final in five years, won the last frame of the session to raise hopes of a fightback.
And the 35-year-old appeared set to narrow the deficit further but poor positional play in the 10th 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 - in-between a scrappy frame which the Antrim cueman also won - to clinch victory.