Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Delayed Stevens flys into winners group

Matthew Stevens proved again today he's well on his way back to being one of the world's top players.

After his Monday morning flight back from the PTC Grand Finals in Dublin was delayed by two hours, he almost didn't even make it to Essex to play in the Championship League group 7.

But after scampering back and battling through first day fatigue, he stepped up a gear to qualify for the winners group.

He won all five of his matches today including a 3-0 whitewash of Liang Wenbo in the final and a 3-1 victory over Stephen Lee in the last four.

The Welsh Dragon is getting better and better with each match, and the scary thing is you know there's still more to come.

After his victory, he said: “I didn’t have much time to rest or sleep, but that’s a good thing as these days you’re playing all the time.

“I was moaning enough when there were no tournaments but it’s gone from one extreme to the other and we’re going from one country to another.

“It was a bit tight to get here on time, my plane was delayed and there was an accident after the Dartford Tunnel. I thought I might have to turn around but I got here eventually and won the tournament.

“I didn’t expect much in the last couple of days, especially yesterday as I was playing tired all day and I was happy to win one of my three matches, but today I came here still tired but feeling a bit better.

“I didn’t play great but scored pretty heavily, hung in there even though my concentration wasn’t great and did enough to win."

Stevens joins Ryan Day, Mark Williams, Ali Carter, Mark Selby, Mark Allen and Shaun Murphy in a strong final group kicking off tomorrow.

Any of them could win it, and with a place in the Premier League up for grabs, they'll all be going for it.

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