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Last Updated: Sunday, 16 November, 2003, 22:04 GMT
Hendry sinks O'Sullivan
Stephen Hendry
Hendry has adapted to his new cue
Stephen Hendry came up with a superb session of snooker to beat Ronnie O'Sullivan 9-6 in the British Open final.

The Scot had fallen 5-3 behind at the interval in a high-quality encounter in Brighton.

But he compiled breaks of 61, 50 and 135 on resumption to take the lead.

And when O'Sullivan broke down on 56 in the 12th frame, Hendry pounced to clear with a break of 78.

The Scot stretched his lead to 8-5 with a 95, and although O'Sullivan stopped the rot by taking the next, visits of 42 and 30 were sufficient to carry Hendry over the line.

"That was as good as I've played in a long time," he said aftrewards.

This answers once and for all whether the new cue is any good and whether I'll play well with it
Stephen Hendry

"I knew I needed to play well because Ronnie has given me a few beatings in finals, and for 95% of the match I was on top form.

Critics had wondered if Hendry was destined to suffer a slow decline after losing the cue with which he won seven world titles in the 1990s.

But Hendry said he was delighted to have finally shattered those notions.

"I was capable of this sort of form with the old cue," he said.

"This answers once and for all whether the new cue is any good and whether I'll play well with it.

My natural reaction is to be negative but I'm trying to find the positives
Ronnie O'Sullivan

"To win the second tournament I've entered with it proves there's nothing wrong."

O'Sullivan remained upbeat in defeat.

"Stephen was on fire in the final session and there was nothing I could do," he said.

"My natural reaction is to be negative but I'm trying to find the positives.

"It's difficult when something hurts you so much, but I'll feel better in a couple of days."

O'Sullivan and Hendry enjpoyed a record-breaking start to the final, trading centuries in five successive frames in the opening session - a first in a major final.

Hendry made scores of 135 and 121 and O'Sullivan responded with 109, 106 and 100.



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