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Last Updated: Sunday, 23 January, 2005, 22:18 GMT
O'Sullivan pips Hendry in classic
Ronnie O'Sullivan
Ronnie O'Sullivan fought back from 7-5 down to beat Stephen Hendry 9-8 in a thrilling Welsh Open final.

The world champion and world number one prevailed in a high-quality contest to retain his title against his old rival.

Breaks of 92 and 140 saw Hendry go 3-1 up but the pair were locked at 4-4 after the opening session.

The Scot moved 7-5 ahead but breaks of 75, 52 and 131 put O'Sullivan clear only for Hendry to force a decider. But a superb 67 gave O'Sullivan victory.

"It was a funny game," O'Sullivan said. "We both played alright in spells but the table didn't really help. There were a lot of kicks and a few bad bounces.

"Stephen started off really well and if he had carried on playing like that he probably would have beaten me.

"But for me he is still the greatest player that has played the game - he is a master."

Hendry also felt the table had prevented an even higher quality match, but repaid the compliment to O'Sullivan.

"His top game is better than anybody else but he missed a few balls which he wouldn't normally have missed.

"I went 7-5 up and then never potted a ball for three frames," he said.

"Ronnie stepped up a gear and it must be nice when one game is not working to fall back on a left-handed one like he's got. I wish I had a Plan B like that!

"He made a fantastic break in the last frame and deserved to win."


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