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Last Updated: Monday, 2 May, 2005, 23:31 GMT 00:31 UK
Stevens pays tribute to champion
By Saj Chowdhury
BBC Sport at The Crucible

Matthew Stevens
He's got a fantastic future
Stevens on Murphy
Crucible runner-up Matthew Stevens said new snooker world champion Shaun Murphy has a bright future ahead of him.

"It's fantastic for Shaun. The first ranking tournament he's won is the World Championship," said Stevens.

"He's only 22, plays the game really fast and hits the ball hard. He's got a fantastic future.

"I came here to win but I didn't do that. I'll be back. I will win the World Snooker Championship before my career ends."

Stevens, who was runner-up to Mark Williams in 2000, was not too disappointed despite losing two world finals out of two.

"The first few frames were just scrappy, but the final session was cracking. We both scored heavily," added the Welshman.

"When I was 10-6, I had a few chances. But I'm pleased how I played. All credit to Shaun he showed a lot of maturity."

"I'll keep my chin up, do hard work, then come back next year and hopefully win it." .

Stevens has also lost three semi-finals at the Crucible and he said in future he would continue to use his success at the tournament to his advantage.

"People ask me if I was thinking of the 2000 final with the way things panned out but that was not the case and I felt really good out there in the arena," said Stevens.

"I've got a good record at the Crucible and I keep coming close, but the fact I haven't won it doesn't gnaw away at me.

"I am only 27. I've got plenty of time. I've had a couple of good weeks after a disappointing few results at the start of the season.

"I keep coming so near and one day I will be world champion."

Interview: Runner-up Matthew Stevens

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