By Saj Chowdhury
at the Crucible theatre
Graeme Dott could not hide his joy after winning his first ranking event, the World Championship, following an 18-14 victory over Peter Ebdon.
The stars shine bright for Graeme Dott
The 28-year-old who led 11-5 and 15-7, was pegged back to 15-13, before finally securing the Crucible crown in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
The Scot revealed winning the 31st frame to go 17-14 up was the turning point for him.
"I felt everything was going right for me when I was ahead 15-7. It couldn't have gone much better," said the Glaswegian.
"But then I played a careless shot in the second frame of the final session and it all started to go wrong from then on.
"When it went 15-11 I felt that I couldn't even make 30. I went for breaks to wash my face and do anything I could to wake myself up.
"Then somehow, with the scores at 16-14, I cleared up and made a 68 and finally began to believe again. I'd like to see that break again because it was my best ever."
Dott added that playing four long sessions in two days affected him.
"We played past midnight on Sunday and played past midnight on Monday. It was the hardest experience for me mentally. I was exhausted," he said.
"A day's rest would have been nice or they could have changed the session times."
The diminutive player said he was also glad to have broken his duck of not having won a ranking title.
"I've reached four finals before this and each time I've come across the world's best player," added Dott.
"I played Stephen Hendry twice, John Higgins once and then Ronnie O'Sullivan in the 2004 final.
"This time I played Peter. He's a great player but at the start of the event he wasn't the favourite to win it."
Ebdon admitted he had lost a war of attrition against Dott, saying: "Graeme played some outstanding safety, made things very scrappy.
"He is very good at that and is a real tough player to beat and deserves to be world champion. The clearance under pressure at 17-14 was absolute class.
"I just left myself a bit too much to do. I had a really bad day on Sunday - it was embarrassing for me and I really struggled.
"The run of the balls got to me. They were relentless against me, but that's
"That's not taking anything away from Graeme whatsoever, he played real
hard match snooker."