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  Tuesday, 7 May, 2002, 00:29 GMT 01:29 UK
Ebdon's road to greatness
Ebdon celebrates victory with his daughter
Ebdon gained revenge for defeat in the 1996 final

The fact that Peter Ebdon has won the world title has come as a bit of a shock to many within snooker.

The Wellinborough star was 33-1 before the championship - a price that sounds harsh on a player who started as the seventh seed.

The assistant editor of Snooker Scene, Dave Hendon, said he never thought that Ebdon had the capability to win "the big one".

"I've always thought that he takes too much out of himself mentally when it comes to snooker championships," said Hendon.

"He's only won four ranking titles in his career and has been pretty inconsistent.

"The only time he reached the semi-final stage of the World Championship, before this year, was when he got to the final back in 1996."

He's always been a bit of a loner
Phil Yates on Peter Ebdon

At that Championship he eventually succumbed to this year's runner-up, Stephen Hendry, 18-12.

Yet this year Ebdon had the mental strength to win final-frame deciders against Matthew Stevens in a 33-frame semi-final, and then Stephen Hendry in the final.

But Ebdon never doubted his own capabilities. He said after the semi-final that he was a far better player now than five years ago.

BBC Radio Five Live snooker commentator and journalist Phil Yates remembers the time Ebdon burst on to the scene.

"He's always been a bit of a loner," said Yates.

Young star

"He turned pro in 1991 when there was a big revolution in the game.

"Up until then there were 128 players on the circuit and qualification was very difficult and only a very small amount of people were coming through.

"Ebdon failed to get his professional ticket on a number of occasions.

"Then they opened the game up to all-comers who paid the entry fees to tournaments. As a result, Ebdon turned pro in the summer of 1991.

"He made an immediate impact and qualified for The Crucible at his first attempt. He beat Steve Davis in the first round and got to the quarter-finals."

It was a tight final all the way
Hendry and Ebdon produced a classic final

He earned the title of WPBSA Young Player of the Year on the back of that performance.

It seemed to spur the youngster on as in 1993 he picked up his first ranking title - the Grand Prix.

In 1995 he won Irish Masters and then picked up the Regal Masters the following year.

Hendry prevented Ebdon picking up snooker's two major titles during the 1995/1996 season - first in final of the UK Championship when Ebdon lost 10-3 and then at the World Championship.

New regime

After he won the Thailand Open in 1997, he endured a barren spell and dropped down from seventh to 13th in the rankings.

It was only last season that Ebdon bounced back to his best.

A win at the British Open was followed by victory in the Regal Scottish.

At this year's World Championship, Ebdon said that he was in better shape than ever.

A new fitness regime, involving swimming several miles a week and cutting down on carbohydrates and sugars was adopted as a way of helping him in longer matches.

The benefits of the new regime were not tested until Ebdon played Stevens in the semi-final.

And only when he had beaten the Welshman did people truly regard the 31-year old as a potential champion.

Finally, with the end in sight Ebdon mustered all his reserves of energy to climb the final hurdle and defeat seven-time champion Stephen Hendry.

Embassy final


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