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  Tuesday, 7 May, 2002, 01:14 GMT 02:14 UK
Ebdon realises Crucible dream
Ebdon holds the trophy aloft
Ebdon dedicated the win to his late grandfather

New world champion Peter Ebdon admitted he felt he was on a "different planet" as he won a thrilling final at The Crucible.

Ebdon held on in a tense deciding frame to beat Stephen Hendry and win a match that finished at past midnight.

He could have clinched the title in the 34th frame - but missed a straight black, before regaining his composure in the last frame to win 18-17.

"I always believed I could be world champion, but it's something different to go and actually do it," said the 31-year-old.

"But I have to admit that I was on a different planet in the final and the last couple of matches have been like a dream.

"It's almost as if it was not me and that I was looking in and not been there. It was very strange."

Ebdon was at one stage 11-6 up on the seven-time champion, but Hendry won six frames in the third session to haul back his opponent.

"Stephen produced awesome snooker to do what he did," added Ebdon.

"I thought he would take his chances that went his way in the final session.

"Stephen's been a magnificent ambassador for the sport.


It's just like a dream
Peter Ebdon

"Players like Ronnie O'Sullivan, John Higgins and Mark Williams wouldn't be playing the standard they are playing now if it wasn't for Hendry.

"He's an awesome match player."

Ebdon also said that he felt his new fitness regime had played a part in his success - evident when he overcame Matthew Stevens 17-16 in the semi-final.

"It's just like a dream," he added.

Ebdon's tribute

"I felt fine after the Stevens match, but that was because I've worked really hard physically.

"In the last six weeks I've lost the best part of two stone. I've cut down on carbohydrates and have been swimming a half mile per day and eating fish for breakfast."

He then paid tribute to his late grandfather.


I honestly didn't think I would lose
Stephen Hendry

"I know how much it means to the family. For 12 years I've kept a bottle of whisky which I bought for my grandfather after I won the world junior championship in 1990," he said.

"Unfortunately he died before I turned professional.

"We promised we wouldn't open the bottle again until I won the world title. Now we can open that in my grandad's memory."

Hendry was inconsolable after missing out on his eighth title.

He referred to his misses in the final frame.

"I honestly didn't think I would lose," said the Scotsman.

"I was confident, maybe a little too confident. I had three good chances to win it and if you don't take them then you don't deserve to win it.

"Peter won and that was the end of it.

"You have to give credit to Peter. He missed a black to win the match. But then he came back in the next frame and made a great break.

"How much does it hurt? How long is a piece of string?"

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Snooker action
Watch Ebdon clinch the world title
World Champion Peter Ebdon
"I've worked really hard for this"
Peter Ebdon
"I'd love to be world number one"

Embassy final

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