• Haikou World Open

Allen defends Haikou World Open title

ESPN staff
March 3, 2013
Mark Allen was a comfortable winner against Matthew Stevens © Getty Images

Mark Allen made a successful defence of his Haikou World Open title on Sunday, beating Matthew Stevens 10-4 in the final.

Allen has had a chequered past at the event, receiving a fine last year when he tweeted criticism of the area on his personal Twitter account.

"Journey a nightmare. People are ignorant. Place stinks. Arena's rubbish, tables poor, food is horrendous. Other than that I love China," he said at the time, before later toning things down by saying: "Might've been a bit harsh a few hours ago in my tweet. Not all Chinese people are ignorant. I stand by everything else though."

Allen displayed blistering form throughout his return to Hainan Island, thrashing John Higgins in the semi-finals before comfortably disposing of Stevens in the tournament showpiece.

All four of the opening frames went to the Northern Irishman, who chalked up scores of 52, 93 and 58 ahead of the mid-session interval. Stevens had his chances, but continuously allowed his rival to steal in and snatch the advantage.

There was a mini-revival for Stevens when he returned from the break to halve the deficit at 4-2, notching his first century of the tournament with a well-constructed 112.

But he was quickly looking once again at a four-frame deficit when Allen took the next two, amassing 100 en route to a 6-2 lead. Stevens snatched one back to leave the players heading into the second session at 6-3, but he was always chasing the champion.

When play resumed Allen won a safety battle to extend his lead before Stevens pegged him back to 7-4 with another 100 break. However, two more fine exhibitions of Allen's safety play swept him to 9-4, before a long red sent him on the path to the £85,000 winner's cheque.

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