Matthew Stevens

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Matthew Stevens
Matthew Stevens
birthday 11th September 1977 (age 42)
place of birth Carmarthen
nationality WalesFlag of Wales (1959 – present) .svg Wales
Nickname (s) The Welsh Dragon
professional since 1994
Prize money £ 2,650,655 (As of August 27, 2020)
Highest break 147 (1 ×)
Century Breaks 322 (as of August 27, 2020)
Main tour successes
World championships -
Ranking tournament victories 1
Minor tournament victories -
World rankings
Highest WRL place 4 ( 05/06 )
Current WRL location 33 (as of August 17, 2020)

Matthew Stevens (born September 11, 1977 in Carmarthen , Great Britain ) is a Welsh professional snooker . With the Masters (2000) and the UK Championship (2003), he won two of the three most important titles in snooker in his career, and he is also a two-time vice world champion (2000, 2005 ).

Stevens has played on the Snooker Main Tour since 1994 . In 1999 he moved up to the top 16 of the world rankings for the first time, and in 2005 he achieved his best position to date with position 4. For the 2011/12 season he returned to the group of the 16 best players in the world after four years.


Matthew Stevens became interested in snooker after watching the 1985 World Cup final between Dennis Taylor and Steve Davis . At the age of ten he joined the snooker club of former Welsh world champion Terry Griffiths . According to the words of his father Morrell, who accompanied his son to all junior tournaments, he should never have had a coach. At the age of eleven, Stevens made the first Century Break and won his first junior title. In 1994, at the age of 16, he left school without a degree to become a professional snooker player.

The first professional years (1994–1997)

In his first season on the Main Tour, Stevens did not qualify at any ranked tournament. However, he was able to advance to the semi-finals at the Benson & Hedges Championship - at that time a qualifying tournament for the most important invitation tournament, the Masters . He finished the season at position 236 in the world snooker rankings .

In 1995/96 Stevens recorded his first success on the Main Tour by reaching the round of 16 at the Grand Prix , where he was defeated by the six-time world champion Steve Davis. As in the previous year, things went well for him at the Benson & Hedges Championship: this time he even won the tournament with a 9-3 final victory over Paul McPhillips and thus earned a wildcard for the Masters 1996. There he was eliminated in the round of 16 against Alan McManus but made a leap forward to 67th place in the world rankings.

In the 1996/97 season he reached the round of 32 in two tournaments: at the Grand Prix he failed to Mark King and at the European Open to Jimmy White . At the World Cup he made it to the round of the last 48, where he was eliminated by Andy Hicks - there was only one round missing to the main tournament.

Rise to the top of the world (1997-2000)

Stevens had his breakthrough in the 1997/98 season . At the Grand Prix he was only defeated in the semi-finals by John Higgins in the decisive frame. Also at the UK Championship he reached the semifinals, where the end against series world champion (1990s) Stephen Hendry came. At the end of the season, Stevens made his debut at the Crucible Theater in Sheffield , where he advanced to the World Cup quarter-finals, but was defeated by defending champion Ken Doherty . Stevens was consequently voted Young Player of the Year by the World Snooker Association and moved up to 26th place in the ranking.

In 1998/99 Stevens was able to surpass his previous year's success: At the UK Championship he made it into the final of a ranking tournament for the first time, but there he was defeated by the reigning world champion John Higgins with 6:10. With Wales Stevens took part in the Nations Cup , where he contributed to the final victory over Scotland victories over Alan McManus and Stephen Hendry. At the World Cup he repeated his quarter-finals from the previous year, this time he lost to Hendry. At the end of the season Stevens was in 9th place and thus in the top 16 of the world rankings, which meant automatic qualification for the main rounds of all future tournaments of the Main Tour.

The 1999/00 season turned out to be his most successful for the time being: twenty wins in ranked tournaments were compared to only nine defeats. First he won the title at the Scottish Masters invitation tournament , in the final he defeated John Higgins 9: 7. At the UK Championship he reached the final for the second time in a row, this time he was defeated by Mark Williams 8:10. At the beginning of 2000 he took part in the Masters again after four years. Here he achieved his greatest success so far when he defeated Ken Doherty in the final 10: 8. At the end of the season, after defeating Tony Drago , Alan McManus, Jimmy White and Joe Swail in the previous rounds, Stevens reached the final of the World Championship for the first time, where he again faced Mark Williams. Stevens lost 16:18, although after the first of the two final days he had created a lead of four frames. In the world rankings Stevens rose to position 6 and was now considered a top player in the coming years.

Moderate successes (2000-2003)

But then his successes diminished in the following three seasons: 2000/01 the UK Championship was already over for him in the round of 16 against Fergal O'Brien . At the beginning of 2001 his father Morrell died, who had looked after him at all tournaments until the end. Matthew later stated that this loss had set him back athletically and that his lifestyle was not always professional afterwards. His best result was reaching the World Cup semi-final against John Higgins, to which he was defeated by 15:17 despite a 13:11 lead.

Even 2001/02 hardly went better again he could not reach a ranking final. The UK Championship ended against Ken Doherty in the quarter-finals, at the Thailand Masters against Stephen Lee in the semi-finals. Stevens took part in the Premier League snooker for the first time , but missed the place there for another season. As in the previous year, he reached the semi-finals of the World Cup, his third semifinals in a row at this tournament. Here the future champion Peter Ebdon stopped him , Stevens was only one frame away from the final at 16:14.

The 2002/03 season marked a temporary low point in his career. In both the UK Championship and the World Cup, he was eliminated in the round of 16 when he lost to Robert Milkins and Paul Hunter, respectively . At the Irish Masters he made it to the quarterfinals, which he lost to Ronnie O'Sullivan . Stevens posted a negative season balance for the first time (seven wins out of eight defeats) and fell back to 9th place in the world rankings.

Return to the top of the world (2003-2005)

2003/04 he first reached the semi-finals of the British Open , where he failed to Stephen Hendry. At the UK Championship 2003 he reached the final for the third time after victories over Gerard Greene , James Wattana , Paul Hunter and Jimmy White, where he met Stephen Hendry again. Although Stevens was already 4-0 behind at the beginning, he still decided the match 10-8 for himself. In his fourth final he won his first and so far only victory in a ranking tournament. He then explained that the public's expectations of finally winning a title had weighed on him in previous years. Stevens dedicated the victory to his late father. At the World Cup he reached the semi-finals one more time, where he was narrowly defeated by Graeme Dott .

It was noticeable negatively that he received a series of first round defeats in smaller tournaments over the distance Best of 9 from January 2004. He also failed to defend his title at the UK Championship when he lost to Barry Pinches in the opening match . It was not until the Malta Cup that Stevens ended his black series in 2005, he made it to the semi-finals against Stephen Hendry. Following this, Stevens reached the final of the Irish Masters, which he lost 8:10 to the reigning world champion and world number one Ronnie O'Sullivan. At the end of the season, Stevens was after victories over Andy Hicks, Jimmy White, Stephen Hendry and Ian McCulloch for the second time in the World Cup finals (he was five times in six years in the semifinals). In the final against the qualifier Shaun Murphy , he was considered a favorite. Like five years earlier, Stevens lost the final 16:18 - and again after a four frame advantage overnight. This has only happened three times in the history of the World Cup. Despite the defeat, Stevens achieved the best world ranking of his career with position 4. After the final defeat, he declared that he would still win the world championship by the end of his career.

Athletic descent (2005-2010)

In 2005/06 he won two invitation tournaments, the Northern Ireland Trophy (9: 7 final victory over Stephen Hendry) and the Pot Black Cup (final frame against Shaun Murphy). In ranked tournaments, however, Stevens did not get beyond the round of 16, including at the World Cup, where he failed to Ken Doherty. During the entire season he had only two wins in ranking tournaments, the worst result of his career. Before the World Cup, Stevens complained that the ranking list this season would be a lottery as only six tournaments were played.

In 2006/07 , his place in the top 16 was threatened after the weak preseason. Although he received fewer first round defeats, Stevens did not achieve an outstanding result either. Apart from reaching the World Cup quarter-finals, when he could have avoided slipping by moving into the semi-finals. However, he was defeated by Shaun Murphy with 12:13 despite a 12: 7 lead. After eight years, Stevens dropped out of the top 16 and was henceforth forced to participate in qualifying tournaments.

Also in 2007/08 Stevens recorded as the best result only a quarter-finals when he was eliminated from Ryan Day at the Shanghai Masters . In the round of 16 against Stephen Maguire he was able to turn a 4-0 deficit in a match best of 9 for the first time .

The 2008/09 season was changeable for Stevens. On the one hand he reached a final in the absence of some top players at the Bahrain Championship, which was held for the first time in over three years, in which he was defeated 7: 9 to Neil Robertson . On the other hand, there were four first round defeats, including in qualifying for the World Cup, so that Stevens was not allowed to play in the Crucible Theater for the first time since 1997. He dropped to 26th in the ranking, his worst position since 1998.

His best results in the 2009/10 season were moving into the round of 16 at the Shanghai Masters and the Welsh Open , where he failed to Ryan Day and Mark Allen . Stevens was just about to return to the top 16 during the season, but failed to qualify for the last two tournaments of the season, the China Open and the World Cup.

Resurgence (since 2010)

In 2010/11 , Stevens played his best season since the second lost World Cup final in 2005: At the Shanghai Masters and the Welsh Open, he made it to the quarter-finals, where he was eliminated by the eventual winner ( Ali Carter and John Higgins). In none of the five previous seasons had Stevens reached the round of eight in more than one tournament. In addition, he survived his opening match at all seven ranked tournaments, which he last succeeded in 2001. In addition, for the first time since 2005, he recorded more than ten wins in one season. The newly established tournament series of the Players Tour Championship (PTC) is said to have been responsible for its regained strength , as it provided more match practice than in previous years. He qualified as 22nd of 24 players just barely for the final tournament of the PTC, but reached the semifinals there, where he was defeated by Shaun Murphy. In the Championship League final , he met Murphy again and this time won 3-1. With the victory in this tournament series Stevens secured his ticket for the Premier League 2011. For the World Cup he qualified against Fergal O'Brien only on the last black ball in the last frame. In the first main round, however, Stevens lost to Mark Allen, and with a four frames lead he was missing just one more frame to win. Nevertheless, he climbed to number 14 in the world rankings and thus managed to return to the top 16 after a four-year break.

Game style and balance sheets


Like most modern top players, Stevens pursues an offensive tactic, trying to win a frame with a few high breaks . The basis for this is his good match and position play. In his seventh year as a professional, he achieved his hundredth century break . Only Ronnie O'Sullivan  (5 seasons), Ding Junhui  (5), Stephen Hendry  (6), John Higgins  (6) and Judd Trump  (6) managed to do this in an even shorter time. In his 17th season, Stevens played his 200th Century Break; thus he belongs to the 20 players with the most achieved Centuries. In December 2011 Stevens finally managed the first maximum break of his career at the FFB Snooker Open . During his breaks he avoids the auxiliary cue whenever possible and prefers to play with the left as a right-hander.

Mental condition

The media and competitors agree that Stevens' greatest weakness is his psyche. Under stress, Stevens could not keep his concentration at a high level as well as other top players. Both in the two lost World Cup finals in 2000 and 2005 and in his quarter-final defeat in 2007, he gambled away a high lead. Shaun Murphy , who beat him in 2005 and 2007, said of Stevens it was no secret that Stevens didn't like being in the lead.

World Championship and UK Championship

On the other hand, Stevens recorded his greatest successes at the World Cup and the UK Championship , i.e. in tournaments in which many frames have to be won from the first round. At the World Championships 2000-2005 he reached the finals twice and was only eliminated three times in the semifinals. In the modern era (since 1969), Stevens is the only player alongside Eddie Charlton and Jimmy White to have reached the final more than once without ever winning the title. However, White suffered six defeats in the final. At the UK Championship, Stevens won once (2003) and made it to the final two more times (1998, 1999). However, he has not made it past the round of 16 since winning the tournament.

Smaller ranked tournaments

In contrast, Stevens is less active in smaller ranked tournaments at this level: During his successful time (1997-2007) he reached at least 13 quarter-finals in 20 participations in the two major tournaments. In the smaller tournaments, however, he needed a total of 60 appearances for 13 quarter-finals. If only a few frames were required to win, Stevens was regularly eliminated even against lesser-known players before he could find his rhythm. As a result, he usually receives several first round defeats in each season, for which only half as many ranking points are distributed. His best results in smaller tournaments were the finals of the Irish Masters 2005 and the Bahrain Championship 2008.


Stevens has an unusual record at the Masters : He won this prestigious invitation tournament when he participated for the second time in 2000. Since then, he has lost his opening match in seven other main round appearances - five times in the last frame.


Matthew Stevens is from Carmarthen in south west Wales . In this region, Welsh is predominantly spoken, which he also speaks. His nickname, The Welsh Dragon , also refers to his attachment to his Welsh homeland.

His father Morrell accompanied the son to all tournaments, even after he had become a professional. Matthew's sporting achievements, he admitted, suffered for a long time after his father's death in early 2001. From 2009 to 2015 Matthew Stevens was married to longtime partner Claire. Together they have two sons, Freddie (* 2004) and Oliver (* 2008). 2015 was a difficult family year for Matthew Stevens. So he had to file for personal bankruptcy and around the same time his marriage to Claire was divorced.

Stevens was friends with snooker player Paul Hunter , who died in 2006 , and was one of the pallbearers at his funeral. In addition to snooker, Stevens also plays poker . In 2004 he won the UK's highest-endowed poker tournament, the UK Poker Open, at $ 500,000  .


Final participation

date format output competition opponent Frames venue season
Nov 14, 1995 invitation victory Masters qualifying event ScotlandScotland Paul McPhillips 9: 3 Edinburgh 1995/96
Nov 29, 1998 Ranking list defeat UK Championship ScotlandScotland John Higgins 06:10 Bournemouth 1998/99
Oct 3, 1999 invitation victory Scottish Masters ScotlandScotland John Higgins 9: 7 Motherwell 1999/00
Nov 28, 1999 Ranking list defeat UK Championship WalesFlag of Wales (1959 – present) .svg Mark Williams 08:10 Bournemouth 1999/00
Feb 13, 2000 invitation victory Masters IrelandIreland Ken Doherty 10: 80 London 1999/00
May 1, 2000 Ranking list defeat World Championship WalesFlag of Wales (1959 – present) .svg Mark Williams 16:18 Sheffield 1999/00
Nov 30, 2003 Ranking list victory UK Championship ScotlandScotland Stephen Hendry 10: 80 York 2003/04
March 13, 2005 Ranking list defeat Irish Masters EnglandEngland Ronnie O'Sullivan 08:10 Dublin 2004/05
May 2, 2005 Ranking list defeat World Championship EnglandEngland Shaun Murphy 16:18 Sheffield 2004/05
Aug 21, 2005 invitation victory Northern Ireland Trophy ScotlandScotland Stephen Hendry 9: 7 Belfast 2005/06
Oct 29, 2005 invitation victory Pot Black Cup EnglandEngland Shaun Murphy 1-0 Sheffield 2005/06
Nov 15, 2008 Ranking list defeat Bahrain Championship AustraliaAustralia Neil Robertson 7: 9 Manama 2008/09
March 24, 2011 invitation victory Championship League EnglandEngland Shaun Murphy 3: 1 Essex 2010/11
March 3, 2013 Ranking list defeat Haikou World Open Northern IrelandNorthern Ireland Mark Allen 04:10 Haikou 2012/13


Current ranking tournaments
Australian Open 32
Shanghai Masters VF VF 16 32 VF
World Open 1st 32 32 48 G 16 64 64 VF 32 16 16 32 64 HF 32 16 N / A
UK Championship 16 32 32 16 48 16 32 32 S. 16 VF 16 F. F. HF N / A 32 N / A
German Masters 2 32 N / A N / A N / A
Welsh Open VF 16 32 48 32 16 32 32 32 16 32 VF 16 64 N / A 64 N / A
China Open 32 48 48 32 16 32 32 32 VF 16 16
World Championship 32 48 48 32 VF 16 F. HF 16 HF HF F. VF VF 48 N / A N / A
Former ranking tournaments
Northern Ireland Trophy 48 48 16
Bahrain Championship F.
Malta Cup 32 32 HF
British Open 32 HF 16 32 16 64 64 32 N / A 64 N / A
Irish Masters F. 32 VF
Scottish Open 3 32 16 32 VF VF 16 64 N / A N / A N / A
European Open 32 16 16 32 N / A N / A
Thailand Masters 4 HF VF VF 32 N / A N / A N / A N / A
Malta Grand Prix 16
Irish Open 48
Dubai Classic 5 N / A W. N / A
Other tournaments
Masters DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 S. DNQ DNQ DNQ 16 DNQ
PTC Finals HF
Season balance 6
Victories 3 11 6th 8th 8th 9 2 11 13 7th 11 12 20th 15th N / A N / A N / A N / A
Defeats 3 7th 6th 8th 8th 8th 6th 8th 7th 8th 9 8th 9 9 N / A N / A N / A N / A
Victory rate in percent 50 61 50 50 50 53 25th 58 65 47 55 60 69 63 N / A N / A N / A N / A
Ranking position 7 14th 25th 26th 17th 20th 14th 4th 6th 9 8th 6th 6th 9 26th 53 67 236 -

Tournament names:

  • 1 World Open: Grand Prix (until 2000/01, 2004 / 05–2009 / 10), LG Cup (2001 / 02–2003 / 04)
  • 2 German Masters: German Open (1995 / 96–1997 / 98)
  • 3 Scottish Open: International Open (1994 / 95–1996 / 97), Players Championship (2003/04)
  • 4 Thailand Masters: Thailand Open (1994 / 95–1996 / 97)
  • 5 Dubai Classic: Thailand Classic (1995/96), Asian Classic (1996/97)


  • S = winner of the tournament
  • F = finalist
  • HF = semi-finalist
  • VF = quarter finalist
  • 16 = Eliminated in the round of the last 16
  • W = Eliminated in the wildcard round
  • G = Eliminated in the group stage
  • DNQ = Not Qualified
  • N / A = information unknown
  • Green numbers stand for a first round defeat (half ranking list points)

Ranking list:

  • 6 The season balance only takes into account ranked tournaments (without minor rankings )
  • 7 Ranking list position at the beginning of the season
  •  4  = place in the top 16 (automatic qualification for all tournaments)


Web links

Commons : Matthew Stevens  - Collection of Images, Videos and Audio Files

Individual evidence

  1. Snooker Info - 100+ Centuries (as of July 3, 2018)
  2. a b Stevens leads charge of Crucible's young brigade - Report on The Independent about the 2000 World Cup
  3. a b c Matthew Stevens - Biography ( Memento from March 13, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  4. BBC profile for the UK Championship 2000
  5. a b Report on after the UK Championship 2003
  6. ^ Guardian report after the UK Championship 2003
  7. BBC report on the 2001 World Cup
  8. BBC report on the UK Championship 2003
  9. ^ BBC report on the 2004 World Cup
  10. BBC -Vorbericht for the World Cup 2005
  11. ^ BBC interview on the lost 2005 World Cup final
  12. BBC report on the Shanghai Masters 2007 ( Memento from February 21, 2013 in the web archive )
  13. ^ Report on the 2006 World Cup on
  14. Snooker Scene Blog about the PTC Finals 2011
  15. Century Breaks according to Chris Turner's Snooker Archive ( Memento from February 10, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) (Status: October 23, 2011)
  16. Article on Stevens' mental weakness on
  17. ^ Murphy back from the brink to beat Stevens , RTÉ Sport, June 14, 2007
  18. BBC report on the UK Championship 2004
  19. a b Tournament results since 1994/95 on (as of February 23, 2011)
  20. Player profile on (as of January 17, 2019)
  21. Report on The Independent about the UK Championship 1997
  22. BBC report on Paul Hunter's funeral
  23. BBC report on Stevens' poker win