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Monday, 6 February 2017

Hamilton the German Master

After 26 years on the circuit and at the ripe old age of 45,Anthony Hamilton is finally a ranking event winner,after fighting back to beat Ali Carter 9-6 to lift the 2017 German Masters title in front of a pack house at the Tempodrom in Berlin last night.

Long since been regarded by everyone in the game as the best player never to have won a ranking title,Hamilton must have surely felt at this stage of his career that his chance of doing so may have gone,but in an era of the game where it seems 40 is the new 20,he finally shook that monkey off his back,to win this in style..

Its worth bearing in mind at this stage also that only a year ago it looked as though Hamilton may well fall off the tour ,but a couple of wins in the Gdynia Open saw  him stay on by the skin if his teeth.

From there this season the signs of an upturn in form were there,with a quarter final in the English Open and and unlucky semi final defeat to Hawkins in the Northern Ireland Open.This week that form continued with fine wins over Williams,Selby & Bingham on his way to the final.

In the final itself it seemed early on as if that hard fought semi final victory had taken its toll on him as he trailed 3-0 & 5-2,but crucially he took the last of the afternoon session to trail 5-3 going into the night.

From here he turned on the style,producing the kind of break building that has always been talked about in the game of been his norm in practice to win five in a row to stand on the brink at 8-5.Carter to his credit dug in to take the next,but Hamilton for once wasn't going to denied,as he closed out the win in the next to seal a famous 9-6 win.

I'm not sure looking at him,as the packed Tempodrom rose to salute their new champion,that the enormity of what he had just achieved had fully sunk in,but as his parents,who had come to Berlin for a spot of sight seeing,came down to congratulate him it gave us one of those moments that brings a lump to the throat of all sports fans.

Of course immediately on Twitter last night the discussion  turned to the question of who is now the best player not to have won a ranking event.The fact that until last night the answer would have unanimously been Hamilton,shows just what a wrong has been righted here. Well done The Sheriff of Pottingham. 



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