Jimmy White pulled off a remarkable fightback from 4-0 down to defeat Ken Doherty in a deciding frame and retain his World Seniors Championship title at The Crucible.
Six-time world finalist White looked destined for second prize at the sport’s spiritual home once again, but produced a stunning turnaround after the interval to deny Doherty.
White becomes the first player to successfully defend the World Seniors title and pockets the £25,000 winner’s cheque, as well as the £1,500 high break prize courtesy of his century in the Semis.
“Because I’m playing well, I knew at the interval if I could find some form and score, I had a chance,” said White.
“Ken let me off a couple of times and he should have won the fifth frame to win five-nil.
“I turned my phone off at the interval because I was a bit annoyed, I hadn’t played, but I knew if I started playing I had a chance.
“It’s a fantastic win, but I’m a bit gutted for Ken because I’ve been here, miles in front and got beaten, but he’ll be back.
“It builds my confidence up and makes me keep practicing – I’m absolutely shattered to be fair!”
The Whirlwind had begun the day by defeating his former nemesis Stephen Hendry 4-2 in the Semi-Finals with a high break of 130 along the way.
However, he struggled to find his range in the early stages of the final as Doherty took the opening frame before doubling his lead with a break of 93.
Doherty, the 1997 World Champion, extended his lead to 3-0 before adding a break of 56 to make it four without reply.
The interval appeared to revitalise White and halt Doherty’s momentum as the former UK Champion got off the mark in frame five.
Doherty then missed a black off the spot, allowing White in to reduce the deficit to 4-2, and after the Dubliner missed a match ball pink in frame six, White again stepped in to close the gap.
A break of 79 then saw White force a deciding frame, which he killed off in ruthless fashion with a break of 79 to seal the title.
A dejected Doherty admitted: “I wish it was only best of seven, it completely changed after the interval.
“I missed a good few chances early on and Jimmy played really well to come back.
“It’s a bit heartbreaking because it would have been nice to get my hands on that trophy, but that’s snooker, it can be very cruel at times.
“I got worse and Jimmy grew in confidence, it was a tale of two halves.
“Fair play to Jimmy for coming back, he kept fighting. I’ll have to lick my wounds and it’ll take me a bit of time to come back.”
White’s triumph also sees him clinch a place in November’s Champion of Champions alongside the likes of reigning Betfred World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan and world number one Judd Trump.
His victory over Hendry in the Semi-Finals was a first in 22 years at The Crucible, ending the Scot’s resurgent run.
Doherty sealed his spot in the final with a commanding 4-1 victory over fellow Irishman Michael Judge.
World Seniors Championship 2020 Results
Saturday August 22
Stephen Hendry 2-4 Jimmy White
Michael Judge 1-4 Ken Doherty
Jimmy White 5-4 Ken Doherty