2001 – Ronnie O’Sullivan bt Ken Doherty 10-1: O’Sullivan, who had already won two UK titles in 1993 and 1997, thrashed Irishman Doherty. The last eight frames saw Doherty accumulate just 43 points as his opponent ran riot with breaks of 72, 106, 72, 62, 59, 66 and 58.
2002 – Mark Williams bt Ken Doherty 10-9: Williams conceded just 10 frames en route to the final where he trailed 6-5 before reeling off four of the next five frames with runs of 119, 74 and 78. Back came Doherty to 9-9, but he went in-off trying to play safe early in the decider and Williams stayed ice cool under pressure with a match-winning break of 70.
2003 – Matthew Stevens bt Stephen Hendry 10-8: Stevens upset the form book to beat Hendry, who had coasted into a 4-0 lead. Stevens won five of the last six frames, potting the last pink to win in a tense finish.
2004 – Stephen Maguire bt David Gray 10-1: After knocking out Ronnie O’Sullivan in the first round Maguire lost just 11 frames in the remainder of a tournament which was littered with shocks. David Gray made a 147 early in the event but had no answer in the final as Maguire piled in breaks of 85, 57, 110, 131, 80 and 122.
2005 – Ding Junhui bt Steve Davis 10-6: Over the past two decades, few tournaments outside the World Championship have generated as much media coverage as this one as Davis captured the nation’s hearts with a stirring run to the final. The 48-year-old beat Stephen Maguire 9-8 with a performance he described as one of the best of his career, including a break of 145, then saw off old foes Ken Doherty and Stephen Hendry. From 3-3, teenager Ding took control by going 8-4 ahead, and eventually sealed victory.
2006 – Peter Ebdon bt Stephen Hendry 10-6: Most of the headlines went to Ronnie O’Sullivan for his astonishing walk-out midway through his quarter-final against Stephen Hendry, but the Scot didn’t mind as he went on to beat Graeme Dott in the semi-finals. But his hopes of a 37th world ranking title – which still eludes him – were dashed by resolute Ebdon who pulled away from 4-4 to triumph.