Nigel Bond at the 2012 Paul Hunter Classic.
15 November 1965 |
Darley Dale, Derbyshire
|Highest ranking||5 (96/97)|
|53 (as of 9 March 2014)|
|Highest break||140 (2004 Grand Prix qualifiers)|
|Competitor for United Kingdom|
Nigel Bond (born 15 November 1965) is an English professional snooker player. He was ranked within the top 16 from 1992 to 1999. After a season outside the top 32, he regained his place there. At 43 years old, he was the second-oldest player (behind Steve Davis) in the 2008/2009 rankings top 32. He is a former British Open champion, and World Championship finalist; in 2009 he won the World Games title. He is noted as one of the best users of the swan neck rest. A solid breakbuilder, Bond has compiled 106 centuries so far in his career, making him one of a select number of players to have compiled a century of centuries.
After a strong amateur career, Bond turned professional for the 1989–1990 season. He reached his first ranking semi-final in his first season, and his first final in his second season, but his career peaked in the mid-1990s. In the 1994 World Championships, Bond pulled off one of the biggest comebacks in the event's history, rallying from 9–2 to defeat Cliff Thorburn 10–9 in what would be Thorburn's final appearance at the Crucible. A year later, Bond reached the final, but lost to Stephen Hendry 18–9. This was his only semi-final run of the season. As a consequence of reaching the final, he climbed to number 5 in the world rankings for 1996/97, and in that same season he acquired his only ranking tournament victory (after three previous losing finals), the British Open, beating John Higgins 9–8 after needing a snooker in the final frame, winning the World Snooker Association Performance of the Year award for this achievement, although he has failed to maintain this level of performance. He reached at least the quarter finals at the Crucible Theatre every year from 1993 to 1996, losing to Stephen Hendry every time, which added extra spice to their first round match in 2006. After leading comfortably throughout the match Bond was pegged back to 7–7, and the match went to a final frame. With only the black remaining, and 7 points up, Bond clipped it into the left corner pocket, only for the cue ball to go in-off in the right middle pocket, resulting in a respotted black (the first one ever to decide the final frame of a World Championship match), which Bond potted to take frame and match. Final score 10–9, Bond's first win at the Crucible since 1999, and his only last-16 run of that season.
By the end of the 1990s, Bond was out of the top 16, and dropped out of the top 32 for the 2004–2005 season. However, he reclaimed his place a year later, and he has remained there ever since as of 2009. In the 2007 World Championship he lost in the first round, 10–7 to Peter Ebdon.
A run to the last 16 of the 2007 UK Championships, in which he came from 5–7 to win 9–7 against Ken Doherty in the last 32 before losing 9–6 to Ding Junhui in the last 16, was a precursor to his first quarter-final run for 5 years, at the China Open. Victories over David Roe, Stephen Lee and Barry Pinches took him to a meeting with Stephen Maguire, which he lost 5–0.
He opened the 2008/09 season with first-round defeats in the first five tournaments, but victory over Ebdon in the first round of the World Championship ensured that he didn't lose his top 32 status.
On 30 January 2011, Bond won the Snooker Shoot-Out event. This involved the top 64 players in the world playing 10 minute matches decided on a single frame. He picked up the £32,000 prize money as well as the Snooker Shoot-Out trophy, beating Robert Milkins 58–24 in the final.
Bond started the 2011/2012 season very well by qualifying for the first two ranking event tournaments, the Australian Goldfields Open and the Shanghai Masters. He lost to Neil Robertson and Mark Selby respectively in the first round. He also qualified for the World Open, but was defeated by amateur player Lu Ning in the wildcard round. Bond finished the season ranked world number 45.
Bond once again qualified for the Australian Goldfields Open in the 2012/2013 season, but lost to Neil Robertson 1–5 in the last 32. In December, he reached the World Open in Haikou, China, with wins over Jimmy White and Jamie Burnett. At the venue he saw off Zhu Yinghui 5–3 in the wildcard round and received a bye through to the last 16 due to the withdrawal of Ali Carter. There he lost 1–5 to Judd Trump. Bond was also crowned World Seniors champion during the season without dropping a frame in a total of seven matches, concluding with a 2–0 victory against Tony Chappel in the final. Bond's season ended when he was beaten 8–10 by Alan McManus in the third round of World Championship Qualifying. He dropped a solitary place during the year to end it ranked world number 46.
Ranking event finals: 5 (1 title, 4 runner-ups)
Non-ranking wins:(5 titles)
Other format wins:(1 title)