At the Palace … day 2

Two more predictions proved right yesterday as Ryan Day duly beat Ding Junhui, from 3-0 down, and Judd Trump survived a spirited fight back from Liang Wenbo.

Masters2017L16RyanDayWinner

Report on Worldsnooker

Ryan Day’s first ever match at Alexandra Palace finished in jubilation as he came from 3-0 down to beat Ding Junhui 6-4 in the first round of the Dafabet Masters.

Day had not previously played in snooker’s biggest invitation event since 2010, two years before it moved to its current venue. He has climbed back into the top 16 this season, winning his first ranking title at the Riga Masters and reaching the semi-finals of the UK Championship.

And after a slow start the Welshman showed fine form today as he knocked out fourth seed Ding, who won this title in 2011. Day goes through to a quarter-final clash with John Higgins or Anthony McGill on Friday evening.

China’s Ding dominated the early stages and made breaks of 111 and 58 in taking the first three frames. Back came Day with 79, 125 and 105 as he recovered to 3-3. Frame seven came down to a safety battle on the last red, and Ding failed to escape from a snooker, which allowed his opponent to clear and take the lead.

In the eighth, Ding was on a break of 62 when he accidentally touched the blue when using the rest, trying to pot the third-last red. Day took advantage with a 41 clearance to lead 5-3. Ding pulled one back with a run of 100 but Day responded in kind with a 115, the fifth century of the match, to seal victory.

“At 3-0 I didn’t feel as though I had done a great deal wrong,” said 15th seed Day. “I needed to keep calm and be patient. To win the fourth frame in one visit and to get to the interval on a high was key.

“As long as you stay calm and don’t lose your focus then the match can turn quite quickly. It was a great atmosphere, it was a full house. It’s a great place to play snooker.

“It’s going be a tough game in the quarter-finals but I’m looking forward to it. You just play the table in front of you and hope that your form comes out. To play in a great arena like this with one table is what we practise for.”

Ding said: “Ryan played great, I missed a couple of pots and he came back like Superman. I got a few chances at 3-3 and 4-3 but little bits of luck went against me.”

Although there were five centuries in this match, the standard wasn’t that great. As Neil Robertson observed whilst commenting from the ES studio, there were loads of mistakes – quite elementary mistakes at their level – from both players during the fist minutes of nearly every frame. Ryan Day, who used to be vulnerable to pressure in the past, deserves every credit for the way he held himself together and patiently waited for his form to come out. But Ding fans must be very worried. In my opinion he really could do with someone like Steve Peters.

Masters2017L16TrumpWinner

Report on Worlsnooker

Judd Trump caught the eye with his performance and his outfit as he beat Liang Wenbo 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals of the Dafabet Masters.

Sporting a new striped Christian Dior shirt, Trump looked the part as he fired five breaks over 50 in an impressive win over China’s Liang. World number three Trump goes through to face Shaun Murphy or Ali Carter on Friday afternoon (tickets for that session still available, for details click here).

Now making his eighth Masters appearance, Trump has never reached the final and will hope for a deep run this week at Alexandra Palace.

He took the opening frame today with a 50 clearance. Liang potted ten reds with blacks in frame two and although his 147 hopes ended when he missed a tough 11th red, his run of 80 was enough to make it 1-1.

Bristol’s Trump then pulled away as breaks of 83, 72 and 58 helped him build a 5-1 lead. Liang threatened a fight-back as runs of 58, 139 – the new front runner for the £10,000 high break prize – and 116 saw him close to 5-4.

Liang had a scoring chance early in frame ten, but missed a risky pot on the green to a baulk corner, and Trump punished him with a match-winning 85.

“I thought Liang was negative early in the match, he was over-thinking everything,” said Trump, whose best moment so far this season came with victory at the European Masters in October. “After that he relaxed more and started playing well, he put me under a bit of pressure so I was pleased to take my chance to win 6-4. Every win in this event is a good result.”

As for the outfit, Trump joked: “It’s just a shirt, it doesn’t make me play any better!”

This was probably the best match of the last 16 so far. Judd’s shirt got a lot of stick on social media but, although I don’t really this one it myself, I appreciate every effort players make to break the monotony of the dress code outfit…, yes even Yan Bingtao’s red outfit. In the past players used to wear some quite original waistcoats, and even frills. Not always in the best of taste but at least they weren’t all dressed the same. More seriously though, some of the things Judd said in the ES studio at the end of the match are a bit strange and, to be honest, a bit worrying. Him claiming that he doesn’t like to play anyone, and that Liang “didn’t scare him this time“, sounds weird and  not a sign of the best state of mind or confidence. I believe that the weight of unfulfilled expectations – including his own – is dragging Judd down. Maybe he too could do with some “Peters” advice.

At the Palace … day 1

The Masters started yesterday and immediately produced a high quality, tense match, ending in the demise of the World Champion and World n°1 Mark Selby.

Masters2017L16WilloWinner

Here is the report on Worldsnooker

Mark Williams edged out world number one Mark Selby 6-5 in a tremendous match as the Dafabet Masters got underway at Alexandra Palace.

A sell-out crowd in London were treated a superb contest and a dramatic finish as World Champion Selby missed a crucial last red in the deciding frame. That let Williams in to snatch victory and set up a quarter-final clash with Barry Hawkins or Kyren Wilson on Thursday evening (tickets still available – click here for details).

Welsh 42-year-old Williams has had a fine run of results in recent weeks having won the Northern Ireland Open in November – his first ranking title for six years – and climbed to tenth in the world. Selby, by contrast, has struggled for form since winning the International Championship two months ago, suffering early exits at the first two Triple Crown events of the season.

Williams was off to a flying start today with a break of 135 in the opening frame, missing the final black when he had the chance to set a strong target of 142 for the £10,000 tournament high break prize. He went 2-0 up with a run of 89 then Selby hit back to take the next three frames, making two breaks of 70.

Two-time Masters champion Williams made an 81 clearance to take the sixth frame but Selby dominated the next two with a top run of 76 to lead 5-3. And the Leicester cueman looked set for victory in frame nine until he missed the penultimate red to a top corner when leading 47-40 with the balls at his mercy, allowing Williams to clear for 5-4.

In frame ten, Williams led 59-32 when he ran out of position with two reds left. Selby twice went for a tricky red and missed, and his opponent took advantage to force the decider.

Williams had first chance and made 39 before missing a red to a top corner. Three-time Masters king Selby had an opportunity to clear and got to 44 before leaving a tough last red – along the top cushion – in the jaws of the pocket. Again Williams made no mistake as he reached the quarter-finals for the first time since 2013.

“It was an excellent game all round, a great occasion to play in, we both played well and the atmosphere was excellent,” said Williams, who lost 6-5 to Selby in the first round here last year. “They don’t come any tougher than the world number one. To draw myself together and come back was a great win for me.

“Two or three frames up against Selby is nothing, so I had to keep plugging away. I honestly don’t care who I play next, I’m in the quarters now and if I’m still here at the weekend then great.”

Selby, who had won 12 of his previous 13 deciders at the Masters, said: “I’m gutted. I felt I controlled the match from 2-0 down. At 5-3 I tried to roll the red in but got a kick and after that I felt the match could turn on that moment. I nearly pulled off a ridiculous clearance in the last frame but missed the last red. It’s tough to take.”

Personally, I’m not entirely convinced that the kick in frame 9 caused Mark Selby to miss. The images were shown several times and, for me, although the kick clearly made the red jump, it wasn’t thrown out of line. Jimmy White and Neil Robertson, in the ES studio, later expressed the same opinion. Anyway, there were two more frames after that one, frames where Selby had occasions but failed to take them. I expected the match to be exactly what it was: close but ultimately won by Williams who has been the better player throughout the first half of the season and is full of confidence.

In the evening, Mark Allen beat Luca Brecel quite convincingly

Masters2017L16AllenWinner

Here is the report on Worldsnooker:

Luca Brecel bizarrely used two cues during his first round clash at the Dafabet Masters, but to no avail as he lost 6-3 to Mark Allen.

Belgium’s Brecel has been struggling to find a cue he likes after losing his own at the International Championship in November, and he entered the arena at Alexandra Palace carrying two cues, using each of them at various times over the course of the match.

Allen also had a unique moment as he was accidentally introduced as Mark Williams by stand-in master of ceremonies Dennis Taylor. Like Williams, who beat Mark Selby earlier in the day, Allen progressed to the quarter-finals in London and he’ll now face Ronnie O’Sullivan or Marco Fu on Thursday afternoon.

World number eight Allen lost the opening frame tonight then took three of the next four with breaks of 86, 135 and 72. Masters debutant Brecel won the sixth with a 32 clearance, including an excellent shot on the final pink, to make it 3-3. And he had a chance in frame seven but was unlucky to go in-off when potting the final brown, trailing by 19 points.

Allen took advantage to regain the lead at 4-3 then eased through the last two frames, closing with a run of 120.

“I felt I was the better player for most of the match,” said Northern Ireland’s Allen, who is making his tenth consecutive appearance at the Masters but has never reached the final. “I wanted to put Luca under pressure at the start because it was his debut here. As the match went on I let myself relax a bit and scored well.

“I have never seen anyone bring two cues into a match before. At first I thought he was trying to get into my head, but I was chatting to him at the interval and he told me the problems he’s been having with his cue situation.”

Asked about his introduction, Allen joked: “I won’t let Dennis forget about that for a while! I don’t envy anyone doing that job because it’s not easy when you’re live and mistakes happen. But that won’t stop me winding Dennis up.”

Mark Allen played really well in patches although he was a bit inconsistent, especially before the MSI. Luca Brecel on the contrary was well below what he’s capable to produce. I’m not sure that bringing two cues and switching between them mid in the course of a match was such a great idea. Surely it doesn’t help consistency?

 

The Masters 2018 is upon us …

The new snooker year starts on Sunday, with what is actually my favorite event: The Masters.

Masters2018Poster

Rigging is underway at Ally Pally …

The 16 pros involved are practising… including the defending Champion, Ronnie.

Those are two little videos he posted on his new instagram account (well it’s no exactly new, but it has a new id) where you will find more food and cooking stuff than snooker!

Now, as many stuff Ronnie shares on social media, those videos are a bit tongue-in-cheek. I’m certain however that Ronnie is peparing for the Masters very seriously. It’s probably his favourite tournament too: it’s played in London, he can come, play, go back home and sleep in his own bed. No hanging aroung in hotels or venues. It’s a numpty-free zone, only the top 16, no mismatches, one table setup from the start, huge supportive crowds. In its last 13 installments, Ronnie has played in the tournament 12 times, made the final 8 times and won it 6 times. It’s also a tournament he won for the fist time just aged 19. That in itself tells a story.

The bookie make him favourite. I don’t read too much in it: they nearly always do. Ronnie has been in great form in the second half of 2017, but it was obvious during the Scottish Open that he was jaded. He had nothing left in the tank, be it physically or mentally. Will the festive break be enough for him to come back fully rested and re-motivated? Only time will tell.

Everyone is doing previews… so here is mine, covering only the first round, in order of play, for what it’s worth:

Mark Selby v Mark Williams (Sunday afternoon)

Selby won the International Championship 2017 but otherwise hasn’t had a great season until now. Williams, on the contrary, working under a new coach, has won the six-reds World Championship 2017 and the Northern Ireland Open 2017, his 19th ranking title and the first since February 2011. He looks well and truly rejuvenated. People might not perceive it this way, but they have a lot in common as players. Both have an excellent safety game, patience in spades and don’t mind the table going scrappy. Both are excellent at picking the pieces in broken play. Selby will have the load of expectations on him. For those reasons, I expect a close match and Williams to win.

Mark Allen v Luca Brecel (Sunday evening)

Luca Brecel is in this because he won the China Championship 2017, but has since not really confirmed the form he showed in Guangzhou. He has suffered from a shoulder injury too. It has been a bit of a pattern with Luca since he turned pro: good runs in a big tournament have almost always been followed by a dip in form for whatever reason. Allen has been very consistent, especially over the longer formats, without winning anything. This one is difficult to call for me. Luca loves the big occasions, so does Mark. Again, on maturity and experience, I expect a close match and Allen to win.

Ding Junhui v Ryan Day (Monday afternoon)

Ding won the World Open ealy in the season but has since been poor by his standards. His first round defeat by 6-5 from 5-1 up at the hands of Leo Fernandez in York is almost inexplicable and very worrying for his fans. Ryan Day on the other hand has won his first ever ranking title early in the season and made the semi-finals in the UK Championship. He looks much more confident than he once was. Therefore I expect Day to win.

Judd Trump v Liang Wenbo (Monday evening)

Liang hasn’t really backed his 2016 English Open title with other performances of note, particularly this season. Judd has had a very decent season, two finals/ one title, but over the last year he also had a number of surprising defeats in matches he had started strongly, only to somehow collapse when things weren’t going his way. The most prominent example being his defeat to Rory McLeod in the first round at the Crucible. The reasons for this are anyone’s guess. Mine is that Judd tends to put too much pressure on himself and isn’t that great at managing it. Anyway, they are both very attacking, they know each other well, have practiced together in the past. So it’s hard to call. I still believe that Trump will win a close match.

Ronnie v Marco Fu (Tuesday afternnon)

Marco Fu on form is a very dangerous player and he used to have a great record against Ronnie. His rather slow pace and very methodical approach had a frustrating effect on the Ronnie of the past. But this is the past and Ronnie now copes much better with this type of game: Marco has come close at times but hasn’t beaten Ronnie since 2009. Ronnie loves the place and has a tremendous record in the Masters. I expect Ronnie to win by 6-3 or 6-4.

Barry Hawkins v Kyren Wilson (Tuesday evening)

Neither player has been in great form this season, Barry has a superior head to head, but they mainly met in best of 7’s. This is a triple crown event and an entirely different proposition altogether. Barry also has more experience of the big stages, he’s been a finalist in Ally Pally two years ago, he’s been a finalist at the Crucible as well. Therefore I expect Hawkins to win but the match to be close.

Shaun Murphy v Ali Carter (Wednesday afternoon)

Those two are very different players. Shaun is all attack, Ali has a much more cautious approach. Both has the required skills and experience. However in recent times Shaun has been very succesful whilst Ali hasn’t had the greatest of season. On form, I have to favour Shaun. If shaun plays anywhere near the form he showed in the Champion of Champions, he’ll win very comfortably. But, it’s form “on the day” that matters and if Ali’s cautious approach lures Shaun into taking a few shots too many that don’t go in… I can see Ali winning this; he’s just won the Championship League Snooker Group 4 yesterday. So this is a really hard one to predict. Let’s toss the coin … Shaun to win a one-sided match.

John Higgins v Anthony McGill (Wednesday evening)

Anthony is certainly a very capable player but it seems to me that every time he plays John Higgins, his idol and former mentor, he’s overwhelmed and in awe of his opponent. Yes, Anthony did beat John in the 2014 UK Championship, by 6-5, at a time when John seemingly couldn’t pot a ball for his life or about. This season however they have met twice and John has won both encounters without breaking much sweat. I can’t see it going any differently this time. Higgins to win by 6-1 or 6-2.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ahead of the Masters 2018: Steve Davis on Ronnie

This was published by Worldsnooker  yesteday, and by part of the press as well

Snooker legend Steve Davis believes Ronnie O’Sullivan is still improving, and could still win tournaments in his 50s.

O’Sullivan will be defending his title at the Dafabet Masters at Alexandra Palace next week and aiming to win the tournament for the eighth time.

At the age of 42, O’Sullivan has produced some of the best form of his career in recent months, winning the English Open, Shanghai Masters and UK Championship since October.

Davis, who will be a pundit for BBC Sport next week, said: “Ronnie is effectively becoming the ultimate player and he doesn’t appear to suffer from pressure or tension in his game.

“Throughout his career he has had blips along the way, but I don’t think his game as a snooker player, or his mind as a snooker player, has ever stopped improving. When you see him around the table he is almost impervious to damage. He’s got such a good temperament and doesn’t seem so emotional out in the arena.

Steve Davis

“He’s an even more complete, mature player than he has been in the past. It’s astonishing to think that even into his 40s, he’s still the most feared player. He’s got a B game which can win events, and very few players can do that. Going into any event, the other players are fearful of what Ronnie can achieve when he’s at the top of his game, and they know they have to produce their best standard.

“He could become the first to win a title over the age of 50. He might relish the challenge of holding back the tide of age and the prospect of beating the young kids when he is 50. I was hanging on in the top 16 at 50, but not threatening ranking events. That challenge might appeal to him.”

The Dafabet Masters runs from January 14 to 21 with 16 of snooker’s top stars battling for the Triple Crown title and a top prize of £200,000. Mark Selby, Judd Trump, John Higgins, Shaun Murphy and Ding Junhui are among those competing.

Tickets for many sessions have already SOLD OUT but they are still available for certain sessions – fans should book fast by calling 0871 620 7052 (calls cost 13p per minute plus the network access charge) or CLICK HERE

That Ronnie could still do it at 50, I’m sure, that he will want to do it… not so sure. But time will tell.

“Framed” – a review by Csilla

Framed

As comments are closed on posts here after some time, to prevent bots spams,  Csilla found herself unable to post her thoughts about “Framed”. So here they are on her behalf. Thank you Csilla.

SPOILERS, SPOILERS, so if you have not read the book, don’t read this.
I enjoyed it very much, and the slang was not a problem, it was easily understandable, although I do wonder how much shorter this novel would be without the generous use of the f-word (but not a problem, my favourite spy-series had “bloody” everywhere).
Also quite good that though it is not a first person narrative it reads like one: I think it never loses Frankie’s perspective and I like the kind of narration that flows from this approach.
Love that it is not the conventional crime story where the murderer and his motives are investigated: Frankie in the end only wants to clear Jack and if a witness cleared him saying it was not him who committed the crime, I suppose, Frankie would have left the rest of the investigation to the police, even though he was sufficiently appalled by the way of the murder.
My favourite part is when Frankie is running from the cops and then escaping after he found Star dead. It is already interesting that the police was called by a neighbour, not by Wilson/the Hamiltons, especially because otherwise it completely smells like the same setup of which Jack was a victim, so a good ploy. But I really like that Frankie gets away: we have seen a lots of police dramas where the cops always catch whomever they chase, so it is really nice to see someone to flee successfully and one of my favourite/funniest sentences is when Frankie says that if he gets away he will make his body a f-ing temple (and of course, he drinks a lot of vodka when he makes it home).
Kidnapping poor Baotic looked to me a little like “jumping the shark”, but I like the two observations by Frankie about this: first that he actually enjoys acting like a criminal (scary, but understandable), then when he is captured by Wilson and Hamilton, he does not like looking at Baotic, because now he realizes that he had done the same to him as what was being done to Frankie now, and Baotic must have been equally scared etc. It is quite good to put oneself into other people’s shoes.
For me it is obvious from the first time he mentions it that no tape had been made, and in any case, I don’t think it would be very useful to send a tape to the police where he was beating the witness with a crowbar to make him tell the truth. Dougie yeah, he would find it “useful”, but the police? Frankie would go to jail himself fast. But it is well played with Hamilton, and that is a very good part too: it is obvious that Frankie will survive, so the interesting thing is not whether, but how.
Finally, I kept wondering whether or not he would end up with Sharon and I know it is part of not having a happy ending that he did not, but I was happy about it. First of all, of course it is suggested, or Frankie suggests that he just screwed up, because when Sharon came he was kissing the other woman, but Sharon might have visited him to say good-bye, telling him she would go to Hong Kong, or anything like this. Second, despite Frankie not being a criminal, I can’t imagine that the kind of life he leads and people he knows would be conductive to a good relationship with a policewoman.

Some of my beefs, or loose ends not tied (to quote Columbo).
A small one: Chloe in that fancy brothel gives Frankie her number. Since there is no follow-up, it is a sort of action gratuite, maybe to show that yes, Frankie is a very attractive man, buta little pointless.
It was obvious that Xandra and Slim would have some problems with each other, and it was also obvious that Xandra did not take the money, so there must be another explanation.
However, it is a little strange that Slim thinks Xandra stole £400 (my monthly scholarship in 1995/96 was £600, so it was a lot of money), and then he writes the note and does not open the club: why would he throw good money after bad and since they already lost what was in the till, why top it up with more losses by not opening? Because of it for awhile I thought that the Hamiltons got to them too and forced Slim to write the note and then kidnapped them too.
Finally, the biggest: there is a lot of talk about Snaresby being a strange cop (with such a name no surprise), who must have known Frankie’s parents, Frankie’s father tells Frankie to be careful about him, Snaresby is the one who comes to the club after it is vandalised, he goes to tell Frankie the bad news about the grandmother not exonerating Jack and delivers some lecture too, so the whole thing builds up to some kind of big revelation about Snaresby, but that never comes.
OK, this was literature talk for now.

Happy New Year 2018

Happy2018-2018

And so, this is the last day of 2017 … a year that in many ways has been a rollercoaster on the baize, with a terrific last three months for Ronnie’s fans.

For this blogger however, as some may know, it has been a very dark and difficult year on personal level. When certain things happen, affecting people you love, taking them away from you, you realise how futile most of the spats and fallouts are, be it on social media or in “real life”. So here is my first and most important wish for all who read this blog.

In 2018, and in every day in your life, I’m wishing you health and happiness. I’m wishing you to love and being loved. I’m wishing you to enjoy the little things that brighten everyday life: a good meal with friends, a lovely walk in the woods, the first flower in your garden, the smile on your child’s face, the hug of your partner … even the grumbling of your elderly parent. Don’t take things too seriously. Be yourself. Don’t worry about opinions, don’t try to please everyone, it’s just impossible. Be true, be kind, be forgiving … 

I mean it, every word of it. Now onto more snooker drivel… snooker wishes and stuff!

Selby's prayers

picture shared by Worldsnooker on twitter
  • Ronnie to win World title n°6 … yes, I know, yesterday on twitter Ronnie said, again, that he “might” (might, not will) give the World Championship a miss but he’s got nearly four months to think about it and change his mind a 100 times, something he’s quite prone to do. As a fan I’d love to see him do himself justice and equal Steve Davis record. However, in the spirit of what I wrote above, if he really does skip this year’s Crucible, I won’t go mad. We should never forget that it’s his life, his career, his well-being, his happiness. He owes us nothing. He’s not Worldsnooker employee either, he’s self-employed. He said that the World Championship isn’t his favourite tournament; I can understand that, the pressure and demands he gets there every year, since 25 years, are unreal. The fact that the press immediately jumped on those tweets is testimony enough of the expectations people put on him all the time. But, yes, I still dream and hope for n°6.
  • A big “non betting” company/business to start to support and sponsor snooker … I have expressed my concerns about snooker’s reliance on the betting industry , and the ambiguity of their relationship, often enough, so I won’t repeat myself here. But yes, this is something I’d dearly want to see. It’s never healthy to rely on just one source of sponsoring, it’s even more risky when that source is an industry that is known to generate addictions as well as social and sometimes legal issues. Tobacco and alcohol sponsoring were clamped on. To me it’s only a matter of time before betting sponsoring is strongly “regulated” too.
  • The Seniors Tour to succeed and flourish… Every sportsperson, even the very best, one day finds themself in that position: they still love it, they aren’t quite good enough anymore to compete on the biggest scene. What then? Jason Francis, from Snooker Legends, is trying to develop a “Seniors” tour, giving both 40+ and retired pros a circuit where they can play, entertain, compete, dream and … win! This January there is one qualifying event in Beijing that attracted 80+ players. Such is the demand. This is a big financial risk that Jason took, he’s now got the support of WPBSA, but there is still so much to do. Please, go and attend one of their events. You won’t regret it!

 

Yes, I know, Mark Selby probably won’t pray for my wish n°1 to come true, but I couldn’t resist the picture. And for all the fans who love to hate him … here is what Ronnie got to say about Mark in one of the last Worldsnooker features

Ronnie O’Sullivan

Sport thrives on great rivalries: Jack Nicklaus collided with Arnold Palmer, Bjorn Borg was pitted against John McEnroe and Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are frequently the main contenders for football’s Ballon D’or.

Selby and O’Sullivan is snooker’s modern day version of the clash of the titans. The pair met in an epic UK Championship final in 2016 which produced some of the most captivating snooker ever witnessed at the York Barbican, Selby eventually coming through as the 10-7 victor.

They have now contested finals in each of snooker’s Triple Crown events, with Selby having won three of the five showpiece meetings. However, he has some way to go to reach O’Sullivan’s tally of 18 Triple Crown titles and 31 ranking wins – currently holding 8 and 13 respectively.

The Rocket had previously referred to Selby as the ‘torturer’, but in recent times has come to relish his meetings with the world number one.

O’Sullivan said: “I like playing Mark now. We get on really well. I wouldn’t say we are best mates because I don’t want to be his best friend as we are still rivals. I’d rather keep it that way so when we get on the table there is an element of wanting to beat each other. I like his mindset and he is a winner.

“I see a lot of Stephen Hendry and a lot of me in him. I’ve learnt that his style of play isn’t just based on playing against me. He plays like that against everybody. That’s his game. If he brings that game to the table, you just have to try and break it down.”

Happy New Year 2018!