April 20, 2010

More Reactions from the Players

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 8:30 am

Mark's musical taste has to be questioned

More reactions from yesterday’s winners and losers. With Mark Williams revealing that he is having some problems away from the table and Jamie Cope wanting to seek professional help.

Ali Carter came through against the ‘potential banana skin’ (spot the FA Cup football cliche) Cope, who I think it’s fair to say underperformed somewhat.

The petulant Cope said:

I’m disappointed but I beat myself again really. That’s my main problem really, I’m not really mentally strong enough in these sorts of matches really.  I think it is the only problem that I have got but it is the main one really.


It is something I have got work on over the summer because it is costing me too many matches now.

I was really confident coming into the match, but when I started losing frames I started losing a bit of confidence. I just completely beat myself in the first session and that’s why I lost, he said as he threw yet another toy out of the oversized pram he was sitting in.

I got going for a couple of frames today but the gap was too big really.  I think I am going to see a sports psychologist, because I do honestly think it is my only problem stopping me from challenging for titles.  I am just not strong enough mentally for some reason, some matches I am and some I am not and it is not good enough really.

Jamie, you’ve got to start behaving like an adult first. You have the ability, but perhaps watching videos of Michael Holt might help, you could sit there saying to yourself ‘I won’t end up like that’. Other than that, a sports psychologist might be the way forward. Get in touch, I know a very good one.

The victorious Ali Carter said:

It’s never easy to win here but Jamie gave me a lot of chances and I kept the pressure on him.  I didn’t really expect anything going into the match, I just tried to worry about myself. I was prepared for him to have his spell of frames where he threw his arm at everything and got everything but that didn’t really happen.

I just tried to keep things tight, I did not score heavily but I played good match play in the first session.  You could see he got frustrated and I did a really good clearance to go 7-1 up which I think rubbed salt into the wound really.
I was 8-2 up after the first frame today but I was aware that he could win frames quick fire and it could be 8-4 or 8-5 before I knew it, so I just had to keep the pressure on.

I am just going to turn up and play snooker and see what happens.  I have no expectations, no hope of winning, I am just playing snooker and seeing what happens. You can’t control winning, all I can control is how I play and if I play well the rest will take care of itself.

He then looked ahead to his next match against his pal Joe Perry

Joe is a very good player and has probably got a bit of confidence after winning his first match as he has had a pretty hard season. It is going to be a tough match, there is no such thing as an easy match here.  Stephen Hendry proved that last night, playing someone no one had ever heard of and all of a sudden he is 9-7 down which shows how hard it is.  Everyone can play these days.

We then turn to Mark Williams who gave his analysis of his match against Campbell, which he ended up winning quite easily after an early scare.

Mark's favourite piece of vinyl

It was a bit of a struggle, it certainly wasn’t a 10-5 victory to me, (it was last time I checked Mark, check the papers) more like a match that could have been 10-8 or 10-9 either way really.  I am just over the moon with the result more than the performance.

It was a struggle really the whole match, the ball kept going safe, which meant neither of us could get any fluency. It looks like I will be playing Ronnie O’Sullivan, but on that performance all day today I wish I was playing Gilbert O’Sullivan!

A reference to one of Mark’s favourite recording artists there, clearly a man with a musical ear. Those free concert tickets are in the post, you name-dropper you.

Hopefully I will play a lot better against Ronnie and the match will be as good as it looks on paper. I came back from China on the Monday and started practicing on the Tuesday morning.  I want to try and keep the form from there going.

I will stay up in Sheffield there is no point in driving home. I will stay up and practice and watch the other players sweat it out a bit.  The first round is very twitchy but I shouldn’t have been as twitchy as I was especially as my top 16 place was guaranteed.  I was a bit edgy and found it hard to relax out there.

All season I have been consistent. In China I played well all through the competition, but you can’t keep playing well all the time so hopefully that is my bad performance out of the way.  Everyone can win when they are playing well, but it is about winning those matches when you are not playing as well as the day before. Dropping out of the top 16 is no good for anyone.

There are certain reasons off the table why my form has dipped. I haven’t sorted them all out yet, but I am getting there.

He wasn’t any more specific on what those reasons are but if he has started listening to Gilbert O’Sullivan records he is clearly not in the right place mentally. But given that he played tremendously in China, the problems he alludes to may not have a great effect on him here.

Campbell preparing for his match yesterday

His, frankly scruffy opponent Marcus Campbell said:

It was a bit of a battle out there today because Mark has been playing well recently, obviously fresh from his success in winning the China Open in Shanghai (ermm I think you’ll find that’s Beijing, Marcus). Looking back on the match, I did well today. It was scrappy early on but then I settled into the match, and I was disappointed to be 5-4 down this morning.

I started well this evening making that 74 break, but never got a shot for the next two frames.His safety was good, always putting me in trouble. I left a couple of reds out from my safety shots and he made two good breaks.

He is clearly bigging up that he made a 74, beating his highest break in the two previous qualifying matches by 1 point.

The big frame was the black ball game to go 7-6, unfortunately I lost that and went 8-5 down, which made my job a lot tougher.He didn’t miss much tonight at all, so it was always going to be tough to beat him.

It was nice to be back at the Crucible and this year, I really enjoyed it unlike last year which was a bit of a disaster, mainly due to being nervous.

I felt great out there today, it’s just such a nice environment to play in. Even the crowd get involved, I know the majority wanted Mark to win but that doesn’t matter, it’s such a lovely place to play at.

They only wanted him to win because they couldn’t be seen to be supporting someone who turns up looking like they have been sleeping rough for a month. Hadn’t shaved, shirt hanging out, builders arse. Show some respect big man.

More reactions tomorrow.

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