Thursday, 14 April 2011

Crucible Countdown: 2 days to go

Typical to the build-up to every season at the Crucible, the media is having a field day.

The snooker hacks aren't the only people talking though.

With just two days to go until the start of this year's World Championship, most of the players will be couped up in snooker club's across the country tirelessly putting in the hours ready for their ultimate test.

But to continue OnCue's Crucible Countdown, I scoured the web for what some of the players have been saying ahead of the tournament.

Ali Carter said: "I got to the semis last year and I've got great memories of the event. I love Sheffield - it has a unique atmosphere and it's our equivalent to Wembley or Wimbledon. The crowds are fantastic and it all adds up to the perfect tournament.

"In the past few tournaments I've played a lot better and hopefully I'm coming good in time for the big one."

Neil Robertson said: "It's certainly been tough being a sports-mad Aussie like me.

"As England have won the Ashes Down Under, it would make it a world of opposites if I can retain the snooker title in England.

"I'm good enough to win multiple world titles.  But you'll probably never again see someone emulate Stephen Hendry, who won seven world titles."

Graeme Dott said about his decent record at the Crucible: "All the hard work has paid off because at one stage I had dropped to about 40 in the rankings.

"But I have played in three world finals, won it once, and that shows people I'm not the worst world champion.

"When I won that was what people were saying but my record speaks for itself. I believe I have another world title in me. If I play as well as I can I'm capable of beating anyone."

Andrew Pagett said about making his debut: "The Crucible is where everyone aims to get to in their career.

"It will be a big ask for me (to win his first round match) but I feel so confident that if I play like I did on the weekend then I will take some stopping.

"I have won every Welsh tournament as an amateur but feel I have under-achieved.

"But I have been practising hard and playing well with Mark (Williams), it just hasn't shown on the match table until now. It is nice that the hard work is paying off.

"Qualifying for a first World Championship is a life-changing experience for any snooker player with the prize-money and everything else that goes with it. It is quite mind-boggling."

Dominic Dale said: "I'm sure Ronnie would admit that I'm playing him at a good time.

"Having said that, if anything can bring the best out of him, then it's the World Championship and the atmosphere it generates. I'm sure Ronnie will be practising hard for it, and if he plays two or three good frames then the confidence could come back in a flash. I'm expecting a hard match and preparing to play him at his best. It's the last tournament of the season so maybe he will want to give it everything. That would make him very dangerous because he is in great shape physically.

"I'm not sure why his form has been hit and miss this season. His life away from the table has changed for the better since his dad came out, so maybe snooker is not at the front of his mind. It's up to me to start well in the match, and if I do that then I believe I can beat him. I've beaten Neil Robertson twice this season so I know I can do it against the best players.

"I haven't played at the Crucible for seven years so it's really exciting for me to be going there. Even at my age you get a real buzz out of it."

Dave Harold said: "There is no better place to play snooker than at the Crucible.

"I have only been there three times in my career and to walk out through the curtain is every player's dream, it's magical and I can't wait now."

"I feel good. I am hitting the ball well so I am ready"

Mark Selby said:  "I will be doing a lot of running in the weeks leading up to the tournament

"I've got a treadmill at home so I'll spend time on it, and I'll be running on the roads around where I live.
"Nothing compares to the World Championship in terms of the physical test.

"Last year I got to the semi-finals and I felt drained, I had nothing left, and lost to Graeme Dott.

"A lot depends on how close your matches are in the early rounds. If you can win comfortably then you can conserve energy.

"Sheffield is a different test but I've been to the latter stages before so I know what to expect. My form has been good recently so now it's matter of making sure I peak at the right time."

Shaun Murphy said: "It's great getting to the semis or the final at Sheffield. But at this stage of my career, having won it before and held a few other titles, I'm only in it to win it. Anything else would be a disappointment."

"I've had doubts about my game during the season, but I've kept the faith and come good at the right time.

"I actually don't think that form is that important going into the World Championship - you've just got to get past your first match then play your way into it. The winner will be the player who copes best with all the twists and turns you go through over 17 days.

No comments:

Post a Comment