Comfortable Scottish Open win for King

PUBLISHED: 09:00 13 December 2016

Romford's Mark King (pic PA)

Romford's Mark King (pic PA)


Romford potter eases into second round in Glasgow

Victory in Belfast was the first in the 25-year career of Mark King, but the Romford potter insists he remains without personal expectation despite making the Coral Scottish Open second round.

King defied the odds by lifting the Alex ‘Hurricane’ Higgins Trophy at the Coral Northern Ireland Open last month, heading to Glasgow’s Emirates Arena with a Coral Home Nations Series target on his head.

But he showed no signs of a slip up last night, easing into the last 64 with a comfortable 4-0 win over Australian Kurt Dunham.

Yet despite his success in Belfast, King is once again taking each game in his stride, though he admits he already has half an eye on what is set to be a well-earned break.

“I just want to go out there and play my own game, I’m feeling good thoughts with no negativity and I don’t have that expectation on myself,” he said.

“If that gets me another tournament win then fantastic, but as soon as you start putting pressure on yourself then you’re in trouble.

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to the break, it’s been a busy month so I’m looking forward to spending some time with the family.

“But I’m still giving it my all, I’ll spend some time on the table before the second round, work on a few things and come out firing ahead of Wednesday.”

King is set to face Sean O’Sullivan for a place in the last 32, a man who had one of the best games of his life to get past Robbie Williams in the first round.

But breaks of 79 and 65 saw King keeping his best form on the table, racing into a 2-0 lead.

A far from fluent third frame followed, though the world number 22 retained his groove to whitewash Dunham thanks to another half-century run.

“I felt comfortable, it was a bit of a scrappy third frame but when I was in the balls I felt relaxed and it was a very solid performance,” he added.

“The first round is always tough, there’s no doubt of a potential banana skin whoever you play and the tournament doesn’t really start until the last 32, but you have to get there first and foremost.

“I was a bit lucky in the first couple of frames, I missed a couple early on, but when you’re doing well that luck seems to come your way and I’ll take it with both hands.”

*Watch the Scottish Open LIVE on Eurosport 1 and Quest, featuring daily studio analysis from Ronnie O’Sullivan, Jimmy White and Neal Foulds.

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