King wants to make his mark
PUBLISHED: 12:46 02 March 2013
PA Wire/Press Association Images
Romford potter chases UK Championship glory
Romford’s Mark King is desperate to be among the top 16 in world snooker once more, but he insists he must first finally conquer the inconsistency that has plagued him throughout his career.
The 38-year-old first broke into the top 16 in 1998 but struggled to maintain his place, yo-yoing in and out for the next five years, and hasn’t returned since dropping out after a poor 2002-3 season.
But, having identified his Achilles heel and devoting more hours to the practice table, the world No.32 hopes his mental capacity to build lengthy breaks has improved.
And, with the UK Championships just around the corner, a contest he qualified for with ease, King is relishing the chance to put a good run together to earn some crucial ranking points.
“I am playing better. I have put more practice in and am potting the balls a little better,” said King. “I’m going to do a job, not just to make up the numbers, but obviously I have my work cut out.
“Mark Williams is a hard first match and there are no easy games in this sport. but I can take confidence from beating him earlier in the year.
“I just think my overall career has been affected by my lack of consistency. And that is what I’m looking at improving.
“Ninety per cent of snooker is between the ears and one of the weaker parts of my game is break building so I have been working on that. I want to have a longer stay at the table.
“Beating Ding Junhui in the Shanghai Masters has been my highlight of the year, but I feel I can do better and reach the later stages of more tournaments.”
Buoyed by the memory of a semi-final appearance at the Barbican in York in 2004, King insists the UK Championships is one of the best on the calendar and added pressure is nothing new.
But still unhappy with the best-of-11-frame format, brought in last year, King hopes he can adapt to the shorter set-up in York next week.
“If you don’t feel pressure at tournaments like that I don’t think you’re alive, but it is just a shame they have changed the format,” he added.
“Before it was better with two sessions but now it’s more of a sprint than a marathon. I prefer the long format but it’s the same for both players and I will do my best.
“I’m looking to move up the rankings back to where I have been among the best so every ranking tournament is important.”
*British Eurosport is the home of snooker, showing 19 tournaments this season including the World Championship, UK Championship, the Masters and all ranking events. It is available on Sky (410/411) and Virgin Media (521/525) or online/on mobile via eurosportplayer.co.uk.