Romford’s King had ‘wake-up call’
PUBLISHED: 10:30 05 February 2015
PA Wire/Press Association Images
Snooker ace progresses at German Masters
Mark King believes the whitewashing he received at the UK Championship was just the wake-up call he needed after battling his way through the first round of the German Masters in Berlin.
Back in late November, King went down 6-0 to world No.99 James Cahill in the UK Championship first round in York.
But fast-forward two months and the world No.33 saw off world No.5 Barry Hawkins 5-3 at the Tempodrom to set up a second-round clash with Stephen Maguire.
At 3-2 ahead the Romford cueman made his first century of the match to extend the gap to two frames and although Hawkins closed that gap to 4-3, King held his nerve to prevail.
And the 40-year-old insists that thrashing at the York Barbican Centre enabled him to overcome Hawkins in Berlin.
“I’ve been practising really hard because I’ve been struggling with my game a bit over the last few years and I seem to be playing a little bit better,” said King.
“Since I lost 6-0 at the UK to James Cahill I’ve tried to dig a bit deeper, try a bit harder and said to myself that if I don’t get my act together then I’ll be retiring really.
“I don’t want to be one of these mugs who turn up and get beaten in the first round every time, so it’s a good win for me because Barry is a class player.
“My head wasn’t in the right place at the UK and I got what I deserved. I wasn’t practising hard enough, but since then I’ve dug deeper and I’ve stuck the work in.”
Things do not get any easier for King, though, as he takes on the in-form Maguire tonight with a place in the quarter-finals up for grabs.
The last eight would represent King’s best performance at the German Masters and although he isn’t expecting an easy game, the former Marshalls Park schoolboy says he will head into it full of confidence.
“I can take a lot of positives into my next match with Stephen Maguire,” added King. “Barry didn’t play his best by any means, but I thought I played pretty well myself and put him under quite a bit of pressure.
“They’re all tough games now and Stephen is playing really well at the minute. It’s probably the best he has played in a few years – this season he looks like he’s back to good form.
“But I’ll be digging deep, trying my best and I’m looking forward to it.”
*British Eurosport is the Home of Snooker, showing 19 tournaments per season including the World Championship, UK Championship the Masters and all other ranking events. Available on Sky, Virgin Media & BT TV or online/mobile via eurosportplayer.com.
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