I’ve been back from Australia for a few days now and it’s been great to spend some time at home before we’re off again this weekend to the Netherlands.
I was disappointed not to reach the final in Bendigo because I don’t feel I did much wrong against Neil Robertson in our semi-final. But for the odd bit of bad luck here and there, it could have been a different story. But that’s the way it goes in snooker, and he played well, as he has done for much of this season so far.
I’m pleased with my form and I’m looking to continue it at the Rotterdam Open, a new tournament that I’m very excited about.
I was asked recently if I thought these were great times to be a snooker professional, and I found it hard to see a reason why I should disagree with that.
I think the game is in the best position it’s ever been. Steve Davis said a few weeks ago that he’d love to be a young player now starting on his career, and I can see why he thinks that.
The amount of opportunities to play the game we love, the money to be earned and the all the countries we visit around the world, it’s like nothing we’ve known before.
It certainly makes you want to stick around, too. Why shouldn’t players have long careers, as long as they’re competing at a level that they’re happy with, there’s no reason to stop doing something you love.
I’ve been a pro for many years now but I still feel as though I’ve got a long time left in the game. Steve Davis is 56 soon and is in his 36th season. He has the right perspective on it – he knows he is unlikely to win another major title, but he enjoys the challenge.
Steve is a legend of our sport and definitely an inspiration, not just to the younger players but even those who’ve been around a few years themselves. There’s definitely a lot you can learn from him, how he approaches the game and how he conducts himself.
If I can still compete at on the tour at his age, I will do so. But to be honest, I will just be happy to still be walking at 55!
Jimmy White is still going strong as well, and is still more than capable of pulling off a great win.
Jimmy and Steve have proved that age is just a number, it’s not a barrier to being a successful snooker player (their regular appearances high up the betting cards on http://sports.bwin.com/en/snooker highlights this perfectly - Ed). You only have to look at other recent results as proof of that. John Higgins won in Bulgaria and got to the final of the Wuxi Classic, and Ronnie O’Sullivan won the World Championship – both players are well into their 30s.
Higgins and O’Sullivan are such great players, and I think their success is good for the game. Age is not important in our sport, it’s not like athletics or football where it’s a fitness sport, and I definitely plan on playing for a long time yet.
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