Mark Allen is the latest snooker star to be interviewed on ryan147.com . I would like to thank Mark for taking the time to answer my questions this week with the World Championships just one month away.
Irishman Mark Allen burst onto the scene by winning the 2005 World Amateur Championship. After a promising amateur career, Mark got onto the main tour for the 2005/06 season and by the time the 2008/09 season arrived he was already in the elite top 16.
Mark has been quite successful in the world championships. In 2007 he qualified but lost to Ken Doherty in round 1, then in 2008 he pushed Stephen Hendry all the way but once again lost in the first round. Finally in 2009 he reached the semi finals, beating Ronnie O’Sullivan along the way before losing to eventual winner John Higgins.
Mark Allen won his first professional tournament in 2009, winning the Jiangsu Classic beating Ding Junhui 6-0 in the final. Despite this win Allen is yet to win a ranking event however at the age of 24 he still has plenty of time.
When did you first start playing snooker?
I started playing snooker when I was 12 years old.
Who were your favourite players when you were younger?
My favourite play was Stephen Hendry, in fact he still is.
How old were you when you made your first century break and your first maximum break?
I was 13 when I made my first century and 15 when I made my first maximum.
If you were not a Snooker player what do you think you would be doing for a living instead?
Hopefully I would be playing football. I played a bit when I was younger but had to choose between football and snooker.
Do you get nervous before big matches and do you have any pre match routines?
I do get nervous before matches but not so much that it affects my play. I think you have to have some nerves before games to help you perform. I like to just relax before matches as you should have all your work done long before your due to start.
How did it feel to win the 2009 Jiangsu Classic, your first professional tournament victory?
It felt good to win my first tournament but I would swap it in a heartbeat for a ranking tournament. Hopefully I will win my first one soon.
What is the best venue you have played in?
The best venue has to be the Crucible Theatre as it is so intense and comes with lots of history attached.
What do you feel is your career highlight this far?
I think my highlight to date would have to be reaching the semi finals of the world championships last season and beating Ronnie O’Sullivan on the way.
Where do you hope to be in 5 years time in the terms of ranking position, titles etc?
In 5 years I would like to be a permanent fixture in the worlds top 4 and hopefully be a regular tournament winner by then.
How far do you feel you can go in this year’s World Championships?
I feel I can go all the way this year but not only do you need to play very well but you need to have a bit of luck along the way too if your going to win it.