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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

"It's up to me to prove I'm the best player in the world,” says Co Antrim ace Mark Allen

Northern Irish snooker ace Mark Allen

 

Northern Irish snooker ace Mark Allen wants to hold on his world number one ranking for as long as possible.

 

Joining the Elite

 

Allen has dazzled by winning six titles in the past two seasons and this year fired his way to the top of the rankings for the first time.

 

The ambitious Antrim ace joined top potters Steve Davis, Cliff Thorburn, Stephen Hendry, John Higgins, Mark Williams, Ronnie O'Sullivan, Neil Robertson, Mark Selby, Judd Trump and Ding Junhui in the elite group of players to have topped the rankings.



Consistent Excellence

 

"The rankings don't lie, over the last two years I have been the most consistent player," Allen told SportsBoom.com.

 

“It will be nice to hear that when I get introduced at my first tournament next season.

 

"It's up to me now to go out there and prove I am the best player in the world.

 

One More Challenge to Tick Off

 

"I started with two career goals, that was to be world number one and world champion.

 

“I have crossed one of those off, and it is up to me to keep working hard to achieve the other.

 

“To be number one is something I will always remember, only 11 other players have ever done it.

 

“I started playing when I was 12, and everything I have learned, good and bad, have all made me the person I am now and the person that has become world number one."



Reflecting on Crucible Exit

 

Allen slipped to a frustrating last 16 defeat to four-time world champion Higgins at last season’s World Championship in Sheffield.

 

But despite a surprise early exit the 38-year-old is hungry for even more success as he looks to land a maiden Crucible crown next season and add to his impressive haul of 11 ranking titles.

 

“It was anti-climactic, sitting at home and getting the world number one spot that way, I would much rather have been out there winning a match,” reflected Allen.



“But the big positive for me is that I feel I still have a lot of improvements to make in my game, and if I can do that then hopefully, I can stay on top for a long time.

 

“I need to be ultra-consistent year on year, that's what all the greats have done.”

 

Overcoming Challenges Away from the Baize

 

Allen might have missed out on a place in the Crucible quarter-finals last season after a heartbreaking 13-12 defeat to Higgins, but the ambitious 38-year-old is just happy to be enjoying the game again, with a string of issues off the table having affected his form in previous seasons.

 

Messy financial problems which saw him declare himself bankrupt, as well child maintenance payments issues with a former flame understandably distracted one of snooker’s top potters.



But Allen revealed: “Things are going really well; my private life is good and financially I’m in a better place than I was.

 

“Just even from a mental side of things, I’m just looking forward to playing more than I was.

 

“As much as I love the game, it was tough coming to the club when everything was going on.

 

“I don’t have that distraction anymore, so I can just enjoy going to the club and playing.”

 

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