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Chris Wakelin Q&A

One of snooker’s most promising young talents, now playing his second season on the tour, talks about his snooker ambitions…

Chris you’ve had a strong start to the season, are you happy with your performances and results?

Yes it has been a good start although I’ve lost a couple of close matches which could have made it better. I feel I am gaining experience and getting used to the venues and the tables. But there is a long way to go and I have a lot of improving to do.

Which part of your game do you think you can improve?

My scoring. I’ve won matches this season by playing my B game, but there was only really one day when I was scoring heavily and killing off frames in one visit, and that was the Friday at the Latvian Open when I beat Dominic Dale 4-0 and Ricky Walden 4-1. I work a lot on my break-building in practice. It has improved over the past year but I know it needs to get better. It’s important to be able to finish off matches clinically, particularly in the European Tour events, because if you play three matches in a day you don’t want them all to go 4-3.

Does beating the likes of Ricky and Dominic give you the belief that you can get to their level?

Yes they are tournament winners so to beat them comfortably gave me a big confidence boost. Last season I was struggling to compete against the top players but now I feel I have a chance.

What are your targets for this season?

I’d like to at least get to a quarter or semi-final. Ultimately I’d like to be winning tournaments but I know that won’t come overnight. In terms of the rankings I want to get into the top 64.

You’re 53rd on the World Grand Prix ranking list with the top 32 to qualify, so is that a target?

I’d love to play in that but all I can do is keep practising hard and trying to win matches, and see where it gets me.

Who do you practise with?

Mainly Kyren Wilson, David Gilbert and Mark Selby, who comes over to the Atack Club in Nuneaton from time to time. I have learned a lot from Mark and he is an inspiration. Ronnie O’Sullivan may be the best break-builder in the world, but I think Mark is the best all-round player and it’s hard to see any weakness in his game. He’s very professional in his approach – he’s as good in practice as he is in matches and you can see how much he wants to win. We’ve had quite a few games and I have beaten him once and usually take a few frames off him so it’s good to feel like I’m not just picking balls out. We both take the games seriously.