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Lines Ready For Higgins Clash

Peter LinesYorkshire’s Peter Lines faces the daunting proposition of an opening round tie against four-time World Champion John Higgins at next week’s Betway UK Championship at the York Barbican.

However, 49-year-old Lines is already accustomed to giant killing exploits in York, having knocked out then defending champion Neil Robertson 6-3 in the opening round back in 2016.

We caught up with former UK Championship quarter-finalist Lines to hear his thoughts ahead of next week…

Peter, how are you feeling ahead of your opening round tie with John Higgins?

“I will try as hard as I possibly can to win. If I do win then great, if not then I will move on to the Scottish Open. It is always a fantastic occasion playing somebody as good as John. He is a brilliant ambassador for our sport, he is probably the best match-player of all-time and he is a great bloke as well. It would have been nicer to have drawn him in round two, having pocketed some prize money, but I’ve never moaned about draws so I will just give it my best.

“I love playing in York and it always feels important in that main arena. The arena is one of the best on the circuit in my opinion. I am always well supported in this event with it being in Yorkshire and I’m sure playing against John this year will be a great occasion.”

How special are the memories of that 2016 win over Neil Robertson at the UK Championship? 

“I just think that when you look at Neil’s cueing, any win over him is a fantastic result. Judd is on top of the sport at the moment and Ronnie is the best player of all time. However, I believe Neil is the best cueist on tour. I don’t know how he ever misses! You need to play a certain level of snooker against him or you can’t possibly win.

“Going into a match like that, you are hoping that they are a little bit below par. If they play to their full potential you are going to lose. It is about getting them to play below par, you need to do your bit. I felt I did that against Neil, so I was pleased.

“I beat Chris Wakelin in the next round as well, which there was quite a lot of pressure to do. Everyone knows what a great player Chris is, but you just put pressure on yourself to prove that the round one win wasn’t a fluke. You are desperate to show that it wasn’t a one off.”

Oliver and Peter Lines

Another thing which added to that week for your family, was your son Oliver reaching the last 16 and beating Judd Trump along the way. How proud were you to see him play like that?

“I absolutely was proud. Don’t get me wrong, every time I get my cue out I try as hard as physically possible to win and improve my own game. However, in reality I just cant wait for the day he starts producing those results all the time.  Like any father I want to see him crack on and really make something of his life. He is a good snooker player, but he is also a great lad.”

Oliver has recently started working with coach Chris Henry. Did you suggest to him to go down that route?

“It has always just been me and him and he wanted to try something fresh. We sat down and went through a list of all the people out there. Chris is the one he decided he wanted to work with. Fingers crossed it pays off for him.

“I’ve never really coached him. I’m there for him in terms of making sure he can go out there and play to the best of his ability . We don’t really talk about the snooker side.  We have a close relationship and I didn’t want snooker to spoil that. If that gets taken out of our hands, with Chris being on board, we can just be like father and son. I just want to be his dad and be there for him in that way. Chris is a great coach and he has a proven track record of working with players.”

You can be at the York Barbican to watch the Betway UK Championship action live, with tickets available for just £8. Click here to secure your place at one of snooker’s biggest events.