MARK Allen has said he hopes his victory at the Haikou World Open will be the first of many titles to come his way.
The 26-year-old thrashed Stephen Lee 10-1 to claim his first world ranking title since turning professional seven years ago. The win moved Allen up to seventh place in the World Rankings.
After scooping his maiden title he told World Snooker: “”It’s been a long time coming as I’ve been a pro for seven years now.
“Sometimes you question if you’re ever going to win one especially if you look at the players who have been winning tournaments as I know I’m as good, if not better as some people who have won events so you have to be strong mentally and I think this will be the first of many.
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet; it may take a day or two but I think once I get home and see my family and friends we’ll have celebratory drink and I think it will sink in that I’ve actually done it.
“I’ll be back to defend my title – I’ll always look forward to playing in front of a Chinese crowd and they seem to enjoy watching me play.”
Despite a disappointing performance in the final, it has still been a good week for Stephen Lee. An appearance in a major final shows he has back in top form and his wins this week have consolidated his place in the top 16 of the world rankings.
“I was a bit disappointed at the end of the week but I have had a great time this week and the best man won on the day,” Lee said.
“I was devastated that I’ve not played a part in the final today. At this level if you don’t play your part, you get steam-rollered and Mark could see I was struggling to get involved in the match. If you can see people down then you keep them down and Mark has done a good job on me today and good luck to him.”