Phil Haigh ✍️
Mark Allen is aiming big after his first UK Championship title, hoping to bring in ‘many more’ Triple Crowns after his superb triumph in York.
The Pistol produced an immense comeback to beat Ding Junhui 10-7 after looking in terrible trouble at 6-1 down, playing badly and the Chinese superstar in fine form.
However, the new world number five dug in, found his own form and produced a string of big breaks to win nine of the next 10 frames and get his hands on both the trophy and £250,000.
Allen takes his tally to eight ranking titles and two of the fabled Triple Crown, having won the Masters in 2018.
His World Championship record is surprisingly poor, having reached just one semi-final in his career so far, but he feels ready to perform on the biggest stages in the sport on a regular basis now and plunder plenty more Triple Crown titles.
‘These tournaments aren’t easy to win and I’ve wanted to win these big tournaments for so long,’ Allen told Eurosport.
‘It means so much to me and I make no qualms about it that I want to win these big events.
‘That’s me up to two Triple Crowns and hopefully I can go on and win many more to come. I feel like my game’s in good enough shape to do that.’
For Ding, he missed out on the chance of a fourth UK Championship after winning all three of his finals in the event previously.
After building such a good lead it was a tough one to take, but a run to the final marked an impressive return to form after a quiet three seasons which saw him drop to number 38 in the world.
Back up to number 19 with the £100,000 second prize, he is motivated to get back on the practice table at his academy and work for more success.
‘I’m disappointed, I had this great chance to win a title,’ he said. ‘But it’s always the best player that wins the trophy. I’ll stay confident, keep my head up and work hard.
‘There’s nothing I need to change. Things are going well. I can’t get everything back in one week, I can only try and win more tournaments.’
Allen echoed Ding’s sentiment, and while he will celebrate this superb victory, he is fully focused on improving and getting his hands on more silverware while this purple patch continues.
The Pistol has already won the Northern Ireland Open this season and with the Scottish and English Opens coming up before Christmas, he has no intention of slacking off yet.
‘Honestly, like Ding said, back to the practice table and just keep trying to improve. That’s what we’re all trying to do,’ he told the BBC.
‘I’ve won two ranking tournaments in the last three and lost in the final of the other one, so I’m doing things right, I don’t want to change anything so let’s just continue to work hard.’
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