Mark Allen reflects on 'more measured' approach in Tour Championship progress

Northern Ireland’s Mark Allen reflected on his “more measured” approach following a march into the Tour Championship quarter-finals.
Northern Ireland's Mark Allen. (Photo by Bradley Collyer/PA Wire)Northern Ireland's Mark Allen. (Photo by Bradley Collyer/PA Wire)
Northern Ireland's Mark Allen. (Photo by Bradley Collyer/PA Wire)

Victory in Manchester on Monday night over John Higgins by 10-7 set up Allen with a midweek meeting against Ding Junhui (Wednesday, 7 o’clock) towards semi-final progress.

Higgins, a four-time World champion, proved on song over the morning session and increased that lead to 4-1 before Allen hit back.

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A 123 break offered Allen his boost before battling to level terms over the afternoon.

Allen, nicknamed ‘The Pistol’, proved cool under pressure to win frames on three occasions on the black and enjoyed a lead of 8-6 before Higgins cut the gap.

However, Allen posted breaks of 93 and 100 to secure safe passage into the quarter-finals.

"I always look forward to playing John," said 38-year-old Allen on the WST official website. "It's always tough match snooker, good scoring and high quality safety.

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"I'm very proud to have matched him in the safety department and scored better as the match went on.

"A few years ago, from 4-1 down I might have lost the first session 6-2.

"The things I have been working on with (psychologist) Paul Gaffney have really helped because it has focused my mind on just playing the next shot and the next frame as well as I can.

"It was fine margins tonight, I think John played as well as me but I won the close frames.

"My decision-making is more measured.

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"Some people might call it negative, but I am playing the positive shot based on how I am feeling in that moment.

"Sometimes it's better to be patient and wait for a better chance."

Following the loss, Higgins reflected on defeat to Allen.

Higgins said on the WST official website: "Mark played very well tonight.

"I should have been in front this afternoon, I lost a bad frame when I should have made it 5-2.

"I missed two or three unforgiveable balls tonight.

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"My long game was non-existent, and at this level it's not good enough against the best players.

"I'll just need to dust myself down and prepare for the World Championship.

"I've got a couple of weeks to hopefully get some good practice in."

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