Talking heads

04 May 2008
www.worldsnooker.com

The best comments from players at last year’s 888.com World Snooker Championship.

“That was about the worst I've ever played.”
Graeme Dott has little praise for his own performance after losing to Ian McCulloch

“You don't win this tournament if you're a muppet.”
McCulloch dismisses Kermit the Frog’s chances of lifting the trophy

“We’ve got a combined age of 91 – I think we’re both entitled to be a bit twitchy.”
John Parrott uses all his fingers and thumbs to count the ages of himself and first round opponent Steve Davis.

“The recovery rate from losing is a lot quicker now. I mentally recover a lot quicker. I get my sense of humour back quicker.”
Davis doesn’t dwell on defeat too long after going down 10-9 to Parrott.

“John Parrott calls me 5-4 Fergal. He said this time it will be 10-9. Then he won 10-9 yesterday, and it ran through my mind in the last frame that if Parrott can do it, so can I.”
Fergal O’Brien follows Parrott’s example in beating Barry Hawkins 10-9.

“I was up all night with food poisoning after eating a duck salad.”
No fowl play is suspected as Anthony Hamilton beats Marco Fu

“The first round here is like the first hurdle in the Grand National when all the horses leg it and there’s a mad dash to get to the line.”
Shaun Murphy breaks into a gallop to beat Judd Trump 10-6

“I’ve never played here before but my girlfriend has played here twice so I’ve had a bit of stick about that.”
Mark Allen makes it to the Crucible, and is given directions by ladies World Champion Reanne Evans.

“I banged the table a couple of times during the game. I like annoying people. If I know it annoys them I’ll do it all the time.”
Stephen Maguire gets himself fired up during a first round win over Joe Perry

“No thinks I can play really, no-one thought I could win apart from me and my mates.”
David Gilbert wasn’t given a hope of beating Stephen Hendry – until he took a 5-1 lead. But Hendry had the last laugh by fighting back to win 10-7.

“I had a big twitch on the second last red. I was thinking about the £150,000 – that’s a lot of money.”
John Higgins lets the prospect of a very big cheque come between him and a 147 break.

“He’s a better player than me at the end of the day – what can I say. It’s just chasing all the time and I’m not that quick a runner.”
Michael Holt faces facts after losing to John Higgins

“It felt like I had a family of ferrets in my waistcoat. I’ve never been so nervous.”
John Parrott couldn’t stay calm when he played Shaun Murphy

“I’m just getting on with it and taking my brain out of the equation because I’m a bit stupid. That helps me get some rhythm. I couldn’t even spell rhythm before Christmas.”
Anthony Hamilton must have asked Santa for a dictionary

“We practise a lot together – we usually do a best of three in a day.”
Ian McCulloch suggests he could be in for a long haul before facing Hamilton over 25 frames.

“I’ll watch bits of this tournament to see who wins… but I don’t care a jot.”
Stephen Hendry’s interest in who picks up the trophy fades after he loses to Ali Carter

“Anything from six foot or more I was miles out. When you’re not potting long balls it’s like losing your serve in tennis.”
Ronnie O’Sullivan edged out Neil Robertson despite a faulty long-potting radar

“I didn't bother trying to slow the game down and make people turn off their TVs. I tried to give it a go.”
Robertson had the consolation of being involved in one of the tournament’s most exciting matches.

“The only thing Mathew didn’t throw at me was kryptonite.”
Shaun Murphy, who appeared in a national newspaper wearing a Superman costume on the eve of the tournament, needed all his special powers to battle past Matthew Stevens 13-12

“I’m not a fan of sitting next door to the guy you’re playing. It’s like having 2 boxers in one corner. What are you supposed to do – talk?”
Stephen Maguire prefers to give his opponent the silent treatment

“There aren’t any easy games in the quarter-finals. Unless you draw me.”
Anthony Hamilton plays down his chances of beating Maguire in the last eight.

“I don’t drink anymore. I used to go out and enjoy myself but then I’d wake up with a hangover so wouldn’t practise over the weekend. Now I feel a lot healthier and I practise more.”
Many players must have cut out the booze after teetotal John Higgins lifted the trophy.

“Definitely. And I’ve got more hair which is not a bad thing.”
Mark Selby, asked if he is following in Willie Thorne’s footsteps as Leicester’s No 1.

"I’d love to buy an Aston Martin but it’s not very practical with the kids.”
Higgins takes a conservative outlook when asked how he will spend the £220,000 top prize.

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