Mike Dunn*

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Q&A - Mike Dunn

www.worldsnooker.com

Redcar’s top potter is up to a career high position in the rankings and is looking forward to climbing higher.

How would you sum up last season?

I finished No 33 in the world, and although I’m a little disappointed I didn’t get in the top 32, I would have taken that at the start of the season as I’ve still moved up five or six places. Any improvement in your ranking is good.

Where there any low points?

The low point I had was playing so poorly against Stephen Lee in the final round of World qualifying, losing 10-2. I have the utmost respect for Stephen but there was nothing in the tank, almost as if I didn’t want to be there. I’d played Rob Milkins in the match before and every ounce of energy that I had, every breath in my body, went into winning that match. I think when I won, the relief was so big that I couldn’t generate the enthusiasm and will to win in the next match. I felt as though I let myself down and the people who came to watch me. But I still consider it a successful year. I didn’t have any pressures of being on the WPBSA Board after Christmas and I was really excited about just being a snooker player.

What are your targets for next season?

With the rolling rankings system being introduced, it’s a difficult one. Before that I would have said to get into the top 32, but that doesn’t really matter as much now. I want to continue moving up. I think I’ve only had two seasons since I’ve been a professional where I haven’t moved up.

What are you up to this summer?

I’m going to play in all the PTC events. I’ve been doing some practise and coaching down the club. Normally I wouldn’t have picked the cue up for another couple of months. Maybe there will be a few holidays with the family, plus watching the World Cup.

Q&A

www.worldsnooker.com

The world No 38 looks back on his best ever season on the table...and a gloomier one for his beloved Middlesbrough FC.

How would you sum up your season?

It's got to be my best ever. I said a year ago that the previous season was my best, but this one was even better.

What was the highlight?

I really enjoyed beating Shaun Murphy 5-4 in the last 32 of the Bahrain Snooker Championship. He's such a terrific player and one of the biggest scalps I've ever taken. It was an exciting game and it's got to be up there with the best results of my career.

Were there any low points?

Probably losing my next match, in the last 16 against Barry Hawkins. I played well enough to win and had half a chance in the last frame, but lost 5-4.

You had some problems with your back a couple of years ago, how is it now?

It's brilliant, I've got no problems at all, no aches or pains. It transformed my game because it forced me to play with two bent legs, and that helped me get straighter on the shot. It's amazing that what I thought was something bad for my career has turned out to be the best thing that's ever happened to me. The work I've done with my coach Del Hill has also been a massive boost.

What are your targets for next season?

I'd like to have another good year. If I get into the top 32 then great, but the main thing is to be able to hold my head up at the end of it and say I've given 100 per cent.

Do you have many practice partners around where you live in Redcar?

Not really. I play with Stephen Craigie now and then, and there's a lad called Darren Cook from Hartlepool who's an up-and-coming player. And I go down to Yorkshire to play Paul Davison. But it's always been a struggle in the north east to find good practice partners, so I'd love to see more juniors come through around here.

What are you up to this summer?

I'm going to play in the World Games in Taiwan next month which will be a great opportunity to experience a different culture and hopefully have a good run in the tournament. I also need to do something to try to improve my physical fitness as that will help my snooker. I bought a pair of running shoes a few months ago but I've not taken them out of the box yet!

How did you feel when 'Boro got relegated?

It's been a nightmare season, I was getting text messages from other players every time we lost. By the last day I knew we were going down, I just wanted Newcastle to go down as well to soften the blow a bit. It hasn't sunk in yet and probably won't until we play our first game in the Championship. I think Gareth Southgate is still the right manager, but he's got a lot to learn. Tuncay is going and we'll probably lose Stewart Downing in January, so we'll need to buy new players as the squad is already too small.

If there's a player you'd like to see featured in a Q&A or a question you'd like to ask, email your suggestion to blog@worldsnooker.com

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