Andy Hicks*

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Q&A

www.worldsnooker.com

Jalapeno chillies and spare ribs are definitely off the menu for the former Crucible semi-finalist.

How would you sum up last season?

It was a great season. I started it 69th in the provisional rankings, but finished it 50th officially and 38th on the one year list, so I've got to be happy with that.

What was the highlight?

Beating Shaun Murphy 5-1 in Shanghai. I know he had a slow start to the season, but I played well to beat him. I was a bit disappointed to lose to Marco Fu in the last 16, I had my chances but lost 5-2. Beating Jimmy White 10-8 in the World qualifiers was also a highlight because we both played really well.

And the low point?

Losing 10-8 to Rory McLeod in the next round of the World qualifiers. I had a day off after beating Jimmy, so a mate and I went to the cinema to watch Gran Torino, and we had some nachos with jalapenos. Then we went to an American diner and had a rack of barbeque ribs. It's not the sort of thing I normally eat and maybe it wasn't the best concoction. I felt fine that night, then the next morning I felt a bit dodgy, but assumed it was pre-match nerves. When the match started I felt terrible. After the first frame I went to the toilet to be sick, then the same after the second and third frames. I didn't say anything because I didn't want to give Rory the edge. I was only 5-4 down after the first session but should have been 6-3 up. I felt fine for the evening session but couldn't turn the match around. It's the first time in 18 years as a pro that I've been ill during a match, so I suppose I can't complain. But it's a shame that it happened during the biggest tournament, if I'd won that match I might have been inside the top 48.

Have you set any targets for next season?

Obviously I'm sitting a lot better than I was this time last year. My first target has to be to get into the top 48, but if things go well the top 32 is possible.

Are you doing anything different in terms of your practice routine?

I've built an extension to my house and put my snooker table in it. That will be a big factor because I can lock myself away and focus on practice. I had a table at the house before, but it was in a room next to the kitchen so it was easy to be distracted by the family.

You live near Launceston in Cornwall, is there anyone to practise with around there?

Not really. I go down to Falmouth sometimes to play at the Bells Court club. And Sam Baird is on the Tour now, he lives around 40 miles away in Devon. He wants to play me so we're going to have a few games.

What have you been up to this summer?

My wife gave birth to our second child, we've got two girls now called Amberley and Amelia. Otherwise I've not been up to much, just finishing off the extension.

Has having a family changed your attitude to your snooker career?

Yes, it has to change you. I don't go out for a drink as much as I used to. I feel settled. I'm nearly 36 now and I'd like to keep playing snooker into my 40s. If I can use my experience and play hard match snooker I should be able to do that, and I'm still capable of getting to the odd quarter or semi-final.

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