Practice makes perfect, just ask up-and-coming Sheffield potter Adam Duffy.
By his own admission, the 24-year-old struggled to fulfil his potential last term by not putting in the hours on the snooker table in between tournaments and his results suffered as a result.
But Duffy, ranked 60 in the world, has made a positive start to the 2013/14 season, defeating Tony Drago last week to qualify for the Wuxi Classic, one of China’s five ranking tournaments. It will be Duffy’s first ever trip to China and he will pocket a minimum of £3,000 for progressing to the last 64. The Wuxi Classic runs from June 17-23.
Duffy, who turned professional in 2011, told The Star: “I slacked off a bit in practice last year. I would be the first to admit that I didn’t work as hard as I should have done.
“After the World Championships this year, that was the worst I had ever felt. I just didn’t feel myself and lost my confidence.
“I think boxing trainer Brendan Ingle said that sport is 99 per cent graft and one per cent talent. It is so true. You can’t just get by on talent. You have to really work at it.
“I took snooker for granted a bit and the sport doesn’t half kick you when you don’t respect it.
“You have to work hard. I always say if Ronnie O’Sullivan (the reigning world champion) works five hours then you have to work six. You can’t work less and be as good as him.
“Over the last couple of weeks, I have been working really hard, knuckling down andit was nice to qualify for China. I’ve had a good start to the season. Last year, I started a bit poorly and my form carried on all the way through.”
It promises to be a hectic month for Duffy, who practices at Hustlers Sports Bar, in Eckington, along with fellow Sheffield potter Joel Walker, as he flies out to Bulgaria tonight with Nigel Bond, a former Crucible finallist, in preparation for the PTC Victoria Bulgaria Open. Duffy, an avid Sheffield Wednesday supporter, will play his first match tomorrow. He will then travel to Dubai for a training camp before jetting out to China a week on Saturday.
“Barry Hearn [the World Snooker chairman] has changed the ranking system now so your ranking is based on your prize money so I am going to try and earn as much money as I can,” said Duffy, beaten by Scott Donaldson in the Australian Open qualifiers at the Capital Venue in Gloucester last weekend.
“I am confident by the end of this season I will be in the top 48. It is going to be tough but I’m looking forward to it.”