I went to Treviso and put up a good show in the defence of my title that I won in 2010. All the practice that I have been putting in on my table to perfect the slight changes I've made to my action are now becoming more "automatic" to me, and I know that this will be all positive for the coming big events.
In Italy, I started off extremely well, sailing through the winners side to qualify with ease, and to be honest, some matches I won easier than I thought that I might, but I guess that was down to my play with virtually no mistakes.
I drew a very composed Fabio Petroni in the last 32 straight KO, and even though I was always infront and in control of the match, my form wasn't as good as earlier in the tournament. I eventually came through with a 9-5 win, and had a nights sleep to get ready for the run in from last 16 in.
I got a decent nights sleep although I could feel a cold coming on. In the last 16 I had Konstantin Stepanov, a very strong player but my record was 100% against him before this match with 3 wins from 3.
In the match I set off ok but missed a silly 8ball cut into the side at 2-3 down. I battled well to get to 6-6, and was in control of the 13th rack with only 3 balls left on the table. I then missed what I would call an unmissable 7ball and gave the rack away. The next rack I played a bad positional shot and left myself fully bridging over a ball and missed the 3 ball because of it. Then in the last rack I made another uncharacteristic error, and went on to lose the match 6-9. It was very frustrating because on a normal day at the office I could have probably won the match 9-4, but I have no idea why I played so poor in this match. I guess all I can put it down to is that we are all human, and we all have off days in life in general.
As always though, reflecting back, I can take lots of positives from this tournament, and the main one for me is that the slight changes that I have made to my cue action are now virtually concreted in so that I don't need to think about them.
My next voyage will be to Beijing for the Beijing Open, and then from there to Manila for the World 10ball championships. So until I leave it's more practice!!!