Anthony McGill: ‘I just hate the way I play snooker’

Anthony McGill is struggling for confidence in his game (Picture: Getty Images)

Anthony McGill is into the last 16 of the Welsh Open but he is far from happy with his game, saying: ‘I just hate the way I play snooker.’

The 33-year-old has had a very quiet season so far but is looking good in Llandudno, beating three-time world champion Mark Williams 4-1 on Wednesday.

It was an impressive result for the Scot but he was pretty downbeat after the game, feeling he is not playing snooker the way he wants to.

The world number 25 says he is too slow around the table, hampered by his own thoughts, and wants to feel more free and relaxed while playing.

Asked if he expected such a one-sided result in the match with Williams, McGill told Eurosport: ‘I did but the other way. I wasn’t fancying it, in all honesty, but a great win.’

Explaining his pessimistic thoughts, he said: ‘He’s just a better player, simple as that.

‘I’m not really too confident right now, and even if I’m at my best I’m still second favourite against somebody like Mark. He plays the game so beautiful, just the way he plays, proper.

‘I just hate the way I play snooker, it’s just so slow, all the time and I don’t like it. I don’t do it on purpose but I just doubt myself. It’s up there. It’s a tough game between the ears.

‘I just need to play quicker and enjoy it. It’s not life and death, I need to remember. I just need to play snooker. It’s a game, game’s should be played, they shouldn’t be calculated to the nth degree. I just get too caught up in my thoughts. I just need to play the game.’

Ronnie O’Sullivan was in the Eurosport studio at the time and offered McGill some advice, saying that playing exhibition events can help find some freedom in your game.

The Rocket is a fan of the Scot’s abilities, memorably losing to him at the 2021 World Championship.

Betfred World Snooker Championship - Day Seven

McGill beat O’Sullivan at the Crucible in 2021 (Picture: Getty Images)

‘One of the best things I ever done was go on the exhibition circuit because you play in front of a crowd, you just play quick,’ he said. ‘I started to take that exhibition frame of mind into tournaments and it can work. You can play quick and play fluent.

‘It’s really hard out there because you get stuck in this high intensity. Really if you can relax out there and play like it means nothing you end up playing better.

‘I think he’s being harsh on himself, he’s got one of the best games on the tour. Technically beautiful, the way he hits the ball. He’s not slow, he might feel slow, but he’s not.’

McGill is back in action against Ricky Walden in the last 16 in Llandudno on Thursday afternoon.


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