Daniel Wells produced his career-best ranking performance at the Hanteng Autos World Open in Yushan, reaching the last 16. On the way he recorded a stunning 5-0 defeat of world number 14 Kyren Wilson. We caught up with a buoyant Wells on his return from China…
Daniel, congratulations on a great run at the World Open and especially the win over Kyren Wilson. Do you think that’s the best result of your career so far?
“I’d have to say that was one of them. Kyren is in the top 16 on merit, he is probably the form player on the tour. However, it felt really weird facing him in that regard as I’ve grown up with him on the junior circuit. You don’t feel like you are playing a John Higgins or an Ali Carter, but the fact is he has had a burst up the rankings and the player I beat was a top 16 player.
“After the 5-4 defeat to Ali Carter I was devastated. From 2-0 down I played really well and didn’t miss a ball to move 4-2 in front. He fought back strongly, but I had a chance to win the match in the decider which I had to take, unfortunately I didn’t. It was a shame because it was a great opportunity to kick on. However, on the whole this run has given me the confidence to kick on for the rest of the season.”
What are your main goals for the season ahead?
“The obvious one is to break into the top 64. At the beginning of the season that was a big milestone. The way I’ve been playing I’m not too worried about that at the moment though. I know on my day, I’m a match for anyone. If I have to play one of the top seeds early on, then that makes my route a little easier in the latter stages if I get the win.”
You’re now in the second season of your two-year tour card. Do you think that adds more pressure, or does it focus you even more to break into the top 64?
“I don’t really think that way. I’ve spent much of my career in the lower echelons ranking-wise, but I think I’ve been too concerned with the rankings. I told myself at the end of last season that there is more to life than rankings. I’m happy, healthy and enjoying playing. If I had to come through Q-School I would be confident as I’ve done it twice before, but if I take each match as it comes the rankings will take care of themselves.”
The tour visited Yushan for the first time at the World Open. How do you find travelling around the world for events?
“I think you need to embrace it. If you don’t enjoy the travelling, then it’s hard to enjoy playing. I find it a challenge going to places where people speak limited English, but it’s a great life experience. So many of my friends can’t believe the places I am getting to visit playing snooker.”
You started using a new cue at the beginning of the season. How important has that been to your form and why did you make the change?
“It’s been a really big part of me starting to play better. Towards the end of last season, I felt I was getting too much reaction out of the cue ball on the quick match cloths. I talked to John Parris about it and he made me a cue for this year. It’s been great, I feel like I have a lot more control over my shots now.”
See Daniel in action during the 2016/17 Home Nations Series. Tickets on sale now- for details CLICK HERE
English Open – Event City, Manchester, October 10-16
Irish Open – Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast, November 14-20
Scottish Open – Emirates Arena, Glasgow, December 12-18
Welsh Open – Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff, February 13-19