The Sheriff of Pottingham
Anthony Hamilton will enjoy the chance to reflect on the best moment of his career next week when he heads to Berlin to defend his D88 German Masters title.
After 26 years on the tour and a couple of very near misses, Hamilton won his first ranking title at the Tempodrom 12 months ago. After knocking out the likes of Mark Selby, Barry Hawkins and Mark Williams to reach the final, he beat Ali Carter 9-6 to capture the trophy.
Nottingham’s 46-year-old Hamilton had to come through two qualifying matches last month to book his return, beating Chen Zhe and Mitchell Mann. And he’s now looking forward to heading to Germany ahead of his last-32 match against Jimmy Robertson on Wednesday afternoon.
“When I get to the Tempodrom on Tuesday I’ll allow myself a walk around the arena to reminisce about last year,” said the world number 29. “It would have been a shame if I hadn’t qualified and missed the chance to do that. Then on Wednesday when I get introduced that will be a buzz, it will be brilliant. I’ve never been defending champion before and it might never happen again so I’ll have to enjoy it. After that it be just another tournament and I’ll have a match to win.
The Tempodrom – one of snooker’s great venues
“I was really pleased to qualify just because it’s the second best venue on the circuit and I love going to Berlin. My parents aren’t coming this time but my friend Richard will be there and we are staying for four nights even if I get pumped in the first round, because it’s a great city.”
It has been a mixed season so far for Hamilton. The highlight came at the Champion of Champions in November when he beat Ding Junhui and Ryan Day to reach the semi-finals, before losing to Ronnie O’Sullivan. But he has suffered seven first-round defeats in ranking events and has been troubled by a persistent back problem which has affected him for several years.
“If I want to play well in practice then I’ll end up doing my back in,” he said. “I am constantly trying to do the right things but I just can’t play that much. I played well in the Championship League earlier this month but then my back went and I couldn’t play for five days. At the moment it’s better so I’ll hopefully be fine for Berlin.
“I’ll just keep going until either I get relegated from the tour or I can’t get down on the shot. I still feel as if I can have a good second half of the season; I just keep plugging away and hope to get the breaks.”
Also chasing the £80,000 top prize in Berlin will be the likes of Mark Selby, Shaun Murphy, Judd Trump, Ding Junhui and Mark Allen. For the draw and format click here.
Watch the tournament on Eurosport TV, Eurosport Player, or buy tickets here