Oliver Lines was Rookie of the Year in 2014/15 and he’s got this season’s campaign off to a solid start, reaching the last 16 of the Indian Open in Hyderabad.
The 21-year-old travels to Yushan in China next week for the World Open, where he’ll face four-time World Champion John Higgins, and Lines is taking the positives from his experience last time out in India…
Oliver, well done on a good start to 2015/16 in Hyderabad. How happy were you with how you played out there?
“Yeah I’m pretty happy, in my first two matches against Graeme Dott and Andrew Higginson I played some really good stuff. Against Shaun Murphy I just didn’t take my chances. If you miss chances against him, you simply aren’t going to win.
“I’m pleased I played as well as I did, because I was struggling with my sleep. When I travel across time zones I find sleeping really hard, I normally only ever manage three or four hours. My manager Django Fung has been giving me tips to help with sleep before I head out to Yushan, so hopefully I’ll be better this time.”
You face John Higgins at the World Open. How excited are you to face such a big name in a big event?
“I’ve played John once before and he beat me, so I’m hoping to get him back. I’ve been practising hard with Judd Trump so I’m hoping that will really pay off in this match. Hopefully I can play well, as I’m really excited. He’s up there with the top two or three players of all time and if you can beat someone like John, it gives you a lot of confidence going forward.”
You made a big impact in your first season on tour, winning the Rookie of the Year award. How do you compare your current game to where you were starting out as a professional?
“I think my all-round game is getting better. During my first season on tour I think I was a bit immature and naive. I went for too much and players just picked me off. Since then I have sorted that and I’m generally playing better. I now need to make sure I start scoring heavier to keep progressing. I’m hoping that this year I can reach the quarters or semi-finals of a major ranking event. I think if I keep working hard, that won’t be too far away.”
Your dad Peter was on the tour until the end of last season. How different do you think your experience will be this year?
Oliver and Peter Lines
“It’s different when I go away, but he was still at the qualifiers in Preston earlier this year. I think in many ways it will be better. I used to worry about his score and he used to worry about mine. I won’t have that any more. Having said that I obviously wish he was still on the tour and it will definitely be a change.”
See Oliver in action at the 2016 English Open this October in Manchester, as the brand new Home Nations Series kicks off. Click here for more info.