Ken Doherty has said he is “over the moon” to return to the World Snooker Championship having twice missed out on the event in recent years.
The 42 year-old Ranelagh native won the World Championship in 1997 and was runner-up both in 1998 and 2003.
Doherty faces 2010 champion Neil Robertson in the first round on Saturday and having not qualified for the last two global tournaments, he is particularly pleased to have reached this year’s event in Sheffield.
His pleasure was accentuated by the fact he was on the brink of losing to Anthony Hamilton having trailed 52-12 in last Saturday’s final qualifying round.
Doherty went on to produce a superb 62 clearance and said afterwards: “I’d more or less resigned myself to losing. There was so much at stake. To come through like that with a great clearance was fantastic. I’ve missed it for two of the last three years, so to be back is great. I’m over the moon.”
Doherty said that as you get older, you lose your concentration a little but not the desire to play:
“You look at the likes of Jimmy White and Steve Davis – they still have the hunger and love to play, and I’m the same.”