I have made a name for myself: Michael White
Mumbai, March 14 (IANS)
A very relieved Michael White admitted that he had "arrived" on the scene after winning his maiden professional snooker title - the Indian Open - here on Saturday defeating World No.8 Ricky Walden 5-0. The 23-year-old Welshman said he had now taken the big step from being a child prodigy to a player to reckon with and was happy about his form going into next month's World Championship.
"I think I have made a name for myself now. I always put pressure on myself to get the best out of me and I did that here.
"My safety was very good and potting brilliant. I kept the pressure on Ricky and that's the only way you can beat a top player," said White looking quite relaxed and cool sporting a fashionable beard that actually make him look older than he is.
When asked about the selfie that his idol and the man he conquered in the semi-finals Mark Williams took immediately after the 57-minute final, White said: "I guess, he wanted a picture with the champion!"
On the brief conversation he had with Walden as they waited for the prize distribution, White who will now jump to either 16 or 17 from the current 22 in World rankings, said: "He congratulated me and said I outplayed him, and deserved to win the final."
A disappointed Walden heaped praise on White, but asserted that the tough semifinal match in the morning against Thailand's Thepchaiya Un-Nooh had no bearing on the final.
"Obviously, I am surprised at the 5-0 defeat, but Michael played brilliantly tonight. I was on the backfoot straightaway and I did not have any openings at all in the match, except probably in the second frame.
"As for the semifinals, we are all used to playing two sessions in a day. So, it did not affect me in the final. I just did not get any openings against White.
"But I am happy where I am, reaching the final here. I had won the International championship earlier this season and so, I think I am well placed going into the World Championship next month," said Walden who managed just 27 points in five frames in the final.