Snooker: Travis blown away by fame of fairytale tournament

Mitchell Travis in action against David Morris during day eight of the williamhill.com UK Championships at The Barbican Centre, York. Pic: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.
Mitchell Travis in action against David Morris during day eight of the williamhill.com UK Championships at The Barbican Centre, York. Pic: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.
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Sheffield potter Mitchell Travis admits he has been blown away by his new-found fame after an unexpected run at the UK Snooker Championship finally came to an end.

Travis beat world No.6 Marco Fu and Norwegian Kurt Maflin in the first two rounds in York but Irishman David Morris ended his run on Tuesday with a 6-1 win.

Travis, who was denied a spot on the professional tour by Morris at this summer’s Q School, was disappointed to see his fairytale UK Championship end at the Barbican.

But the 21-year-old amateur knows how much the past week at the UK Championship has helped him make a name for himself in the snooker world.

“It has absolutely gone through the roof,” he said. “I turned my phone on yesterday [Monday] after I beat Kurt and I had 118 messages on Facebook.

“I thought ‘what’s happening here?’ I didn’t know I had that many friends on Facebook. Obviously this week my name has been all over the papers.

“I got up this morning, had a look at The Sun newspaper and there’s normally hardly anything about snooker – but a picture of me.

“As my granddad said yesterday [Monday], it’s overdue. Since I was young I have been able to knock balls in from all around the table.”

Meanwhile Sheffield-based world No.3 Ding Junhui won his 22nd consecutive match in ranking events beating Fergal O’Brien 6-1 in round three.

Ding is already the first man since Stephen Hendry to win three straight ranking events – but Ricky Walden lies in wait as he bids for a fourth.

“That’s a legend – no-one did that after he did it, so I will try,” he said. “It’s already incredible so I will just carry on and try hard to win the next game and again and again.

“There is less pressure for me because I know I am playing good. Anything happening between matches doesn’t matter.

“I have just played him a few times but I think he has won most times. He is always dangerous and I have lost to him a few times, so I will try my best.”

And Adam Duffy saw his run at the Barbican come to an end on Monday night when, after a strong start, he was beaten 6-3 by world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan in round two.

“I have never seen Ronnie miss balls like that but then he came back and showed his class, so I take my hat off to him,” he said.

“It’s slightly weird, you know what I mean? He flies. He gets in and he just doesn’t miss a ball.”

* British Eurosport is the Home of Snooker, showing 19 tournaments this season including the World Championship, UK Championship, the Masters and all ranking events, available on Sky, Virgin Media & BT or online/on mobile via eurosportplayer.co.uk