As a boy, Shaun Murphy's twin ambitions were to be world champion and world no.1
Two years ago, he achieved the first; in the latest provisional ranking list he is up to no.1 so well on his way to achieving the second.
The rankings don't lie. Of the seven ranking events staged so far in 2007, Murphy has won 1, been in the semi-finals of 3 and the quarter-finals of another 2.
This record of consistency suggests Murphy will be hard to shift when the rankings receive their annual revision after the 888.com World Championship next May.
To me, Murphy is the only top player around who exhibits similar characteristics to Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry, in terms of his will to win and work ethic.
John Higgins, Ronnie O'Sullivan and Mark Williams are three of the greatest players of all time but did not - and still do not - have the drive of Davis and Hendry.
Players can become too comfortable and take their foot off the gas. Davis and Hendry would always forget about a tournament they had just won to concentrate on the next one.
Murphy seems to be cut from the same cloth and I feel he has more than one Crucible triumph to come.
He isn't to everyone's taste. The well publicised 'chalk-gate' incident with Stephen Maguire at the 2004 Grand Prix hardly endeared him to many.
Some dislike his religion, but this is just prejudice plain and simple.
And let's not forget how unpopular Davis and Hendry were with some people in their pomp.
Is this the age of Murphy? It's too early to say.
But at 25 he has time on his side and the world at his feet.