24.9.08

RETURN OF THE MAC?

Alan McManus was a player many tipped in the early 1990s to be world champion.

He lost in the Crucible semi-finals in 1992 and 1993 and never again threatened to land snooker’s greatest prize.

But it’s easy now to forget how good he was.

He won two ranking titles, the 1994 Dubai Classic and 1995 Thailand Open, but his biggest win came at the 1994 Masters when he ended Stephen Hendry’s remarkable 23-match unbeaten run at Wembley with a 9-8 defeat in the final.

McManus had problems converting good runs in tournaments into silverware. He reached 26 ranking event semi-finals but only ten finals.

Today at Prestatyn he produced a solid performance to beat Paul Davies 5-1 and reach the final qualifying round of the Royal London Watches Grand Prix.

McManus was once as high as sixth in the rankings. Now he is 37th.

“I fancy doing well this season. I fancy doing some damage if I qualify,” he told me after setting up a meeting with Anthony Hamilton tomorrow.

Indeed, he played well at the Northern Ireland Trophy last month, coming close to beating Stephen Maguire in the last 16.

Perhaps slipping down the rankings has been a wake-up call. Some players – Jimmy White is a good example – come to realise that they are simply too good to be where they are on the list.

Can McManus turn things round?

It will be tough, but I don’t believe form completely disappears. It’s up to players to rediscover it.

McManus is the sort of player who could do just that, but he has a lot of work to do if he is to get back to where he was 15 years ago.

3 comments:

ProSnookerBlog said...

Saw John Higgins say recently that he once thought that Alan would be the one to take over from Hendry at number 1 so he must really have been promising early on.

Has a new cue this season I think? Seems to be doing him good at the moment.

Anonymous said...

Along with Davis and Doherty the
best safety player in the business

To beat Hendry in that masters final was an unbelievable ahievment

Anonymous said...

He's not exactly playing the big guns is he? He's a has been.