Joe Swail is a player who tends to go through streaks of either winning or losing.

He has yo-yoed up and down the rankings over the years and had he beaten Liang Wenbo at the Crucible last season would have been the first player to drop out of the top 16 and top 32 and then re-enter the top 16 on two occasions in his career.

Swail has an unconventional cue action but his fighting qualities are among the best of any player.

He has won a high proportion of deciding frame finishes and tends to be at his best when his back is to the wall.

Joe plays on inspiration and has made several great comebacks during an often emotional career.

Surprisingly, he’s never been in a ranking tournament final, having fallen at the semi-final stage a record nine times.

But you don’t get to two World Championship semi-finals in this decade without being a very good player indeed.

He’s failed to beat John Higgins in seven previous meetings so the omens aren’t good for him when they meet in the Maplin UK Championship at Telford today but he will have been boosted by his dramatic 9-8 victory over Liang in the final qualifying round last week.

Perhaps it’s time for the Belfast child to sing again...

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