Nobody really talked about Ryan Day as a possible winner of the Betfred.com World Championship but they will have to now he is through to the quarter-finals – a remarkable Nigel Bond recovery notwithstanding.
Ryan has had a somewhat Jekyll and Hyde season. He began it well, reaching the Grand Prix final, but then entered a mini-slump before getting to the China Open semi-finals earlier this month.
Confidence is so important in any sport, particularly one like snooker that rests largely on mental fortitude.
There’s no doubt that Day is very talented but, like any player, he needs to truly believe he can be a winner.
I was surprised he didn’t win the Grand Prix having played the best snooker of the tournament.
Perhaps the mental barrier presented by not having won a ranking title before was a factor.
The same was possibly true for Graeme Dott, though, and after losing in four finals he won his first ranking event trophy at the Crucible in 2006.
There’s been great attention on a number of players leading up to and throughout the World Championship.
There’s been hardly any on dark horse Ryan Day and this is probably going to help him go even further.