Ken Doherty’s excellent start to the season suggests he has now adapted to life at the qualifiers and has managed to rediscover a positive frame of mind.
Wisely, Doherty played in just about everything he could in the run up to the Shanghai Masters and, nicely match fit, he eased through the wildcard round today with a 5-0 defeat of Adiyta Mehta.
The Dubliner began the new campaign 44th in the world rankings and a precarious 56th on the provisional list.
He won only two matches last season and just two frames in his four matches at Prestatyn.
For a player so used to the big arenas, Pontin’s was a come down but it looks like he’s over that now and that could spell trouble for some of the game’s top players.
Neil Robertson would not have chosen the ever tenacious Doherty as his first round opponent in Shanghai.
In short, Doherty has fallen about as far as he is going to – for now at least – and could be worth backing to turn a few of his younger rivals over in the season to come.