Mark Allen says world title is his target after semi-final defeat

Mark Allen
Mark Allen is a former World Championship semi-finalist

Northern Ireland's Mark Allen says he "fancies his chances" of winning the World Championship after losing 6-2 to Shaun Murphy in his Masters semi-final.

The Antrim player won the first two frames at Alexandra Palace, before Murphy assumed control of the contest.

"I want to win it. I don't want to go there to finish second," said Allen of the sport's premier event in Sheffield.

"I have a few little things to work on but I don't think I'm far away. I have a busy schedule coming up before that."

"Hopefully I can get a few tournament wins under my belt and go there with confidence.

"I'll be putting lots of work in on the practice table to give myself the best possible chance," said the 2009 world semi-finalist.

Forthcoming ranking events
German Masters4-8 February, Berlin
Welsh Open16-22 February, Cardiff
Indian Open10-14 March, Mumbai
China Open30 March-5 April, Beijing
World Championship18 April-4 May, Sheffield

Allen has equalled his career best world ranking of six this season, having made two ranking finals, losing to Stuart Bingham in the Shanghai Masters and Ricky Walden in The International Championship.

However he exited the Champion of Champions at the first-round stage in November and went out to Rod Lawler in the last 32 of the UK Championship in December.

The 28-year-old showed a return to form in a 6-4 win over John Higgins in his first match at the Masters, but struggled in overcoming Joe Perry by the same scoreline in the quarter-finals.

"Obviously I'm disappointed to lose a semi-final at a big event like the Masters but I'm not too down on myself," said Allen.

"I missed a blue in the third frame and Shaun played very well after that - my long potting and safety needed to be better.

"I felt good after the interval but never really got a clearcut chance. I fancied my chances of a comeback and even at 5-2 down felt like I could do the job. Unfortunately it wasn't to be."

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