World Snooker Championship: Sam Baird inspired by mid-match chat with fan
|2016 World Snooker Championship|
|Venue: The Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Dates: 16 April - 2 May|
|Coverage: Live on BBC TV, BBC Red Button, BBC Sport app, Connected TVs and online.|
Qualifier Sam Baird said a mid-match chat with a fan in the crowd helped relax him in his shock 10-7 first-round win over world number 15 Michael White in the World Championship.
Baird led 5-4 overnight only for a tentative start to the second session see him trail 7-6.
But a seemingly nerveless four-frame burst, which included a break of 103, took the Devon man through.
"I don't mind chatting. It kind of lightened the mood," said Baird, 27.
"It was stressful out there. He was a nice guy.
"He asked me what the table was like because he heard on commentary they weren't very good."
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World number 59 Baird was thrilled to have shown his talents on snooker's biggest stage, having been brushed aside 10-2 by Stuart Bingham in his only previous Crucible appearance in 2013.
"I didn't think it was too high quality all the way through," Baird added. "We were both under a lot of pressure.
"I am thrilled with how I finished it, but I don't really know where that came from. I am over the moon. I don't know what happened to me.
"I really wanted to give a good account of myself. Winning never crossed my mind. It has all been a bit of blur, but I just wanted to play well and near how I can play."
Baird took advantage of an outrageous fluked red to win the 15th frame and go 8-7 ahead and he closed out the win with breaks of 103 and 62.
His victory, which has guaranteed him £22,000, could see him face Mark Selby in the second round. Selby leads Robert Milkins 7-2.
"It's my biggest pay day by miles and has put me up the rankings a fair bit," he said. "But the money hasn't sunk in yet.
"Playing Mark would be an incredibly tough game. He is the world number one and would be a be a big favourite against me over a long match."
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