World Snooker Championship: Anthony McGill 'can go all the way'

Anthony McGill
McGill has already upset three top-16 players in his first two appearances at The Crucible

Anthony McGill's fellow Scottish players are convinced he has what it takes to "go all the way" in snooker.

McGill, 25, has already caused a stir at the World Championship by knocking out last year's runner-up Shaun Murphy in the opening round at The Crucible.

That followed his debut appearance at the tournament 12 months ago, when he beat Stephen Maguire and Mark Selby.

Alan McManus believes McGill has "the whole package" while Graeme Dott says he "is as good as anyone else".

The Glaswegian, who has come through qualifying for the second straight year, faces Hong Kong's Marco Fu in the second round in Sheffield starting on Thursday, 21 April at 1300 BST.

McManus, 45, who begins his own second-round match against Ali Carter later on Thursday, is a regular practice partner of McGill, ranked 30 in the world.

"I stood up in Ponds [Forge, the Sheffield venue for World Championship qualifying] last year and said 'that boy can do damage here', and I think you all now see what I was meaning," he told BBC Scotland.

"I wouldn't say that lightly, as there's not many that have got those goods. And he's got the whole package.

"He's pretty special. You just have to watch him out there.

"He's a top-level performer who has only been here twice and already beaten Shaun (Murphy), Mark (Selby) and Stevie (Maguire)."

McGill, beaten 13-8 by Murphy in the quarter-finals last year, gained revenge on the Englishman when he made two centuries to come back from a frame down at 5-4 after the first session.

"He can go all the way; Anthony is as good as anyone else," said Graeme Dott, the 2006 world champion from Larkhall.

"It's wide open but personally I think he can go deep in the tournament."

Anthony McGill smiles as he speas to the media after his win over Shaun Murphy
McGill is happy to smile away from the table, but doesn't want to be known for it on the table

But Dott - beaten 10-4 by Mark Williams in the first round - expressed concern about the toll having to come through the qualifiers might take on McGill, the longer he stays in the tournament.

"I personally think anybody will run out of steam if they've had to come through the qualifiers," he added.

"They've been fantastic for Anthony and he's got an advantage, the same as I had, because we've been playing.

"But that advantage turns into a disadvantage if he gets to the final, as eventually these best-of-19s are going to catch up with him."

A new nickname? 'Answers on a postcard'

But there is another problem for McGill ahead of his next entry into the Crucible arena against Fu, the world number 14 - what does Master of Ceremonies Rob Walker call him?

His previous introduction as 'The Smiling Assassin' made him uncomfortable as he told the BBC he felt under pressure to look happy, when he was trying to focus on the task at hand.

He joked: " Maybe I need to change my name by deed poll! I think that would be the easiest as I've been trying to come up with something myself but nothing goes.

"When I was introduced as 'The Smiler' I felt I had to smile when I wanted to concentrate on winning, so maybe ditch that," said McGill.

"I dunno, answers on a postcard please."

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