UK Championship 2017: Martin Gould benefits from relaxed approach

Martin Gould
Martin Gould beat Robbie Williams 6-2 in the second round
2017 UK Championship
Date: 28 Nov-10 Dec Venue: York Barbican
Coverage: Watch live across BBC Two, BBC Red Button, Connected TV, the BBC Sport website and mobile app from 2 December.

World number 18 Martin Gould says adopting a more relaxed approach to his snooker is helping him find his best form.

The 36-year-old Londoner faces Iran's Hossein Vafaei in the third round of the UK Championship on Tuesday.

Gould has reached the last eight or further in both his previous ranking event appearances.

"My form is good, I feel good and, if I am enjoying myself, then on my day I back myself to beat anyone," he said.

Gould made the semi-finals of the International Championship in early November, losing to world number one and eventual winner Mark Selby.

And he reached the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Masters in his next tournament, where his run was ended by John Higgins.

So far he has beaten Joe Swail and Robbie Williams to make the last 32 at the York Barbican.

Gould believes a recent return to form is at least partly down to not over-practising.

"I feel fresher and happier if I'm not spending loads of time on the table when I'm not at tournaments," he told BBC Sport.

"The tour is so busy anyway and I have always felt I can beat the top players. It's a matter of actually doing it.

"You cannot look too far forward, but I'm not here looking to make up the numbers."

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