Allen wants 'even better 2019' after claiming third title of year

Allen won three successive frames to come from 7-6 down to beat Shaun Murphy

Mark Allen is determined “to have an even better 2019” after winning the Scottish Open in Glasgow – his third tournament success of the year.

The Antrim player, 32, won the Masters in January and the International Championship in November, as well as reaching the UK Championship final.

“You have to enjoy your wins but you have to look ahead too,” said Allen.

“You’re only as good as your last performance so I want to keep moving forward,” added the world number six.

The Northern Irishman continued: “I’ve had a good 2018 but it’s up to me to continue working hard over Christmas and New Year and hopefully have an even better 2019.

“Results-wise it’s probably the most consistent I’ve been over a calendar year and that shows the work I’ve been putting in.

“I’ve really dedicated myself to the game and I feel like I’m working on the right things in practice now.”

Mark Allen celebrates with his family after landing the £70,000 top prize in Glasgow

Interval family time ‘settled’ Allen

A week after losing the UK Championship final to Ronnie O’Sullivan, Allen came from behind to lead Shaun Murphy 6-3 in Sunday’s final with breaks of 82, 64 and 70.

However, England’s Murphy, a former world champion, roared back to lead 7-6, before the Masters champion held his nerve to win the next three frames to triumph 9-7 and collect The Stephen Hendry Trophy and a winners’ cheque of £70,000.

“Seeing my family at the interval before that final session of play really settled me. Just playing with my daughter and running about the players’ lounge put things into perspective for me again,” he explained after the fifth ranking tournament victory of his career.

“I went out there quite chilled and even though I was 7-6 behind I felt quite calm in myself and finished the match well with three good breaks.

“It’s good for me to bookend the year with wins. I started the year by winning the Masters and finished the year by finishing runner-up at the UK Championship and winning the Scottish Open – and that on the back of winning the International Championship in China.”

Masters defence and ‘worlds’ challenge

Next up for Allen will be the defence of his Masters title at Alexandra Palace, which begins with a first-round tie against Luca Brecel on 13 January.

Later in the year the former world amateur champion will bid to win the biggest title of them all – the World Championship – at The Crucible Theatre.

Allen’s best performance in Sheffield was a semi-final appearance back in 2009, then a series of first and second-round exits were followed by a run to the quarter-finals earlier this year.

“The ‘worlds’ would be the icing on the cake but it’s a tough slog at Sheffield over 17 days.

“You need to be on your game and I don’t have the best record there even though it’s somewhere I enjoy playing.

“If I can continue my run of form I should go well there. It’s just about bringing everything together at the right time.”

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