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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 January 2008, 08:13 GMT
Dad Doherty targets Wembley win
Saga Insurance Masters
Wembley Arena, 13-20 January
Coverage: BBC TV, BBC Sport website & BBC Radio 5 Live

Ken Doherty
Doherty is eager to reach his third Wembley final
Ken Doherty is hoping the birth of his first child can inspire him to success at the Saga Insurance Masters.

Doherty, 38, who won the 1997 world championship crown, has reached two Wembley finals but stumbled at the final hurdle on both occasions.

"I'm hoping for inspiration from my baby boy - I need to win a few tournaments because nappies can cost a bit," he told BBC London.

He added: "It's a great event. Steeped in history. I hold it in great esteem."

606: DEBATE

The Masters starts on Sunday and the Irishman came close to winning the event in successive years. In 1999, he was defeated 10-8 by John Higgins and the following season he lost by the same scoreline to Matthew Stevens.

In that same final against Welshman Stevens he missed out on a 147 maximum, and with it an 80,000 sports car, after missing the final black off its spot.

"I've had some great matches at Wembley. I lost the two finals and also missed that black which has since given me a few sleepless nights. However, I think I still think I have it in me to win the Masters," said the passionate Manchester United fan.

Doherty plays Mark Williams in his first-round match. The two-time world champion, who once topped the rankings, has suffered badly in the last two seasons and is currently ranked 33rd in the world.

Losing a snooker match doesn't become so serious when you come home to your little baby

Ken Doherty

"It is so strange to see someone with that ability that far down," he added.

"But the overall standard is so high now on the circuit that even the first-round opponents can be tough to beat. So it's hard to make progress in competitions.

"But Williams still has class and loves the big stage. It's going to be a tough match for me."

Doherty also said he was looking forward to competing at Wembley Arena, which last year took over as tournament hosts from its near neighbour, the Wembley Conference Centre.

"The Conference Centre was a great venue when it was full with 2,600. There was a great atmosphere in there and I think that has been recreated in Wembley Arena.

"That is all very important from the players' and fans' perspective."

Doherty, like Williams, has experienced a loss in form which has resulted in fall from fourth to 16th in the provisional rankings.

However, the canny Irishman said the recent addition to his family made him put his career into perspective.

"It's fantastic and amazing. There is a lot of nappy changing and sleepless nights," he said.

"Having a child has given me great joy and I feel very blessed.

"Losing a snooker match doesn't become so serious when you come home to your little baby."



SEE ALSO
Masters draw
04 Jan 08 |  Snooker
Masters order of play
04 Jan 08 |  Snooker
Masters roll of honour
07 Jan 08 |  Snooker
Murphy steeled for Masters tilt
08 Jan 08 |  Snooker


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