New Delhi: India's ace cueist Aditya Mehta Friday described his runner-up finish in the Indian Open snooker tournament as the "greatest milestone" of his professional career.
He said the memorable victories over the world champions in the tournament proved that "nothing is impossible". "I have been doing well over the years. I have bringing medal glory to the country, but today's final appearance, it's the greatest milestone I could have achieved in my career.
This shows that nothing is impossible," said Mehta after losing the summit clash against China's Ding Junhui 0-5. Mehta said he could not have imagined himself playing in the final of a major ranking event but his remarkable journey to the title clash has instilled a new belief in him to attain greater heights on the pro circuit.
"I myself could not have imagined playing the final of a ranking event. Few years ago, I would have written any Indian off but look now I myself is here playing the final," he said. "This shows that if your heart is in the right place, if you are playing in the right earnest, just have a belief for a second that you can do that, then everything could be achieved. I have always dreamt of reaching this far.
"This shows I am capable of beating top-ranked players. It will push me harden to attain a lot more success," he said. Talking about the final, Mehta said he learnt a lesson in snooker from Junhui.
"It was brilliant, well played. I gave my best but it wasn't good enough. I learnt a lesson in snooker today from him. We practice in same academy (Star snooker academy) in Sheffield and I know how good he is. He was in the league of his own today. I need to be better in all the departments, just keep on learning and improving."
Mehta conceded that playing back-to-back matches against top-ranked players sapped him of his energy. "I was mentally drained out. I was out of energy playing against Peter Ebdon, Pankaj Advani, Mark Allen, Stephen Maguire. They had taken everything out of me. Ding, when he is on a roll, it's very difficult to stop him. Next time I'll be better prepared against him," said Mehta.
Ding, the champion, who became only the second cueist after Ronnie O'Sullivan on the Pro circuit to win back-to-back ranking events (Shanghai Open and Indian Open), said he needed to improve his safety play. "I will try to better my safety play. I have played him before and he is a very strong player on safety count.
Overall, I am happy with my performance." He said he only concentrates on his game and outside pressure does not affect him much. "I don't think of any pressure, just concentrate on my game. I concentrate on my potting, my shots. This helps my game," he said.