Manan keen to end title drought

“International success has eluded me for a long time now,” said Chandra after qualifying for the round-of-48 at the ongoing World Snooker Championship here on Wednesday.

 “I would blame the lack of success due to poor mental strength. I would reach the knockout stage of a tournament without any fuss but once I am there, my game generally falls apart. More often than not, I end up losing in the quarterfinals. Be it national championships or international events that has been my story so far.

“I generally win a lot of these invitational tournaments but something just goes awfully wrong in nationals or internationals. Probably pressure and my inability to handle them are the reasons.  However, I’ve been working hard and want to break the title jinx as soon as possible,” added Chandra, who is married to multiple national champion cueist Anuja and is on the verge of becoming a father.

Chandra first shot into limelight when he clinched the Junior national snooker title way back in 1997. Two years later he captured the junior national billiards title and was touted as the next big thing. While he has sparkled in pool, despite being an aggressive snooker player with the ability to sink in remarkable pots, Chandra’s only senior title in snooker has been in 2006.

“2006 was my best year. I won the national title and also won the silver in the Team Snooker Championship in the United States along with Yasin Merchant and Pankaj Advani. I also reached the semifinals of the IBSF World Snooker Championship. Having said that, my current goal is to play the professional circuit once again. It’s the ultimate dream of any snooker player. I am more mature now and I’ve worked on improving my mental strength. I am completely focused and I hope to win some major titles,” said Chandra.

Despite his lack of success, Chandra is always tipped as the dark horse by fellow players and pundits before the start of any event. “It’s always nice to enter a tournament that way. It could help you as well as act as a deterrent. You’re tipped as a dark horse only if you’re good. Hopefully, I am able to live up to that expectation.”

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