'I love what I do'

striking victories

'I love what I do'

Ten-time billiards and snooker world champion Pankaj Advani appeared on a different arena. He walked the ramp at a function recently and Metrolife caught up with him for a chat.

 A man of few words, he says it has not been an easy task to win the world championships consistently.

“It’s all in your mind. In any sport, when you are performing in front of an audience, and when you have reached a certain standard, you are either expected to maintain the same or better it. It’s this thought of expecting too much from yourself, that can get you down.

However, the best thing to do is to go in with an open mind and not expect too much out of it.”

Pankaj further adds, “The scoring pattern and technique are different in both the games - normally people specialise in one sport but I would like to be different and take up the challenge of playing both the games at the highest level, and that’s what makes it all the more difficult.”

On the winning spirit, he says, “I want to continuously evolve as an athlete and there is no limit to learning and to one’s performance. If one tries to be limitless, they can achieve anything.  As of now, I have a lot to achieve, but I love what I do and I’m proud of the fact that I can play so fluently.”

 According to him, India has become more receptive to the two sports. “They are gaining popularity and we have a lot of championships coming up. Indian Open is a world-ranking snooker event which is coming back to India for the second time and there are also Premier Leagues kind of formats, and these games help further billiards and snooker,” he adds. He dismisses the notion that billiards and snooker are meant for men.

 “There are a lot of women playing these games but unfortunately in India, the opportunity for women is less and I have always been vocal about this.

I wish more sponsors come in to organise more games for women,” he says. Apart from snooker and billiards, Pankaj keenly follows tennis. “I love tennis and I’m looking forward to the US Open. It’s the last grand slam of the season, and my favourite is Roger Federer. He seems to be in good form, and since Nadal is out, he has a better chance of winning.”
Busy preparing for the World Championship, which will be held in Bangalore and England, the youngster blushes when asked about marriage.

“These things just happen - I cannot calculate exactly when but roughly about one to two years from now,” he says bashfully.

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