The 21-year-old from Leeds did not pick up a frame against Marco Fu last night to exit the competition at the last-16 stage, his best run ever in York. “I’m very disappointed as that’s not how I wanted to perform,” he said.
“I should have won the first three frames, and after that it gets harder and harder to win a frame.
“Everything I did just seemed to go wrong really, and it’s hard to stay positive when you throw the first three frames away.
“You’re going to get punished if you do that against the top players, and he turned it on a bit but I kept on leaving him in.
“Once I got to this stage of the tournament I wanted to win it, so this is a really disappointing performance as you’re not going to beat anyone playing like that.”
If the nerves of the occasion had got to him at all, Lines did not show it initially, slotting a long red into the corner pocket on his first visit to the table and opening up a 40-point lead.
And after an enthralling safety battle, it was only when Fu fluked the brown that he was able to strike the decisive blow to claim a 1-0 lead.
The attritional frames continued, and despite also getting in the balls in the second frame, Lines found himself 3-0 down after missing several opportunities on the pink to snatch the frame.
When Fu finally hit top gear to make it 4-0 at the interval with a commanding break of 118, the game was up for Lines, and the world No 61 admitted he had got inside his own head in the second half of the contest.
Lines, who beat Judd Trump earlier in the tournament, said: “If you win the first frame it takes a lot of pressure off. I made too many mistakes and by the end it was all negative thoughts. No-one wants to get beaten 6-0 when you get this far in the tournament.”
Elsewhere in York, both Zhou Yuelong and Zhang Anda also saw their UK Championship dreams end. The Sheffield-based Chinese starlets, who both are resident professionals at Victoria’s Snooker Academy, went down to Shaun Murphy and Mark Selby respectively.
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