Page pumped up for the Crucible

Apr 2
Jackson Page needs no greater motivation to produce the goods when he’s next at the table with a place at the Crucible up for grabs.

Fresh from a career-best run to the semi-finals of the recent World Open, Page is raring to go for his annual pilgrimage to Sheffield and dreaming of making it through to the main venue two years on from his dream debut there.

“The Crucible is where every snooker player wants to be,” Page told Snooker System. “It’s absolutely the pinnacle of our sport, and it definitely lived up to the expectations and some for me; it was insane.

“The World Championship to me feels like a whole different tour. It’s the dream and the one every gears up for. It has a completely different level of prestige to everything else.”

Back in 2022, Jackson had to fight through four qualifying rounds to secure his place and then famously beat Barry Hawkins in the first round before bowing out to his close friend Mark Williams in the last 16.

These fond memories have stayed fresh in mind and only inspire a repeat performance.

“I’d never really been there to watch as a kid,” he explained. “I went to see Mark win it there in 2018 and that was my first time going so to be there a few years later playing myself, there was no other feeling like it; it was amazing.

“The atmosphere is unreal. The hairs on your arms stand up; it’s a different league.

“The crowd were unbelievable, and you are constantly in that snooker bubble; there’s just no other place like the Crucible.”

Fast forward to now and Page needs just two wins to make it through to the venue, but it could easily have been so different. His run to the last four in Yushan has proved the difference between him going to the World Championship with a career-high ranking of world number 43 and fighting for his tour survival.

“There’s definitely not as much pressure on me now,” he admitted. “It’s not a life or death, career-defining moment so I’m looking forward to it and doing some damage.”

Page’s standout win at the World Open saw him beat Mark Selby in impressive fashion and he is also knocked out John Higgins before losing to Judd Trump in the semi-finals. But it was clear proof that he has what it takes to beat the top stars.

“It was nice to show people what I can do. I was obviously gutted not to go even further and win it, but I’ve put myself into a really strong position going into the World Championship and now it’s about moving forwards and climbing the rankings.”

Page doesn’t lack ambition with setting his sights high for the future. He is still a young man aged 22 but seems to have already been around a generation having played in his first professional event seven years ago when he was just 15.

He believes now is his time to really deliver on his phenomenal potential.

“I feel like I’m going in the right direction and I’m hoping next year I’ll be seeded at the World Championship.

“When you get results like I did (in Yuhsan), you want to use it to try and turn a corner. It feels like it’s about time for me to push on hopefully and become a bit of a force in the game.

“You always believe you can win now and all of a sudden you have a different mindset going into games. I’m just looking forward to the future now and picking up some titles.”

Before any of that though, it is time to get down to business with qualifying for the next edition of the World Championship. And make no mistake, Page is a staunch Crucible advocate. He knows what it means when it comes round to this time of year.

He’s on the side of the debate which agrees that this tournament should never move from its Sheffield roots.

“I don’t think it can ever move,” he said firmly. “It would never be the same. There may be other events where there’s more money, but you cannot move the history and the feelings players have going there. The titles are a lot more important than the money. There will never be a bigger event.”
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