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Final-frame KOs bring out fighting talk in Allen

Mark Allen is ready to fight all the way for glory at the World Championship after delivering two final-frame knock-outs.

The Antrim man has scraped past Matthew Stevens and Barry Hawkins to set up a quarter-final against former winner Mark Williams. He fended off a Hawkins fightback from 12-9 behind last night, to triumph 13-12.

The 25-year-old has revealed he is suffering from depression but believes he can get through any strife away from snooker, because of his survival instincts.

And those same instincts have already brought rewards at the Crucible. "My preparations were very poor and I didn't expect too much here, but I've always been a fighter. My family have brought me up that way," Allen said.

"And that's one thing that'll never change, no matter what happens on or off the table. I'm not going to give up in life or in snooker. I just seem to be able to find something; I don't know what it is.

"I seem to be able to find something when the pressure's on and it counts.


"But it'd be nice to win a match comfortably for a change."

Allen reached the World Championship semi-finals in 2009 when he lost to John Higgins, having knocked out Ronnie O'Sullivan earlier in the tournament. Both Higgins and O'Sullivan remain in the line-up this year, and Allen is wary of their presence but optimistic there could be a first-time champion, as there was when Neil Robertson triumphed last year.

Allen said : "The better players always rise to the top. It's no coincidence that experienced players like Higgins, and O'Sullivan have won so many times here.

"It'd be nice for a rookie to come through this year."