Lichtenberg first turned professional in 2018 after successful the European Below-21 Championship
Simon Lichtenberg, one of the vital improved gamers on the tour over the previous 12 months, believes he can proceed his improvement subsequent season and keep his progress up the world rankings.
Throughout his first two seasons on the circuit from 2018 to 2020, Lichtenberg gained simply 4 matches and was relegated from the tour. He instantly bounced again by way of Q College, beating Leo Fernandez within the remaining spherical of the primary occasion, and has since stepped up his sport and his outcomes.
In the course of the 2020/21 season, the 23-year-old from Berlin gained 13 matches, scoring victories over the likes of Scott Donaldson, Anthony Hamilton and Martin Gould. He has climbed to 97th on the planet rankings and is focusing on a prime 64 spot by the top of subsequent season.
“The primary two years have been powerful,” Lichtenberg recollects. “It took time simply to find out how the circuit works and to get used to being at tournaments and taking part in matches. For those who don’t win a lot in your first season, then there’s a number of strain in your second.”
Lichtenberg was halfway by means of a level course in economics when he first turned professional, and might need returned to school if he had not made it by means of Q College final 12 months.
“I don’t even know whether or not I’d have saved taking part in snooker,” he admits. “I definitely couldn’t have performed full time as a result of there have been no novice occasions through the pandemic. It was simply an enormous reduction to get by means of Q College and to have a clear slate and two extra years.”
Lichtenberg moved to Dunstable final 12 months, the place he practises with gamers together with Alexander Ursenbacher. “I’ve positively improved an enormous quantity, and a number of that’s right down to the apply time I’ve had with different gamers,” he stated.
“I did some work to enhance my cue motion and my positional play has obtained rather a lot higher. Extra importantly, I really feel much more comfy in matches now, and that permits me to play extra fluently, nearer to my apply sport. I’m making extra breaks in matches now and feeling extra assured.
“The highest 64 is one aim – it will be a dream to get there by the top of this season. I’ll attempt to do higher than final season. I gained a number of first spherical matches, which is nice by way of getting prize cash and rating factors, however now I notably need to get to the later phases of some tournaments. One other goal is to get by means of the qualifying rounds of the German Masters, particularly whether it is performed on the Tempodrom in Berlin. I’ve been there as a fan to look at just a few occasions however by no means performed there.”
Lichtenberg shares a flat with Switzerland’s 25-year-old Ursenbacher and so they have turn out to be shut buddies. “It’s nice for each of us. I’m the kind of character who will get bored if I’m alone, and Alex is identical,” he stated. “It’s good to have somebody to speak to, watch motion pictures with and share meals. We each do some cooking however I’m positively higher than him within the kitchen. I realized a number of recipes from my mum. We make German and Swiss meals however I additionally take pleasure in making Asian curries.
“It’s not straightforward being based mostly within the UK. Earlier this 12 months my grandmother handed away, so it was actually powerful, not being with my household in Germany at the moment. It’s onerous for the entire abroad gamers, you usually miss your loved ones. However I realise it’s a part of being a participant.”
Lichtenberg is certainly one of two German gamers on the circuit, alongside Lukas Kleckers. When this 12 months’s Q College will get underway on Thursday, he’ll take a eager curiosity within the progress of Umut Dikme and Richard Wienold, who can be aiming to earn a tour card and improve the German contingent.
“It has not been straightforward for them to make it Q College as a result of they’ve needed to quarantine. It’s nice they’ve made it and I can be rooting for them,” stated Lichtenberg. “There don’t appear to be many younger gamers coming by means of in Germany however these two are each gifted. Hopefully myself and Lukas can maintain climbing the ladder and play extra matches on tv within the later phases of tournaments. That might encourage extra younger individuals to strive snooker in Germany.”