World Championship 2017: Tom Ford talks about his Crucible 'nightmare'
|Venue: The Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Dates: 15 April – 1 May|
|Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, BBC Red Button, Connected TVs, online and app.|
Tom Ford says he found it difficult to come to terms with playing at the Crucible after his third straight first-round World Championship exit.
The Leicester potter, 33, was beaten 10-3 by Barry Hawkins, the 2013 runner-up and two-time semi-finalist.
World number 32 Ford led early on but said he then found it a “struggle”.
“I just felt completely different when I went back out,” he told BBC Sport. “It’s not a good place to be when you are not feeling good.”
Ford, who also fell at the first hurdle of snooker’s showpiece event in 2010 and 2014, said the mid-session break interrupted his flow.
“It can be a nightmare sometimes,” he added. “Barry came out firing and I felt like a couple of things went against me and it’s an uphill battle.
“People always think you get to the Crucible and you bottle it, but you always play a really good player.
“Barry’s a great player. He is a such tough match player and his safety is spot on. When he gets in front, it’s difficult to get back.”
But Ford remained upbeat about a season which has seen him climb from 43 in the world rankings and reach the first ranking event final of his career.
He lost 4-2 in the final of the Paul Hunter Classic to fellow Leicester player Mark Selby and also reached the quarter-finals of the German Masters and made the fourth round of the English Open.
“There are a lot positives,” Ford added. “I have played well in patches and need to push on.”