Steady Cope Targets Titles

After a few near-misses in recent season, 2010/11 saw Stoke’s Jamie Cope break through into the top 16 of the rankings for the first time in his career, peaking at number 13 and eventually finishing 15th at the end of the campaign.

Despite this however, he did not consistently display the level of form that took him to two ranking event finals during the 2006/7 season and saw him come so close to topping eventual winner John Higgins at the Crucible back in 2009…

Whilst on the face of it the reasons for that were unclear, behind the scenes all was not well with Jamie as he struggled to overcome a mysterious problem that caused his arms and head to shake during both practice sessions and tournament matches.

“For the past year or so I have found that I have struggled to stop my head and right arm from shaking which left me feeling unbalanced during so many matches, even during practice.”

“I found that it began to get worse when travelling to a few of the European PTC events and then particularly during the second group of the Championship League as well as my first match at the Masters, in Germany and then in China.”

“I tried to do different things but found that I was going round in circles and it did knock my confidence a bit.”

Thankfully however, during the past few days Jamie has got to the bottom of these problems having being diagnosed with an essential tremor, a hereditary condition that his dad and his nan have suffered from. Even more positively, Jamie has now been able to receive treatment for the problem and the early signs are encouraging.

“I am still testing it at the moment but since returning to practice having started a new course of medication it seems to be working. I have also been told that there is an alternative should it not solve the problem which is also reassuring.”

“It is a huge weight off my shoulders now and hopefully now I can push on.”

As someone who was there in the Crucible crowd during both of Jamie’s performances at the 2009 World Championship from the outside it has been a surprise to not see him regularly repeat that exceptional form since but today’s news certainly explains why. Still only 25, the best is surely yet to come from Jamie Cope and with the increased confidence that will come from being able to play with freedom having finally now found an answer to his problem, he will be one that few will want to draw in 2011/12…

For more from Jamie ahead of the new season please click here to read his thoughts at World Snooker.