World Championship 2017: Tom Ford talks about his Crucible 'nightmare'

Tom Ford
Tom Ford reached the final of this season's Paul Hunter Classic
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."