International Championship: Mark Allen says calmness was key to title win

Allen dominated the opening session in the final to build a 7-1 lead
Allen dominated the opening session in the final to build a 7-1 lead

Mark Allen believes remaining calm was a crucial factor in his International Championship victory.

The Northern Irishman beat Neil Robertson 10-5 in Sunday's final in Daqing to win his first ranking tournament of the season.

Allen was on the phone to his friend and 2005 world champion Shaun Murphy during intervals of his successful Masters final in January, but didn't need to call for help on Sunday.

"I felt much calmer," Allen said.

"I've played really well all week and felt much more relaxed in the later stages of the tournament than I have done before.

"Shaun helped me through the Masters win. I was speaking to him during intervals and picking his brain as he had been there and done that in the big events.

"But I didn't need to make any calls this week and hopefully that stands me in good stead for the future."

Allen's triumph earned him his fourth world ranking title and he will move up from 12th to seventh in the rankings.

He is hoping that the success in China will act as a springboard for the future.

"I appreciate how hard it is to win these tournaments as 127 players go home very disappointed each time," he continued.

"I'm not going to get carried away, but my game is in good shape which gives me a lot of confidence.

"If I continue to work hard and do the right things on the practice table then I will give myself a good chance."