Nick Brett feels he is under no extra pressure to win the World Indoor Bowls Singles Championship despite being one of the favourites.
After enjoying a sensational 2014, the City of Ely Bowls Club star is priced up by many of the major betting firms as the second favourite behind Paul Foster to claim the crown and the £55,000 first prize at the Potters Leisure Resort.
Although the 40-year-old — who in November became the first player in the history of the sport to win back-to-back Co-operative Funeralcare Scottish International Open titles — will be expected to go a long way he has stressed that he will take things as it comes.
“I have been in reasonably good form and I just hope I can do enough in each game I play as the world singles title is the one tournament every player wants to win,” said Brett. “If I did win it would mean everything to me,”
“I have had some good results lately and that has given me extra confidence, but I don’t feel there is any extra pressure on me to win it.
“As I am higher up the rankings than before there is probably more pressure on me avoiding going out early on.”
The first hurdle the Yaxley-based player will have to overcome in the competition, sponsored by Just Retirement, is New Zealander Andy McLean in round one on Wednesday.
“I don’t know anything about Andy,” said Brett. “I would rather know a bit about the player I am facing as to what their strengths and weaknesses are.
“Because he is an unknown to me, I will have to play as good as I can as I don’t know what standard he is at.
“I will have to prepare for the match as if he could be the best player in the world.”
Prior to tackling McLean, Brett will partner his City of Ely Bowls Club teammate Greg Harlow on Saturday to start the defence of their world pairs title they won last year, with a match against either Darren Burnett and Stewart Anderson or Robert Chisholm and Ross Owen.
Brett and Harlow, who faces Martin Puckett on Monday in the opening round of the singles event, won the 2014 pairs title with a 13-4, 7-7 win over Foster and Alex Marshall.
“The pairs are all tough games and if you have a couple of bad ends you will be in trouble,” said Brett. “We will be looking to making it to the final again but it will be very difficult.”
Following on from both his singles and men’s pairs opening games, Brett will team up with Rebecca Field a week tomorrow for the first round of the mixed pairs.
“I have a good partner in Rebecca Field for the mixed pairs,” said Brett. “I have never played together before and our progress will depend on how quick we gel.”