Five-time Champion of Russia Ivan Kakovsky spoke with Eurosport commentator Artem Romanov and recalled the experience of performing in the World Cup qualifiers. He also explained why he chose pool instead of football, tried to find reasons for the return to the big game of seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry and made a choice between Ronnie O’Sullivan and Mark Selby.

 In mid-July, the World Snooker Tour published a list of qualifiers. What was the reaction when you found out about getting into the qualifiers?

“I knew before the publication that I would be a participant. My father told me, and he was Told by Sergey Ryabinin (vice-president of the Russian Federation of Billiard Sports in the direction of snooker – Eurosport). I was pleasantly surprised, but at the same time, I realized that it would be difficult for me. The fact that I was on vacation, and I was informed a week and a half before the start of qualification. I haven’t trained in a week. I had to get in shape urgently. The coach was also on vacation. First I started to train alone, and then the coach came.

– So you didn’t expect an invitation to qualify for the World Cup and were your thoughts in the new season?

– Yes, although I knew that many Chinese players will not come, and there will be some chances to get there because I often perform at the amateur world and European championships. But I didn’t believe it, so I took a vacation.

– Can you lose your form in a week?

It’s individual. For myself I can say that not to play, not to train for a week – it’s a lot. I want to reach the peak of form for such a tournament, and when you have a week and a half, it is impossible to reach the peak. I can get back in shape in 3-4 days when I train for 7-8 hours a day, but to get to the peak I need a month.

– Jimmy White became the opponent. Is that cool? Or wanted to get a not so eminent opponent?

It’s cool! I wanted to play with him. I’ve played Jimmy before. It was interesting to know if I had made progress since we last met. It’s the best lot I could have.

– When did you play with Jimmy?

Last summer in Thailand. I went to the academy training camp. It just so happens that Jimmy was there, too. It was just sparring.

– How was the preparation for the World Cup qualification?

” At first we thought for a long time when to leave, where and with whom to prepare. The borders were almost all closed. The ideal option is to fly from Ukraine because flights from Russia did not fly. Plus there’s Julian Boyko. You can play with him, practice, he has a startable. We started looking for options on how to get to Ukraine. We got there through Belarus. As a result, we trained together for four days.

Who helped you organize the training camp?

“My father did a lot for this trip. Thank you and Julian’s father Sergey Boyko. He invited me, which made it easier to enter Ukraine through Belarus. They just didn’t let me in. You could say that the two of them decided everything.