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Luca Brecel hopes he will be able to mount a strong defence of this World Championship title after declaring “I’m back” following his win over Jiang Jun.

However, he eventually sealed the match with breaks of 80 and 93, and hopes those two visits show his form is beginning to return.

“When I got a chance in the last frame,” Brecel said in the Eurosport studio, “I felt like I was going to make a break. In my head, I’m really good at the moment. I’m feeling really good.

“To be honest, my focus is on Saudi Arabia and the Worlds, obviously, this is just trying to feel good and find something.

“I’ve been practicing a lot and I’m feeling good, actually, off the table as well. I’m back. Every day I’ve been playing and enjoying it as well. When I practice, I do enjoy it every time.

“I’m just trying get more fit as well. I’ve lost a bit of weight and I’m on a diet. I’m feeling really good.”

Brecel has endured a tough run of form since landing the World Championship at the Crucible in Sheffield last year.

He has not been past the third round of a ranking event, while failing to make the main draw of the German Masters and the British Open.

Such results mean he is at risk of not qualifying at all for some upcoming tournaments, and he admits the poor form has taken its toll on him.

“I feel so not in the game,” he continued. “I just don’t feel like a professional snooker player at the moment, because I’m not playing enough matches and I’m not winning enough.

“You always go home with a not satisfied feeling after a tournament, so you try to find that feeling, and it never comes. You need one run.

“I feel like I’m playing the same as I’ve always been playing, but it’s just not on the table like that.

“I’ve been playing for so long, and I know it’s going to come back. It could be any time.”

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