Jack Lisowski is training his sights on becoming a genuine rival to his great friend Judd Trump.
Lisowski has tasted defeat at the hands of Trump in three finals already this season - World Grand Prix, German Masters and Gibraltar Open.
The 29-year-old claims he cannot yet be classed as a rival to Trump, as he does not have silverware in the trophy cabinet to justify it, but his aim is to break his final duck and become a challenger for the world number one.
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"It is horrible playing each other in big matches," Lisowski told World Snooker Tour. "I can even see that he genuinely wants me to win a title.
"If I beat him he would be sad to lose, but I know he would be happy for me at the same time.
"It is really weird. He is such a close friend and it is just strange playing your best mate in a final of a tournament.
Everyone knows he is the best player in the world. Who knows what would have happened if I played anyone else in those finals. It took the best player in the world to beat me.
"I’m not going to say that he is my rival yet, but I’d like to be able to say that in the future, where I’m winning the odd tournament and he is winning. It would be a proper clash then. I would love to turn into one of his rivals. That is the aim at the moment and if I can do that then I’d know I’m doing really well."
Lisowski has now been a beaten finalist on six occasions, and he is desperate to get over the line and win a title.
"I want to win one so badly and it has definitely become a bit of a monkey on the back," he said. "I don’t think I can say if I win one then trophies will come streaming in, but the consistency I have gives me a lot of confidence."
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The World Championship is looming on the horizon, and Lisowski is looking forward to playing in front of fans at the Crucible.
"I can’t wait for the World Championship," he said. "Everything is so intense there.
It will be emotional for all of the players. Everyone has had their own journey through the most crazy year ever. There have been so many ups and downs.
"Finishing it by playing in front of people at the Crucible means we will definitely be ending on a high.
"This time last year it felt like the world came to a stop, now we have come full circle. It feels like we are getting back to normal now."
Trump reaches quarter-finals to remain on course for a fourth straight Northern Ireland Open title
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Brilliant Trump thrashes Gao in faultless showing at Northern Ireland Open