Rob Milkins admitted he had apologised for a bad attitude in the arena to Zak Surety during a 5-4 victory achieved from 4-1 down in the last 32 at the China Open in Beijing.

Milkins is not a total stranger to accusations of poor behaviour and frustrations getting the better of him during a match by opponents.

At least he was honest enough to admit it on this occasion, and make the apology to a devastated Surety. And Milkins’ unease was almost certainly as he later claimed exacerbated by the uncertainty over his World Championship participation – not that that is an excuse.

Milkins arrived in China as one of those likely to be facing three qualifiers – but still with a glimmer of hope of gatecrashing the party with an automatic spot.

He said: “My attitude in the match was terrible, my head was not very good and I did apologise to Zak at the interval because my attitude just wasn’t good.

“I managed to do something about it after the interval, even at 4-1 down it was better. But I have got that in me to have my head not right and be the worst player in the world, it was the same in Thailand for the Players Championship.

“I had to really calm myself down. I don’t know why, maybe it is just having that one eye on the World Championship even though this is a big tournament. Everyone wants to be at the Crucible and some of us are not guaranteed.”