WHO says January is the most miserable month of the year?

After winning Event Two of the Ultimate Pool Pro Series on Sunday in Blackpool, Keighley potter Chris Melling is now the world number one.

In a remarkable start to 2023, he has also made it through to the Champions League last-16, won his Masters group and gone viral for a 'shot heard around the world'.

Speaking to the Keighley News after his success at the weekend, Melling said: "It was strange really, because I beat Carl Morris 8-0 in my Event One opener on the Thursday night, and felt like I was playing really well.

"I thought I did a pretty good job in the last-32 against Simon Fitzsimmons too, but I felt I was always chasing the game and the balls seemed to be falling awkwardly for me.

"I lost that game 8-6 but I was breaking well, playing well, and I felt it would click for me at some point."

And it did click in Event Two later in the weekend, which culminated in Melling thumping Callum Singleton 8-3 in the final.

But he nearly went out in the semi-final, winning a six-red shootout against Luke Gilbert after a 7-7 draw.

Melling also beat Gilbert in the same quickfire fashion to advance in the Champions League too.

The Keighley potter said: "I'd come from 2-0 down to lead 7-2 against Luke on Sunday, but he hadn't done a lot wrong.

"I took my foot off the gas a bit after that, thinking I'd already won it, especially with having three breaks left.

"He pulled it back to 7-7 but I have confidence in myself in a six-red shootout.

"I'm a firm believer that, as long as the way the balls fall after my break is similar to my opponent, I can finish them off five or six seconds quicker than anyone else on the circuit.

"I beat Luke quite easily in the Champions League and Pro Series shootouts, but honestly, what a player he is.

"He's won the World Junior Championships a couple of times and he's still only in his early twenties.

"I think he'll be one of the best players around for a long time."

But even Gilbert has not been able to stop Melling this month, with the veteran saying: "The confidence is there at the moment.

"I still doubt myself over odd shots, but my experience gets me through and I'm getting results.

"I won the Pro Series on Sunday and that made me world number one.

"It's my birthday this Friday too, so a triple celebration is on the cards."

Melling is widely regarded as one of the best potters on the circuit, and he reached a much wider audience earlier this month.

During his 4-1 victory over Gary Clarke in the Champions League, Melling produced a ridiculous escape to pot his final red in the fifth frame, with the video of his shot being shared all over the Internet.

Melling said: "It's not the first time I've done that kind of thing.

"I played one ridiculous shot in America a few years ago that's been viewed over 100 million times for example.

"I think the fact that I only had 15 seconds to work out what I was going to do with that shot against Gary made it more impressive, and the fact I landed perfectly on the 8-ball after it too.

"I played about six of those shots in Blackpool over the weekend as well, so I've asked the Ultimate Pool guys if they can put clips of those together for my socials.

"I've actually just monetised my fan page on Facebook, and I've got a magic trick shot on there with over 700,000 views already."

Despite his January successes, nothing has made Melling happier than seeing his close friend and fellow player Darren Appleton on the mend following a massive heart attack last month.

The Keighley star said: "It's great to see how Darren's come back from his heart attack, as he was out of it for 45 minutes when it happened.

"When they brought him out of his induced coma, his heart stopped three times as well.

"He's had a pacemaker fitted thankfully and he's doing okay now.

"I want to see him soon and I've messaged him, but he's got a big family and they come first.

"I know he wants to play pool again as soon as he can, but given what happened to him, he needs to take a good rest, I'd say for at least six months.

"When you're playing and in pressure situations, naturally your heart rate goes up, and that's obviously not what he needs right now."