Ali Carter says his win against Ronnie O’Sullivan and run to the World Championship quarter-finals has given him reason for optimism.
The world number 15 had only made one ranking event semi-final and one quarter-final this season.
But Carter beat Graeme Dott and saw off five-time champion O’Sullivan in a second-round meeting before losing to Mark Williams in the last eight.
“I can take a lot of confidence from beating Ronnie,” said the Essex potter.
“Every match is a tough match; I played a world champion in the first round, a world champion in the second round and a world champion in the quarter-final.
“It’s an opportunity missed but I can have some time off and regroup. It’s been a positive end to the season after a not-so-good season. So I look forward to next year.”
The two-time Worlds runner-up – one of only six men to score a maximum at the Crucible – kept the pressure on two-time champion Williams until the latter stages when the 43-year-old Welshman went from 9-7 ahead to close out a 13-8 success.
“Mark played really well,” added 38-year-old Carter. “Credit to him. I felt like I was hanging in there. I should have possibly been 5-3 up after the first session.
“It was a good match. At 9-7 I never had a shot for the first two frames and he’s 11-7 ahead. Then I won a good frame to go 11-8 but he scored another century to go 12-8.
“And even in the last frame everything was uphill. I felt like I was swimming against the tide.”
Carter, who the World Championship runner-up in 2008 and 2012, reached the semi-finals of the China Championship in August and the last eight at the International Championship in November.