‘I don’t think I could have played better’ admits Mark Selby after opening Crucible win Yorkshire News

It’s been four years since Mark Selby won the last of his three world titles, but his form is exactly where he wants it to be after beating his first-round match with Kurt Maflin at the Betfred World Championship.

Mark Selby at the Betfred World Championships in Sheffield.  Image: PA
Mark Selby at the Betfred World Championships in Sheffield. Image: PA

The Leicester Potter was in top form as he advanced to a 10-1 win, finishing the last two frames he needed to eliminate last year’s Norwegian quarterfinalist.

That sets up a second-round meeting with Mark Allen and Selby couldn’t have asked for a better start at the Crucible.

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He said: “Really, in my complete game, I felt like I had no weaknesses throughout the game. Going into the evening session, it was a weird mindset because you feel like all you have to do is take care of your work and you’ll have opportunities, so it was a case of when not if I went over the line.

“The way I played yesterday I was very happy with my complete game, it’s been a while since I felt that way. It shows that my game is where I want it to be.

“In the first session I don’t think I could have played better in any part of my game. I thought I ticked all the boxes in that session with my game where I want it to be. But you have to take care of it while you can because it doesn’t happen too often. ”

After beating Maflin, Selby faces a familiar foe in Allen, the 2018 Masters champion.

It is the Northern Irishman who beats his head-to-head record, and Selby admits that he will have to be in his prime to make it to the last eight.

He added: “It is very, very tough, we have met many times and as people have told me, he has a 10-9 advantage.

“It just shows how close the matches are and we’ve had a lot of decisive frames.

“I know he hasn’t had the best seasons, but I saw a little bit of his first-round game and it seemed like he was getting back to where he wanted to be.

“It’s going to be a difficult game, but it’s the World Championship, you don’t expect easy games.”

Earlier in the day, Shaun Murphy booked his place in the second round with a 10-7 victory over Mark Davis, while Ronnie O’Sullivan and Anthony McGill are tied at 4-4 in their second-round encounter.

Watch the World Snooker Championship live on Eurosport and the Eurosport app from April 17 to May 3

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This notice was published: 2021-04-22 21:53:57