Mark Selby defeat confirms Ronnie O'Sullivan as world no 1 for World Championship
Mark Selby crashed out in qualifying for the China Open in a 6-3 defeat to Craig Steadman that ends his hopes of a third straight in Beijing.
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 18: Mark Selby of England plays a shot during his quarter-final match against Judd Trump of England on day six of the 2019 Dafabet Masters at Alexandra Palace on January 18, 2019 in London, England.
Selby, recently deposed as world No 1 by Ronnie O'Sullivan, barely had a look in as he lost three frames in a row to go 5-3 down. And an unlucky foul, where the white ball left the table, in the final frame eventually led to his demise in a scrappy frame that Steadman edged.
Steadman made runs of 77, 108 and 86 from 3-2 behind to secure a meeting with Dominic Dale in the first round.
The pair shook hands after Selby fouled again when snookered on the blue. The result means O'Sullivan, who is missing the trip to China, will be world number one at the World Championship.
'Incredible!' - Selby bounces yellow off table
“Craig was unbelievable, he played as well as a top 16 player,” said Selby. “From 3-2 I didn’t do much wrong. Sometimes you just have to say ‘well played’ to your opponent. It seems to be going that way for me at the moment, I am playing well and still losing.
Hopefully my results will turn around. I had the number one spot for four years but sooner or later I was going to lose it, and Ronnie has played well this season. It will make me stronger, to try to get it back. I’ll go home now and prepare for Sheffield.
Neil Robertson completed a 6-2 win over Kishan Hirani with breaks of 119 and 138 while Ali Carter edged Kurt Maflin 6-5.
Meanwhile, Anthony McGill booked his place in the second round with a 6-4 win over Nigel Bond.