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Selby: I feared never winning another title

Selby: I feared never winning another title
By Eurosport

09/03/2020 at 12:58Updated 09/03/2020 at 13:58

Mark Selby has revealed he feared never winning another tournament after his form and confidence dramatically deserted him.

The three-times world champion spent over four years between 2014 until 2018 as world number one boosted by three world titles and 12 ranking titles in a dominant period as snooker’s leading man.

The wheels came off after he claimed the China Championship with a 10-9 win over John Higgins in September 2018 as he was toppled from top spot by Ronnie O’Sullivan before world champion Judd Trump assumed the game’s most coveted position with an 18-9 victory over Higgins at the Crucible.

A 13-month period without a tournament victory was no laughing matter for the man dubbed 'The Jester from Leicester’.

Video - Selby and Gilbert react to 'other worldly' performance by Jester from Leicester


"You second guess yourself, think whether you are doing something wrong and whether you need to be doing something different.

"I wondered whether I would win another tournament again. It was that bad. I was playing well in practice then in matches I was crumbling and not showing anything, it was frustrating. It’s hard when you are on your own. Nobody can help you once you are out there."

Defeats to then amateur James Cahill in the opening round of the UK Championship and qualifier Gary Wilson in the second round of the World Championship last year left Selby searching for answers.

Selby’s perseverance paid off when he routed David Gilbert 9-1 in the English Open final before a 9-6 win over Jack Lisowski in the Scottish Open final in December confirmed his return as a serial winner, the first man to win two Home Nations events in a season.

Video - Watch 'iron man' Selby close out Scottish Open title


He is fourth in the rankings, but a fourth win at the World Championship in May would see him close the gap on Trump with a £500,000 first prize on the line.

"There are probably ten or 12 players in form. You can’t discount David Gilbert – although he hasn’t won the World Championship, he had a good run to the semis last year,” said Selby, who competes at this week’s Gibraltar Open before the Tour Championship in Llandudno – involving the game’s top eight players on the one-year ranking list – begins a week on Tuesday.

"You’ve then got the likes of Neil Robertson, Judd Trump, Ronnie O’Sullivan, myself and Shaun Murphy. It is going to be very tough, but you expect nothing less with it being the World Championship.”

The World Championship begins on April 18 with full live coverage on Eurosport and the Eurosport Player until the final on May 4.