Mark Selby watched his tip fly off his cue during a 3-2 win over John Higgins at the Championship League on Saturday night only three days before he begins his Masters campaign against Stephen Maguire.
The unfortunate incident happened with the three-times Masters winner on 108 in the final frame of the match with four-times world champion Higgins, who later won the Group 3 final to qualify for the tournament's winners' group at the end of March.
"Oh no, the tip's come off," groaned Selby after potting a black at pace forced him to end his break prematurely with 35 still on the table.
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Bedding in a new tip at such short notice can be damaging to a snooker player's confidence with their cue, but two-times ranking event winner Dominic Dale – watching in the commentary box – appears to have helped Selby out of a tricky situation.
The Welshman apparently helped Selby put the old tip back on his cue before his final group match with Scott Donaldson, a match he lost 3-2 after opening with a 137 break.
Selby did enough to extend his stay into Championship League Group 4 by finishing fifth in the seven-man section, but it is unclear whether or not he will stick with the tip as he chases a fourth Masters title after victories in 2008, 2010 and 2013.
He meets Tour champion Maguire at 7pm on Tuesday night.
Ironically, the man dubbed the Jester from Leicester's tip torment comes after a light-hearted dig at Ronnie O'Sullivan relating to complaints about his tip before and after a 9-3 win over the world champion in the Scottish Open final last month.
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"It's funny, every time he missed a shot, it was the tip's fault," said Selby before commenting afterwards: "Today, he didn’t play fantastic, but I didn’t play great, and probably need a new tip on."
WATCH LIVE COVERAGE OF THE 47TH MASTERS ON EUROSPORT AND EUROSPORT APP BETWEEN 10-17 JANUARY 2021.
2021 MASTERS FIRST ROUND DRAW AND SCHEDULE
- Joe Perry v David Gilbert (1pm Sunday 10 January)
- Kyren Wilson v Gary Wilson (7pm Sunday 10 January)
- Stuart Bingham v Thepchaiya Un-Nooh (1pm Monday 11 January)
- Shaun Murphy v Mark Williams (7pm Monday 11 January)
- Mark Selby v Stephen Maguire (7pm Tuesday 12 January)
- Neil Robertson v Yan Bingtao (1pm Tuesday 12 January)
- John Higgins v Mark Allen (7pm Wednesday January 13th)
- Ronnie O’Sullivan v Ding Junhui (1pm Wednesday January 13th)
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Murphy sinks King, Higgins stunned by Saengkham, Allen holds off Akani, Lisowski out