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

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 cruising through his first round match with Kurt Maflin at the Betfred World Championship.

Mark Selby at the Betfred World Championship in Sheffield. Picture: PA

The Leicester potter was in imperious form as he marched to a 10-1 victory, finishing off the final two frames he needed to knock out last year’s quarter-finalist from Norway.

That sets up a second-round encounter with Mark Allen and Selby could not have asked for a better start at the Crucible.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

He said: “My all-round game really, I felt as though I had no weaknesses throughout the whole match. Coming into the evening session it was a strange mindset because you feel like all you had to do was mind your work and you would get chances, so it was a case of when not if I’d fall over the line.

“The way I played yesterday I was really happy with my all-round game, it’s been a while since I’ve felt like that. It shows that my game is where I want it to be.

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

After getting the better of Maflin, Selby faces a familiar foe in Allen, the 2018 Masters champion.

It is the Northern Irishman who actually edges their head-to-head record, and Selby admits he will have to be at his best to get through to the last eight.

He added: “It’s very, very tough, we’ve played each other many times and as people have told me, he’s 10-9 in front.

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

“I know he’s not had the best of seasons but I watched a bit of his first-round game and he looked like he was getting back to where he wants to be.

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

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

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

Support The Yorkshire Post and become a subscriber today. Your subscription will help us to continue to bring quality news to the people of Yorkshire. In return, you’ll see fewer ads on site, get free access to our app and receive exclusive members-only offers. Click HERE to subscribe.