England

World Snooker Championship: Mark Selby will not chase snooker’s ‘all-time greats’

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Mark Selby says he is not going to chase data set by the sport’s “all-time greats” after beating Shaun Murphy to win a fourth World Championship.

Selby is now degree with John Higgins, and solely Stephen Hendry (seven), Ray Reardon, Ronnie O’Sullivan and Steve Davis (all six) have gained extra world titles within the trendy period.

However the 37-year-old says matching their achievements will not be an purpose.

“I do not set my objectives at any quantity so far as world titles go,” Selby stated.

“I simply come to the match yearly to provide my all. If that’s ok, nice. If not I’ll return house and work even more durable.

“I’m not going to take a look at data like Hendry or Ronnie and assume ‘he’s at six, that is my purpose’ as a result of you may’t predict successful any single match, by no means thoughts the World Championship.”

The ultimate additionally marked a major second in sport’s return to normality, as a capability crowd attended a UK sporting occasion for the primary time in additional than a 12 months.

The Cheltenham Competition in March 2020 was the final time that occurred, simply earlier than the coronavirus pandemic took maintain and the nation was locked down.

As a part of a authorities pilot scheme, 980 followers stuffed the seats on the Crucible Theatre on Monday, carrying facemasks, adhering to strict guidelinesexternal-link and having taken a Covid-19 take a look at earlier than arrival.

Mark Selby
Mark Selby’s fourth title got here after a niche of 4 years

Selby strikes as much as second on the earth behind Judd Trump after securing his twentieth main rating title in Sheffield.

And his tally of 9 Triple Crown occasions – the Masters, and UK and World Championships – locations him degree with Scotland’s Higgins and behind solely Davis, Hendry and O’Sullivan.

“I put these gamers on the high of the ladder as all-time greats. I’d not put myself in that class or class myself as an all-time nice,” added Selby, who additionally gained the world title in 2014, 2016 and 2017.

“Different folks might discuss it however will not be one thing I can get my head spherical.”

Selby's road to the title

‘The very best all-rounder now we have ever seen’

Whereas Selby took a self-deprecating tone, his overwhelmed opponent Murphy has no doubts over his long-time buddy’s standing within the recreation.

“This places him proper up there,” Murphy stated. “He must be within the dialog [around the best ever] based mostly on the variety of World Championships now we have seen.

“I’ve received him down as the very best all-rounder now we have ever seen. He’s granite in all areas.”

Talking on BBC Two, Davis stated: “Selby has time on his facet and could possibly be the one to problem Hendry’s file. I do not assume he’ll stick on 4 titles as a result of he is too good. His all-round recreation is nearly as good as John Higgins’.”

Fellow pundit and outright Crucible record-holder Hendry added: “Ronnie remains to be enjoying to the very best commonplace at 45 and there is nothing to say that Mark Selby cannot do the identical. He is a match lad and another person I will should sweat about.”

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