Mark Selby “speechless” after matching snooker greats with latest World Championship success
Leicester’s snooker World Champion Mark Selby has admitted he is “speechless” after matching the achievement of snooker legends Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry and Ronnie O’Sullivan by winning back-to-back world titles.
The ‘Jester from Leicester’ cemented his place at the top table of snooker last night, beating John Higgins to 2017 World Championship at The Crucible theatre in Sheffield.
Following his tense and nail-biting victory, Selby said:
I’m speechless to be in that group, wow. I still cannot believe I have won it for a third time.
Selby’s 18-15 win over Higgins was his fifth ranking title win of the season and his third world championship title in four years – a run of form that has seen the Leicester-based player top the world rankings for a 116th consecutive week.
After his historic win, Selby went on to say:
I was over the moon to be coming here as defending champion. I just wanted to put up a good fight.
I feel I have another world title in me. At my age, I have a good five to seven years still to play at the top and it comes down to the hunger, which I still have.
When asked how it felt to be at the top of the rankings, the world champion said:
“It is great. You look at those still playing the game like Higgins and O’Sullivan, Judd Trump and Ding Junhui, and to be above all of them is an amazing feeling.”
Selby’s bid to win consecutive snooker world championships seemed to be in trouble on Sunday when he went 10-4 down to Higgins, but he turned the final around on Monday with an astonishing run of frames to eventually win 18-15.
Selby is no stranger to dramatic comebacks in the final, after performing a similar turnaround against Ronnie O’Sullivan in 2014 when he was trailing 10-5 before winning 18-14. Talking about his never-say-die attitude, Selby said:
In the semi-final against Ding and the final I had to dig deep to get through.
The resolve comes from within. You either have it in you or you don’t. Some people let their head go down and give in when someone gets on top of them but I know I won’t play well every match.