World Champion Mark Selby, fighting against jet-lag after a trip to China, fought to a 5-4 win over Anthony McGill on the first day of the Kreativ Dental German Masters.
Pic: Da Zhuang
Selby was in China for a pool tournament and reached the final before losing to Darren Appleton. He flew from Shanghai to Helsinki and on to Berlin, arriving in the German capital late last night.
The world number four still managed to make a fast start against McGill, going 4-1 up with a top break of 80. Glasgow’s McGill played superbly to recover to 4-4 with runs of 66, 88 and 65.
But Selby took charge of a 47-minute decider with runs of 32 and 25, and eventually sealed it by potting the last red.
“The way I was feeling I knew it was going to be a scrap,” said Selby, who now meets Peter Ebdon in the last 16. “I didn’t play snooker for two weeks, then I only had half an hour practice today. The balls in pool are bigger so it was a matter of getting the feeling back for snooker. After three or four frames I felt better. Hopefully I can get some sleep before my next match.”
Selby was also asked about the bid for cue sports to be included in the 2020 Olympics and added: “It will be fantastic if it happens. I’ve always thought that snooker has as much right as certain other sports to be in the Olympics.”
Ebdon won a battle of two former World Champions, beating John Higgins 5-2.
Higgins made a 62 clearance to go 2-1 up, but Ebdon reeled off the last four frames with top breaks of 65, 80, 133 and 66.
“It’s a great result for me to beat a player of John’s calibre,” said Ebdon. “My eldest son Tristan celebrated his 18th birthday today so I was determined to win. I have been working very hard lately and to play in the Championship League made a massive difference because it gave me match practice.”
Martin Gould fended off the challenge of amateur Ashley Carty, winning 5-3. The match was in the balance at 3-3 but Gould made a 79 to win frame seven and added the next to earn a last 16 meeting with Judd Trump or Michael Holt.