Mark Selby
Mark Selby eased to a 10-4 win over Matthew Selt to boost his hopes of adding the Betfair World Championship title to his UK Championship and Masters crowns.

 

After a mid-match wobble when Selby saw a 5-0 lead reduced to 6-4, he pulled away to win the last four frames and set up a last 16 clash with Barry Hawkins. World number one Selby was far from his best against Crucible debutant Selt, scoring just four breaks over 50, but his relentlessly tough matchplay  helped him through as he took a step closer to becoming only the fourth player - after Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry and Mark Williams - to win the big three BBC events in the same season.

 

 Romford's Selt won the first frame tonight with a break of 63 to make it 6-4 but he scored just 16 points in the remainder of the match as Leicester's Selby fired in runs of 71, 51, 55 and 91 to book his place in round two.

 


"Matthew did not really settle that quickly and I managed to go 5-0 up without really playing well," said Selby. "No matter how many times you come here you still get nervous, and I have been here seven times now. I think that showed in the way that we both played.


 

"I had my B game which was good enough to win and it is always good to know that you have that. This season has been the best that I have had results wise, but just not performance wise.

"I go into every tournament trying to win it and I believe I can win this, though it is a big ask and a big feat. (The triple crown) is in the back of my mind but I am not letting it put me off.

 

"Barry Hawkins has always been a great player and the way he is playing now proves that.

"It is just a matter of going out there, relaxing and enjoying it as much as possible. That is when I seem to play my best snooker. The trouble is with me is that I probably put too much pressure on myself and I expect too much from myself which can send my game the wrong way.

"I don't think it's possible to win this with my B game because it is such a long tournament. When Ronnie won it last year he always had one session in each match where he played fantastically."

Selt said: "I will take a lot of confidence from that despite losing. I was 4-0 down and I just did not know what I was doing out there, I felt that it was going to take a lot of time to settle in. You cannot be giving the world number one that kind of head start. It's given me the buzz that I need to work hard again next year and get back here again.

"This is the place where everybody has played and it is the home of snooker. I went out there a couple of times before to try and get used to it and I thought that I would settle in alright, but when you are out there it is really different. You are basically sitting next to somebody in the crowd and it is something that I have never experienced before.

"Even though I got bashed 10-4, it was probably the most enjoyable game of snooker that I have ever been involved in.

"I cannot wait until the start of the new season. If I had lost to Ken Doherty in the qualifiers, I would have been fuming and I would probably not have practised for a while, but as soon as this is over I will be back on the practice table preparing myself for next season."

 

Stuart Bingham put one foot in the second round by taking an 8-1 lead over debutant Sam Baird. Breaks of 64, 71 and 73 helped give Bingham the first six frames. Baird pulled one back with an 87 but Premier League champion Bingham won the last two, closing with a run of 80, for a commanding overnight lead. They resume tomorrow at 7pm with the winner to meet Mark Davis.