Mark Selby
Snooker's world number two Mark Selby is looking forward to the sport's first tournament in The Netherlands for over 20 years.

 

Selby won two of the biggest tournaments last season - the UK Championship and the Masters - though he has recently lost the world number one ranking to Neil Robertson.

 

At last week's Australian Goldfields Open, Selby reached the semi-finals before losing to Robertson. The Leicester cueman is relishing the chance to build his form at the Rotterdam Open European Tour event, which runs from Thursday to Sunday at the Topsport Centrum.

 

"Snooker has become really popular in Europe in recent years and it will be interesting to go to The Netherlands for the first time and see what the support is like there," said Selby.

 

"I have got a bit of momentum now and hopefully I can keep it going. I nearly went out in the first round in Australia as I was 3-0 down to Ian Burns but I managed to win that game and after that I played well. It would be nice to get the number one ranking back from Neil."

 

Selby is due to play his first match in Rotterdam against Scott Donaldson on Saturday, though he admits he faces a race against time to be injury-free for the match.

 

"I got back from Australia on Monday and I noticed that one of my fingers is swollen and I can't grip the cue," said the 30-year-old. "I have been told the swelling will go down within a couple of days so hopefully I will be ok by Saturday."

 

Meanwhile, Robert Milkins is delighted to have climbed into the world's top 16 for the first time.

 

Milkins was confirmed as world number 14 when the rankings were updated following the Australian event. A magnificent run to the semi-finals in Bendigo helped him cement his place.

 

"I'm chuffed to bits", said the Gloucester player. "It was one of my ambitions at the start of my career. My target now is to win a major ranking event. I've had a few semi-final places and now I need to get over that hurdle. I'm confident I can do it.

 

"Getting into the top 16 shows I've been much more consistent in events over the past couple of seasons. I really believe I belong there - it's not a fluke. With the changes in the draw structures this season, it's not such a major benefit as before, but it saves me qualifying for Shanghai.

 

"That's important in a busy season. It's one trip away from home I don't have to make. And any time I can spend with my family is a big bonus. Now I've got to make sure I keep my place. I want to get into the Masters and of course at the end of the season to be seeded through to The Crucible."

 

Other top stars competing in the 125,000-Euro Rotterdam Open include John Higgins, Judd Trump, Shaun Murphy, Belgium's Luca Brecel, Stephen Maguire, Barry Hawkins, Mark Williams, Stuart Bingham, Ricky Walden and Matthew Stevens.

 

Tickets are on sale now and start at just 20 Euros for a day pass

 

CLICK HERE FOR TICKET DETAILS

 

MATCH SCHEDULE

 

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