Has Selby Conquered Demons?

Has Selby Conquered Demons?

We have two more scintillating clashes to look forward to on Wednesday from The Masters at Alexandra Palace as a resurgent Mark Selby faces Stuart Bingham and Mark Williams takes on Matthew Stevens.


The 'Jester from Leicester's' triumph at the UK Championship in York last month brought a welcome end to a difficult year for Selby, who had to overcome a career-threatening neck injury and a severe loss of confidence and form.

A first round exit at the hands of Barry Hawkins in the first round of the World Championship in April didn't help matters as the 29-year-old sought to find his touch and regain his world number one ranking.

Selby was so low at one point in fact, that he didn't know if he would ever play professionally again. In a recent interview with the BBC however, the 'Jester' claimed to have overcome the lack of confidence that was holding him back last year.

And he certainly clinched the £125,000 winner's cheque in York in style with a 10-6 triumph over former world champion Shaun Murphy.

That triumph, which saw Selby begin 2013 as world number one, was the biggest ranking event title of his career and with two Masters trophies already in the bag (2008 and 2010), he's vying for an illustrious hat-trick at the 'Ally Pally' this week.

He faces fellow Englishman and 2011 Australian Goldfields Open champion Stuart Bingham at 1900 GMT.

Prior to that, Wednesday's afternoon session serves up an all-Welsh affair as Matthew Stevens clashes with Mark Williams (1300).

Stevens, who won this title back in 2000, returned to form in 2012 with runs to the World Championship semi-final and UK Championship last-eight, but is desperate for another major success.

He told reporters this week, "It was nice to win the Masters, I think it was 13 years ago now so I can't remember much about it. My record hasn't been that great since but one good week and you can win the title."

Two-time world champion Mark Williams meanwhile, has raised concerns ahead of his Masters campaign over World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn's plans to require the top 16 players to play from the first round in eight of the 11 ranking events this year.
Williams told Eurosport, "The top 16 are there on merit, having played for the last however many years.

“They deserve to be there and if you do this, then what do the rankings mean?

"You will have sponsors and TV broadcasters demanding the best players and biggest names. I don’t think there is anything wrong with the current system, though Barry has at least got all these extra events on for us to play in.“

Brendan O'Neill writes for Livestreamingsport.com an award winning sports site which provides live streaming fans with previews, team news, updates and streaming schedules for a vast array of sports including snooker, football, tennis and more.

Posted Jan 15, 2013
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