Mark Selby

Mark Anthony Selby (born 19 June 1983) is an English professional snooker player. He has been World Snooker Champion three times and has won 18 ranking titles, placing him joint sixth (with Neil Robertson) on the all-time list of ranking tournament wins. He has held the world number one position six times during his career, having first topped the snooker world rankings in September 2011, and was number one in the world rankings for more than four years continuously between February 2015 and March 2019.

Mark Selby
Mark Selby PHC 2016.jpg
Born (1983-06-19) 19 June 1983 (age 37)
Leicester, England
Sport country England
NicknameThe Jester from Leicester Sat-Nav Selby
Professional1999–
Highest ranking1 (Sep 2011 – Nov 2012;
Dec 2012 – Feb 2013;
Apr–Jun 2013; May–Jul 2014; Aug–Dec 2014; Feb 2015 – Mar 2019)
Current ranking 4 (as of 28 September 2020)
Career winnings£5,907,434
Highest break147 (3 times)[1]
Century breaks633
Tournament wins
Ranking18
Minor-ranking7
Non-ranking8
World Champion

Selby joined the main professional snooker tour in 1999 at the age of 16, after competing on the non-ranking UK Tour in 1998. He was runner-up to John Higgins at the 2007 World Snooker Championship. He was the sixth player to win all of snooker's Triple Crown events at least twice, having won three Masters titles (2008, 2010, and 2013), two UK Championships (2012 and 2016), and three World Championships (2014, 2016, and 2017). His other ranking titles are the Welsh Open in 2008, the Shanghai Masters in 2011, the German Masters in 2015, the China Open in 2015, 2017, and 2018, the Paul Hunter Classic in 2016, the International Championship in 2016 and 2017, the China Championship in 2018, the English Open in 2019, the Scottish Open in 2019 and second edition of the European masters in 2020.

Known as a patient, tough competitor with strong safety play, Selby is also a prolific break-builder and has compiled more than 600 century breaks in his professional career. His nickname, "The Jester from Leicester", was given to him by snooker compere Richard Beare. Selby is also a pool player. He was the 2006 WEPF eight-ball pool world champion and runner-up at the Chinese Eight-ball World Championship in 2015.

Early lifeEdit

Selby was born in Leicester, England. He began playing pool at age eight and snooker aged nine.[2] Malcolm Thorne, the brother of Leicester-born snooker player Willie Thorne, spotted Selby's snooker ability and gave him free practice at his brother's snooker club, which Selby took full advantage of, practising in the evenings after school.[2][3] When Selby was 16, his father David died of cancer.[3] Two months later, Selby joined the main professional tour,[4][5] having left school with no qualifications.[3]

Snooker careerEdit

1998–2006Edit

Selby showed potential as a teenager, but did not play snooker at a consistent level until his twenties. He began his career in 1998 on the UK Tour,[citation needed] which was at that time the WPBSA's secondary professional tour.[6] He joined the professional tour a year later at the age of 16.[7][4] In early 2002, he reached the semi-finals of the China Open, despite leaving his hotel room at 2 a.m. instead of 2 p.m. for one of his matches because of jetlag.[8] In April 2003, aged 19, he reached his first ranking final at the Scottish Open, where he finished runner-up to David Gray who won 9–7.[9] He progressed to the final round of qualifying at the World Snooker Championships in both 2002 and 2003, but failed to qualify for the knockout stages at the Crucible Theatre on both occasions.[citation needed]

From late 2005, Selby was managed by former snooker professional and fellow Leicester resident Mukesh Parmar.[7] He progressed to the main draw of the World Snooker Championship for the first time in 2005, losing 5–10 to John Higgins in the first round.[10] Since making his Crucible debut, he has qualified for the main knockout stages of the tournament every year, including the 2006 World Championship, despite his final qualifying round opponent Robert Milkins making a 147. He then faced Higgins in the first round again, this time defeating the reigning Grand Prix and Masters champion 10–4,[11] before being eliminated in the second round by Mark Williams.[12]

2007–2011Edit

In the 2007 World Snooker Championship, Selby beat Stephen Lee 10–7 in the first round, having won eight successive frames from being 0–5 behind.[13] He then defeated former World Champion Peter Ebdon 13–8, with five centuries (including three-in-a-row) to reach the quarter-finals.[14] He beat Ali Carter 13–12, from 11–8 up and 11–12 down, in a quarter-final match that lasted well over nine hours.[15] He reached the final by defeating Shaun Murphy 17–16 from 14–16 down, in another deciding frame which he won thanks to a 64 break.[16] Against Higgins in the final, Selby trailed 4–12 after the Sunday sessions, but won all six frames played in the third session on Monday afternoon before the players ran out of time due to the length of the frames. Thus he entered the final session only 10–12 down and closed to within one frame at 13–14, but eventually succumbed 13–18.[17]

His performances earned him £110,000 (not far off half of his pre-tournament all-time earnings). It was noted by eventual world champion John Higgins, amongst others, in his victory speech, that Selby was the most improved player on the tour.[18] These performances in the 2006–07 season earned Selby a place in the top 16 for the very first time for the 2007–08 season, where he was ranked 11th.[19] Selby's wins over Lee, Ebdon, Carter and Murphy at the 2007 World Championships also won him the inaugural 888.com Silver Chip award for outstanding performance, awarded by the Snooker Writers' Association at the post-championship ball.[20]

After a moderate start to the season, Selby had a strong run in the second-highest ranking tournament, the UK Championship, reaching the semi-finals of the event. He led eventual winner Ronnie O'Sullivan 7–5, fell 7–8 behind, before levelling the match at 8–8. In the deciding frame, however, O'Sullivan made a 147 break to win 9–8.[21]

 
Selby at the 2008 World Series of Snooker in Moscow

On 20 January 2008, Selby won his first major tournament – the Masters at Wembley. En route to the final, he had edged out Stephen Hendry, Stephen Maguire and Ken Doherty, all on a 6–5 scoreline (having been 3–5 behind against both Hendry and Maguire). In the final against Stephen Lee, after leading 5–3 at the break Selby took control and reeled off five consecutive frames (eight-in-a-row overall from 2–3 behind) to win convincingly 10–3. Selby's play in the final was of the highest standard, with four century breaks and two consecutive tons to cross the winning line. His final-frame effort, a total clearance of 141, equalled the tournament's highest break and was Selby's best in competitive play.[22]

On 17 February 2008, Selby won a close-fought Welsh Open final, overcoming Ronnie O'Sullivan 9–8 from 5–8 down.[23] However, he could not reproduce his Crucible success from the previous season; despite going into the 2008 World Championship as one of the bookmakers' favourites for the title, Selby was defeated 10–8 in the first round by Mark King.[24]

The following year in the Welsh Open quarter-final, he was handed a writ by a member of the audience, supposedly his former manager George Barmby.[25] Selby reached the final of the Masters again where he was runner-up to Ronnie O'Sullivan, and also reached the quarter-finals of the 2009 World Championship, losing 12–13 to Higgins, who again went on to win the title.[26]

He opened the 2009–10 season with two first round defeats, before coming from 4–8 down to beat Jamie Cope 9–8 in the first round of the UK Championship, scoring six breaks of over 40 in those five frames.[27] On 17 January 2010, Selby won his second Masters title after reaching the final for the third time in as many years in a repeat of the previous year's final, where he lost to Ronnie O'Sullivan. O'Sullivan took a commanding lead at 9–6 leaving him just one frame from victory, but Selby played some of his best snooker of the season to overcome the three-frame deficit, taking the championship 10–9 and the £150,000 winner's cheque.[28]

At the 2011 China Open, Selby beat Tian Pengfei, Robert Milkins, Ali Carter, and home favourite Ding Junhui, but was defeated 8–10 by Judd Trump in the final.[29] At the 2011 World Championship, Selby set the record for the most century breaks compiled in a world championship match when he made six in his second round tie with Stephen Hendry.[30] It was also a record for a best-of-25 match and took Selby's century tally for the season to 54, setting a new record for the most centuries compiled in a season.[31]

2011–12 seasonEdit

Selby started the season by winning the non-ranking Wuxi Classic with a 9–7 victory over Ali Carter.[32] He continued his form at the Shanghai Masters, where he won his second major ranking event of the season by defeating Mark Williams 10–9 in the final, winning the last three frames from 7–9 behind.[33] Selby's victory also meant that he usurped Williams as the world number one, making him the ninth player to hold the top spot and the first to do so without having previously won the World Championship.[34]

He also won the minor-ranking PTC Event 4 (the 2011 edition of the Paul Hunter Classic); having edged out Ronnie O'Sullivan 4–3 in the semi-finals, he achieved a 4–0 whitewash over Mark Davis in the final.[35] Selby eventually finished fifth on the PTC Order of Merit and therefore qualified to the last 16 of the PTC Grand Final.[36] He beat Ding Junhui 4–1, before losing 0–4 to eventual winner Stephen Lee in the quarter-finals.[37]

Selby progressed to the quarter-finals of the Masters in January, where he lost 2–6 to Shaun Murphy;[38] he was defeated by Murphy again the following month, in the quarter-finals of the German Masters, losing the match 3–5.[38][39] After reaching the final of the Welsh Open, where he lost 6–9 to Ding,[40] he met Murphy for the third time in the space of less than six weeks, in the quarter-finals of the World Open, this time achieving a 5–0 whitewash.[38] However, he then suffered a 5–6 semi-final defeat against Mark Allen, despite having built up a 5–2 lead.[41]

Selby withdrew from the second round of the China Open because of a neck injury.[42] His decision to withdraw was also a precautionary measure to make sure he was ready for the upcoming World Championship, for which he declared himself fit the week before the start of the event. He played Barry Hawkins in the first round and was defeated 3–10. After the match, Selby admitted that he had only managed nine hours of practice in preparation for the tournament and there were certain shots that he was physically unable to play.[43] Despite this disappointment, he was guaranteed to end the season ranked number one following Judd Trump's early exit from the World Championship.[44]

2012–13 seasonEdit

 
Selby with the 2012 Paul Hunter Classic trophy

Selby announced he was "90% fit" just before the start of the season, as he continued his recovery from the disc bulge in his neck.[45] His first event was the Wuxi Classic where, ironically, he played Hawkins in the last 32. Selby this time won 5–2 and then breezed past Jamie Cope 5–0 to set up a quarter-final match with in-form Stuart Bingham, which Selby lost 4–5.[46][47] Selby then won seven matches in a row in reaching the quarter-finals of the Six-red World Championship, but there he lost 5–7 by Judd Trump.[46] He then suffered a shock 3–5 first round defeat to Jamie Burnett in the Australian Goldfields Open.[48][49]

Selby lost his world number one spot to Judd Trump after the latter's victory in the inaugural International Championship in China. However, just five weeks later, Selby won his third ranking title and largest of his career, the UK Championship, to regain the top spot. He defeated Michael White 6–3, Ryan Day 6–4 from 0–3 down, and Neil Robertson 6–4 from 0–4 down to reach the semi-finals, where he beat Mark Davis 9–4 to progress to the final. Already assured of overtaking Trump regardless of the result, Selby beat his good friend Shaun Murphy 10–6 to win the tournament.[50]

Selby also participated at the Players Tour Championship. He successfully defended his Paul Hunter Classic title with a 4–1 win over Joe Swail in the final.[51] He then lost in the final of the Antwerp Open 1–4 against Mark Allen,[52] and won the Munich Open by defeating Graeme Dott 3–4 in the final.[53] He then finished number one on the Order of Merit,[54] and qualified for the Finals, where he lost 3–4 against Jack Lisowski.[55]

 
Selby at the 2013 German Masters

Selby then went on to win his third Masters title, beating Stuart Bingham 6–5 from 1–5 behind in the first round, Mark Williams 6–1 in the quarter-finals, and Graeme Dott 6–5 from 1–4 and 4–5 down in the semi-finals. He then defeated defending champion Neil Robertson 10–6 in the final.[56] He reached the quarter-finals of the German Masters, but lost 1–5 against Barry Hawkins.[57] He lost in the last 32 of the Welsh Open 0–4 against Joe Perry,[58] and lost his number one position to Trump.[59] Selby then reached the quarter-finals of the World Open, but lost 3–5 against Neil Robertson.[60]

At the China Open, Selby became only the fourth player in history to miss the final black on a 147 attempt, and only the second – after Ken Doherty – to do so in a televised match, in a 5–1 defeat of Mark King.[61][62] He then reached the final by defeating Ricky Walden 5–2, Mark Williams 5–1 and Murphy 6–2, but lost 6–10 against Neil Robertson.[63] After the event he regained the number one spot from Trump. He finished off the season at the World Championship, where he beat Matthew Selt 10–4 in the first round,[64] before losing 10–13 to eventual runner-up Barry Hawkins in the second round.[65]

2013–14 seasonEdit

Selby started the season with a 3–5 defeat to Andrew Pagett in the qualifying rounds of the Wuxi Classic in China.[66] The tournament was the first to use a new format requiring the top 16 players to compete in the qualifying rounds at most ranking events.[67] In minor-ranking tournaments, he was runner-up at the Yixing Open, losing 1–4 to Joe Perry,[68] and at the Rotterdam Open, where he lost 3–4 to Mark Williams.[69] He won the Antwerp Open in November, defeating Ronnie O'Sullivan 4–3 in the final.[70]

Having won the UK Championship and Masters in the previous season, Selby qualified to take part in the first edition of the revived Champion of Champions competition,[71] where he lost to Stuart Bingham in the semi-finals 4–6.[72] Defending his title at the UK Championship in December, in the seventh frame of his semi-final against Ricky Walden, Selby compiled snooker's 100th officially recognised maximum break in professional competition.[1] He received £55,000 for the achievement, in addition to the tournament's highest break prize of £4,000.[73] The next day, he lost 7–10 to Neil Robertson in the final, having been ahead 5–1 and 6–3.[74]

He began the defence of his title at the Masters by defeating Mark Davis in the first round and John Higgins in the quarter-finals, winning both matches 6–5 and extending his unbeaten record in deciding frames at the Masters to 11.[75][76] He then beat Shaun Murphy 6–1 in the semi-finals to reach the final against Ronnie O'Sullivan.[77] After falling behind 1–7 in the first session, Selby lost the final 4–10, receiving the runner-up prize of £90,000.[78] At the German Masters two weeks later, he was eliminated in the second round by Kurt Maflin 5–3.[79] He defeated Alan McManus 5–1 in the quarter-finals of the World Open, and Marco Fu 6–4 in the semi-finals, but lost 6–10 in the final to Shaun Murphy.[80]

At the World Championship, Selby defeated Michael White 10–9, Ali Carter 13–9, and Alan McManus 13–5 to reach his first semi-final at the Crucible since 2010.[81] He faced world number one Neil Robertson in a repeat of the UK Championship final five months earlier, this time achieving a 17–15 victory to reach his second World Championship final and first for seven years.[82] His opponent in the final was defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan, who had held the world title for the past two years and had won all five of his previous world finals.[83] Selby appeared "jaded" on the first day after a tough semi-final battle with Robertson the day before.[84] O'Sullivan led 3–0, 8–3, and 10–5, but Selby then won six frames in a row to lead for the first time, eventually sealing an 18–14 victory for his first world title.[83][85] He dedicated the win to his late father who had died when Selby was 16.[2][84] With his World Championship victory, Selby became the ninth player to win snooker's Triple Crown of World, UK and Masters titles;[84] he also returned to the world number one position.[86]

2014–15 seasonEdit

 
Selby with 2015 German Masters trophy

At the Wuxi Classic, the first ranking event of the season, Selby lost 3–5 to Liang Wenbo in the last 32.[87] He won the minor-ranking Riga Open in August, defeating Mark Allen 4–3 in the final,[88] but lost 5–6 to Allen the following month in the semi-finals of the ranking Shanghai Masters.[89] He made an unexpected early exit from the ranking International Championship in the last 128, when 19-year-old tour rookie Oliver Lines recovered from 0–4 behind to defeat him 6–4.[90] He reached the quarter-finals of the invitational Champion of Champions tournament in November, but lost 1–6 against Judd Trump.[91] He suffered another disappointment at the UK Championship, losing 4–6 to David Morris in the last 64.[92]

In his first-round encounter with Shaun Murphy at the Masters in January, Selby fell 1–5 behind before recovering to tie the match at 5–5, but lost the deciding frame and the match 5–6. This was the first time he had ever lost a deciding frame at the Masters, having previously won 11.[93] The following month, he defeated Judd Trump 5–4 in the quarter-finals of the German Masters. During the match, Trump made his second career 147 and second against Selby; it was the fifth time that Selby had witnessed an opponent make a maximum break against him, the most of any player in the history of the game.[94] He then beat Stephen Maguire 6–2 in the semi-finals to reach his first ranking final of the season.[95] He came from 2–5 down against Sean Murphy to win the final 9–7 and claim the title.[96]

At the China Open in April, Selby became the first player to win a second ranking title this season. He advanced to the final without facing any player inside the world's top 16, and then outplayed world number 56 Gary Wilson to win 10–2.[97] He therefore had two statistics against him in defence of his world title, as no first-time world champion has successfully defended the title the following year and no winner of the China Open has won the World Championship in the same season.[98] He led Kurt Maflin 8–4 in the first round, before his opponent reeled off five frames in a row, but Selby then took the 18th frame and the decider to win the match 10–9. His reign as World Champion ended in the second round, however, with a 9–13 defeat to Anthony McGill.[99][100] Despite this setback, he finished the season as world number one for the fourth year in a row.[101]

2015–16 seasonEdit

Selby defeated Neil Robertson 6–4 in the quarter-finals of the International Championship to reach his first semi-final of the season, but then lost 4–9 to John Higgins.[102] He did not drop a frame in reaching the third round of the UK Championship where he defeated Jamie Jones 6–5, later acknowledging that his opponent had deserved to win the match.[103] He then eliminated Dechawat Poomjaeng and Matthew Selt both 6–1, before being whitewashed 6–0 by Robertson in the semi-finals.[104] In early 2016, Selby lost to Ronnie O'Sullivan in the quarter-finals of both the Masters and Welsh Open,[105][106] but won the Gdynia Open with a 4–1 victory over Martin Gould.[107]

In March, he withdrew from the PTC Finals and China Open for personal reasons,[108] missing out on the opportunity to defend his 2015 China Open title. Returning to the tour at the World Championship in April, he beat Robert Milkins 10–6, Sam Baird 13–11, and Kyren Wilson 13–8, to face Marco Fu in the semi-finals. Selby drew level at 12–12 after winning a 76-minute frame, the longest in Crucible history, and won the match 17–15 with a successful snooker on the brown in the final frame.[109] He took an early 6–0 lead over Ding Junhui in the final, eventually winning the match 18–14 to claim his second world title. With his World Championship victory, Selby finished at number one in the world rankings for the fifth consecutive year.[110]

2016–17 seasonEdit

 
Selby at 2016 European Masters in Bucharest, Romania

Selby won his first ranking title of the season at the Paul Hunter Classic, defeating Tom Ford 4–2 in the final.[111] His semi-final with Stuart Bingham at the Shanghai Masters was a meeting between the top two ranked players in the world, Selby winning 6–5, having been 3–5 behind.[112] After taking an early 3–1 advantage over Ding Junhui in the final, Selby eventually lost 10–6.[113] He was defeated 6–2 by Judd Trump in the semi-finals of the European Masters.[114] He then won 9–3 in another semi-final encounter with Bingham, to reach the final of the International Championship in Daqing, China, winning the event for the first time by overpowering Ding Junhui 10–1. Selby dominated their encounter, winning the last seven frames in a row, in the most one-sided ranking event final since the 2012 Haikou World Open when Mark Allen had defeated Stephen Lee by the same scoreline. Selby made seven breaks over 50 while Ding managed a top run of just 47.[115]

He beat John Higgins 6–5 at the UK Championship in a high-quality quarter-final match lasting five hours, in which Selby won on the colours in the deciding frame. This was followed by a more routine 6–2 semi-final victory over Shaun Murphy.[116] He developed a 7–2 advantage over Ronnie O'Sullivan in the final, before it was reduced to 7–4, followed by four breaks of 130 or more over the next five frames, two by each player, bringing the score to 9–7 in Selby's favour. He then finished the match with a 107 break to claim his second UK title, completing the second Triple Crown of his career.[117] He failed to progress to the semi-final stage of any of the next seven tournaments, before making it through to the final of the China Open in April, where he took the final three frames against Mark Williams to win 10–8 and claim his fourth ranking event title of the season.[118]

No one came close to beating Selby as he progressed through to the semi-finals of the World Championship. In his quarter-final match, he heavily defeated Marco Fu 13–3 with a session to spare. He faced Ding Junhui in the semi-finals, going 16–13 ahead before Ding closed the gap to 16–15; Selby then won the 32nd frame to reach his third world final in four years.[119] He fell behind 4–10 against John Higgins in the final, before recovering to win 12 out of the next 14 frames, and finally closed out the match 18–15 to win his third World Championship, becoming the fourth player—after Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry and Ronnie O'Sullivan—to retain the world title at the Crucible. Selby made a record £932,000 during the season. The World Championship was his fifth ranking title of the season after he had never previously won more than two titles in one season. This tied him with Hendry and Ding as the only players to have won five ranking events in a single season.[120]

2017–18 seasonEdit

Selby started the season with a 3–5 defeat to eventual champion Neil Robertson in the first round of the Hong Kong Masters.[121] His first ranking tournament of the season was the China Championship where he was defeated 4–5 by Zhou Yuelong in the second round.[122] He failed to progress past the fourth round of the Paul Hunter Classic in defence of his title, losing 1–4 to eventual champion Michael White.[123] He was defeated 2–5 by Lee Walker in the first round of the World Open,[124] followed by a 2–4 defeat to Stuart Bingham in the quarter-finals of the European Masters,[125] and a third round exit at the English Open where he lost 1–4 to Xiao Guodong.[126]

Selby successfully defended his International Championship title in November, to claim his first ranking title of the season. After surviving a fightback from Mark Allen, who trailed 3–8 and 7–9 in the final, Selby prevailed 10–7.[127][128] As reigning World Snooker Champion, he qualified automatically for the 2017 Champion of Champions, but was defeated 4–6 in the quarter-finals by Luca Brecel.[129] He suffered another quarter-final defeat at the Shanghai Masters, losing 3–5 against 2011 finalist Mark Williams. Defending his title at the UK Championship, he was eliminated 3–6 by Scott Donaldson in the last 64.[130]

In January, he played Mark Willams in the first round of the Masters, in a repeat of the previous year's event, where Selby had won their first-round encounter 6–5. However, this time the finishing scoreline was reversed as Selby lost the deciding frame (only the second time he had done so at the Masters).[131] He retained his China Open title in April, for his third in four years, defeating Barry Hawkins 11–3 in the final.[132] Later that month, his two-year reign as World Champion ended in the first round of the World Championship, where he fell to Joe Perry 4–10, unable to recover from a 2–7 deficit in the first session. In winning the match, Perry became the first player to beat Selby at the World Championship since Anthony McGill had defeated him in the second round in 2015.[133] Despite this disappointment, Selby finished the season as world number one for the seventh year in a row.[citation needed]

2018–19 seasonEdit

Selby's first appearance of the season was at the World Open, where he narrowly missed reaching the quarter-finals after losing 4–5 to world number 53 Noppon Saengkham, having lost the deciding frame by just three points.[134] He won the China Championship in September, defeating John Higgins 10–9 in a very close-fought final.[135] However, the later stages of the season were not as successful for Selby. His best run after the China Championship was the semi-final of the Northern Ireland Open, which he lost 5–6 to Ronnie O'Sullivan on the final black.[136] He suffered disappointments in other tournaments, including a surprising 3–6 loss to amateur James Cahill in the first round of the UK Championship.[137] At the 2019 Masters, Selby lost 2–6 to eventual winner Judd Trump in the quarter-finals.[138]

Selby qualified for all three 2019 Coral Cup tournaments—the World Grand Prix, the Players Championship, and the Tour Championship—but failed to progress past the quarter-finals in any of them. On 24 March, following O'Sullivan's victory at the Tour Championship, Selby lost his number one ranking to O'Sullivan,[139] having held the position since February 2015. He had the opportunity to regain the top ranking position at the China Open less than two weeks later, but lost 3–6 to Craig Steadman in the qualifying round which had been held over from the original qualification stage in February.[140] At the World Championship, Selby beat Zhao Xintong 10–7 in the first round before being defeated 10–13 by Gary Wilson in the second round.[141] As a result of this poor performance, he ended the season as world number six, having also been outranked by John Higgins, Neil Robertson, Mark Williams, and the 2019 world champion Judd Trump. This was the first time in eight years that Selby did not end the season as world number one.[citation needed]

2019–20 seasonEdit

At the start of the season, Selby reached the semi-finals of the International Championship, losing 4–9 to Judd Trump,[142] and in defending his title at the China Championship, he lost 3–6 to Shaun Murphy, again in the semi-finals.[143] He achieved his first Home Nations Series victory in October 2019, defeating David Gilbert 9–1 in the final of the English Open to win the Steve Davis Trophy.[144] The following week, he lost 2–5 to Stuart Bingham in the last 16 of the World Open.[145] In the Champion of Champions, he fell short 2–6 to Mark Allen in the group final.[146]

Selby's ambition of winning all four Home Nations titles and a £1,000,000 bonus ended in the quarter-finals of the Northern Ireland Open, where he was defeated 4–5 by John Higgins after recovering from 1–4 down.[147] He took more than six minutes to play a shot at one point during the seventh frame of this match, leading to criticism from the Eurosport commentator Neal Foulds.[148] He won the Scottish Open in December, beating Jack Lisowski 9–6 in the final to pick up the Stephen Hendry Trophy. Having also won the English Open earlier in the season, he became the first player to win more than one tournament in the Home Nations Series in a single season.[149]

In 2020, he started with a few unremarkable performances. He lost in the first round of the Masters against Ali Carter in January,[150] and failed to qualify at the German Masters later the same month.[151] At the European Masters, he lost in the second round to Barry Hawkins; after losing the first four frames, he staged a comeback to level at 4–4 but then lost the deciding frame.[152] He qualified for the World Grand Prix, where he lost 3–4 to Xiao Guodong in the first round despite making two centuries.[citation needed]

In February, Selby reached the quarter-final stage of the last Home Nations event, the Welsh Open, where he was defeated 1–5 by Ronnie O'Sullivan.[153] He also qualified for the Players Championship, based on the one-year ranking list; in the first round, he whitewashed Mark Williams 6–0,[154] but was then knocked out in the quarter-finals by Stephen Maguire in a deciding frame 5–6.[155] In March, he also participated at the Gibraltar Open, but was eliminated in the third round by Lyu Haotian 1–4.[156]

After the prolonged break caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Selby participated in the 2020 Championship League, going out of the tournament after the first group stage.[157] He qualified for the 2020 Tour Championship ranked third on the one-year ranking list. He beat Yan Bingtao 9–6 in the quarter-finals before being defeated 2–9 by Mark Allen in the semi-finals.[158]

At the World Championship, Selby defeated debutant Jordan Brown 10–6 in the first round, Noppon Saengkham 13–12 in the last 16 and Neil Robertson 13–7 in the quarter-finals. In the semi-final, he played Ronnie O'Sullivan. O'Sullivan took a 5–3 lead after the first session, but Selby won the second session to take a 9–7 lead. During the third session, he established a 13–9 advantage before O'Sullivan won the last two frames of the session. Selby then raced into a 16–14 lead, leaving himself one frame away from his fifth World Championship final, but he lost the final three frames of the match. After the game, Selby accused his opponent of being "disrespectful" after O'Sullivan had played several hit-and-hope shots while being snookered.[159] Selby finished the season as world number four.[160]

Personal lifeEdit

Selby has been a fan of Leicester City Football Club since childhood.[161] His 2014 World Championship victory happened on the day that Leicester City celebrated their promotion to the Premier League with an open-top bus parade. Two years later, he won his second world title just 13 minutes after the team sealed their first Premier League title.[110] Selby is also a fan of darts and has played in exhibition matches at Ibstock in Leicestershire, beating Eric Bristow in 2007 and taking on Raymond van Barneveld in 2009.[162]

Selby's wife Vikki Layton, who often attends his major matches, is a former Irish international pool player born in Ipswich.[163] They announced their engagement in August 2010,[164] and were married in Mexico on 24 May 2011.[165] Their daughter Sofia was born in 2014.[166] They have a swimming pool at their home in Leicester, although Selby himself is a non-swimmer.[3]

Selby's nickname is "The Jester from Leicester".[7][167] This name was given to him by snooker compere Richard Beare because Selby liked to have "a laugh and a joke" with him.[168]

Performance and rankings timelineEdit

Below is a list of competition results for professional seasons starting from 1999.[169]

Tournament 1999/
00
2000/
01
2001/
02
2002/
03
2003/
04
2004/
05
2005/
06
2006/
07
2007/
08
2008/
09
2009/
10
2010/
11
2011/
12
2012/
13
2013/
14
2014/
15
2015/
16
2016/
17
2017/
18
2018/
19
2019/
20
2020/
21
Ranking[170][nb 1] [nb 2] 122 95 53 29 36 39 28 11 4 7 9 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 6 4
Ranking tournaments
European Masters[nb 3] Not Held LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ NR Tournament Not Held SF QF 3R 2R W
English Open Tournament Not Held 2R 3R 2R W
Championship League Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking Event
Northern Ireland Open Tournament Not Held A A SF QF
UK Championship 1R LQ LQ 2R 1R 2R LQ 2R SF 1R QF 2R 2R W F 2R SF W 2R 1R 4R
Scottish Open[nb 4] LQ LQ 1R F 1R Tournament Not Held MR Not Held A A A W
World Grand Prix Tournament Not Held NR 1R 1R SF QF 1R
German Masters Tournament Not Held F QF QF 2R W 2R 2R 1R 2R LQ
Welsh Open LQ LQ 1R 1R 2R LQ 3R 3R W QF QF SF F 1R QF 4R QF 3R 2R 4R QF
Shoot-Out Tournament Not Held Variant Format Event A A A 1R
Players Championship[nb 5] Tournament Not Held SF QF 1R 1R 2R WD QF 1R 1R QF
Gibraltar Open Tournament Not Held MR 3R A A 3R
Tour Championship Tournament Not Held QF SF
World Championship LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ 1R 2R F 1R QF SF QF 1R 2R W 2R W W 1R 2R SF
Non-ranking tournaments
Champion of Champions Tournament Not Held SF QF 1R QF QF 1R QF
The Masters LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ A LQ LQ W F W 1R QF W F 1R QF QF 1R QF 1R
Variant format tournaments
Six-red World Championship[nb 6] Tournament Not Held 1R A W NH QF SF WD QF 1R A 1R 2R
Former ranking tournaments
Malta Grand Prix LQ NR Tournament Not Held
Thailand Masters LQ LQ LQ NR Not Held NR Tournament Not Held
British Open 1R LQ LQ LQ 1R 1R Tournament Not Held
Irish Masters Non-Ranking Event 1R 1R 1R NH NR Tournament Not Held
Northern Ireland Trophy Tournament Not Held NR 3R 2R 3R Tournament Not Held
Indian Open Tournament Not Held 2R A NH A A A Not Held
Wuxi Classic[nb 7] Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking Event QF LQ 2R Not Held
Australian Goldfields Open Tournament Not Held QF 1R SF A 2R Not Held
Shanghai Masters Tournament Not Held SF SF 1R SF W 1R QF SF WD F 3R Non-Rank. NH
Paul Hunter Classic[nb 8] Tournament Not Held Pro-am Event Minor-Ranking Event W 4R A NR NH
China Open LQ LQ SF Not Held LQ 1R 2R SF 2R 2R F WD F QF W WD W W LQ Not Held
Riga Masters[nb 9] Tournament Not Held Minor-Rank. 1R WD A 3R NH
International Championship Tournament Not Held 2R QF LQ SF W W QF SF NH
China Championship Tournament Not Held NR 2R W SF NH
World Open[nb 10] 1R LQ LQ LQ 1R QF 1R 2R RR 2R 1R LQ SF QF F Not Held 2R 1R 3R 3R NH
Former non-ranking tournaments
Masters Qualifying Event[nb 11] 1R 1R 2R 1R 2R NH 2R F A A A Tournament Not Held
Warsaw Snooker Tour Not Held W Tournament Not Held
European Open[nb 3] Not Held Ranking Event RR Tournament Not Held Ranking
World Series Jersey Tournament Not Held F Tournament Not Held
World Series Warsaw Tournament Not Held SF Tournament Not Held
World Series Moscow Tournament Not Held SF Tournament Not Held
World Series Grand Final Tournament Not Held QF Tournament Not Held
Wuxi Classic[nb 7] Tournament Not Held F RR 1R W Ranking Event Not Held
Brazil Masters Tournament Not Held QF Tournament Not Held
Power Snooker Tournament Not Held QF SF Tournament Not Held
Premier League A A A A A A A A A F A RR VF RR Tournament Not Held
World Grand Prix Tournament Not Held 2R Ranking Event
Shoot-Out Tournament Not Held 3R 2R 2R 1R 1R A Ranking
China Championship Tournament Not Held QF Ranking
Hong Kong Masters Tournament Not Held QF Not Held
Romanian Masters Tournament Not Held 1R Not Held
Paul Hunter Classic Tournament Not Held Pro-am Event Minor-Ranking Event Ranking Event A NH
Shanghai Masters Tournament Not Held Ranking Event QF 2R NH
Haining Open Tournament Not Held MR A W W SF NH
Championship League Tournament Not Held F F RR 2R RR RR RR A 2R RR SF 2R WD R
Performance Table Legend
LQ lost in the qualifying draw #R lost in the early rounds of the tournament
(WR = Wildcard round, RR = Round robin)
QF lost in the quarter-finals
SF lost in the semi-finals F lost in the final W won the tournament
DNQ did not qualify for the tournament A did not participate in the tournament WD withdrew from the tournament
NH / Not Held means an event was not held.
NR / Non-Ranking Event means an event is/was no longer a ranking event.
R / RE / Ranking Event means an event is/was a ranking event.
RV / Ranking & Variant Format Event means an event is/was a ranking & variant format event.
MR / Minor-Ranking Event means an event is/was a minor-ranking event.
PA / Pro-am Event means an event is/was a pro-am event.
VF / Variant Format Event means an event is/was a variant format event.
  1. ^ From the 2010/2011 season it shows the ranking at the beginning of the season.
  2. ^ New players on the Main Tour don't have a ranking.
  3. ^ a b The event was called the Malta Cup (2004/2005–2007/2008)
  4. ^ The event was called the Players Championship (2003/2004)
  5. ^ The event was called the Players Tour Championship Grand Finals (2010/2011–2012/2013) and the Players Championship Grand Final (2013/2014–2015/2016)
  6. ^ The event was called the Six-red Snooker International (2008/2009) and the Six-red World Grand Prix (2009/2010)
  7. ^ a b The event was called the Jiangsu Classic (2008/2009–2009/2010)
  8. ^ The event was called the Grand Prix Fürth (2004/2005) and the Fürth German Open (2005/2006–2006/2007)
  9. ^ The event was called the Riga Open (2014/2015–2015/2016)
  10. ^ The event was called the Grand Prix (1999/2000–2000/2001 and 2004/2005–2009/2010), the LG Cup (2001/2002–2003/2004) and the Haikou World Open (2011/2012–2013/2014)
  11. ^ The event was also called the Benson & Hedges Championship (1990/1991–2002/2003)

Career finalsEdit

Ranking finals: 27 (18 titles, 9 runners-up)Edit

Legend
World Championship (3–1)
UK Championship (2–1)
Other (13–7)
Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Runner-up 1. 2003 Scottish Open   David Gray 7–9
Runner-up 2. 2007 World Snooker Championship   John Higgins 13–18
Winner 1. 2008 Welsh Open   Ronnie O'Sullivan 9–8
Runner-up 3. 2011 German Masters   Mark Williams 7–9
Runner-up 4. 2011 China Open   Judd Trump 8–10
Winner 2. 2011 Shanghai Masters   Mark Williams 10–9
Runner-up 5. 2012 Welsh Open   Ding Junhui 6–9
Winner 3. 2012 UK Championship   Shaun Murphy 10–6
Runner-up 6. 2013 China Open (2)   Neil Robertson 6–10
Runner-up 7. 2013 UK Championship   Neil Robertson 7–10
Runner-up 8. 2014 World Open   Shaun Murphy 6–10
Winner 4. 2014 World Snooker Championship   Ronnie O'Sullivan 18–14
Winner 5. 2015 German Masters   Shaun Murphy 9–7
Winner 6. 2015 China Open   Gary Wilson 10–2
Winner 7. 2016 World Snooker Championship (2)   Ding Junhui 18–14
Winner 8. 2016 Paul Hunter Classic   Tom Ford 4–2
Runner-up 9. 2016 Shanghai Masters   Ding Junhui 6–10
Winner 9. 2016 International Championship   Ding Junhui 10–1
Winner 10. 2016 UK Championship (2)   Ronnie O'Sullivan 10–7
Winner 11. 2017 China Open (2)   Mark Williams 10–8
Winner 12. 2017 World Snooker Championship (3)   John Higgins 18–15
Winner 13. 2017 International Championship (2)   Mark Allen 10–7
Winner 14. 2018 China Open (3)   Barry Hawkins 11–3
Winner 15. 2018 China Championship   John Higgins 10–9
Winner 16. 2019 English Open   David Gilbert 9–1
Winner 17. 2019 Scottish Open   Jack Lisowski 9–6
Winner 18. 2020 (2) European Masters   Martin Gould 9–8

Minor-ranking finals: 10 (7 titles, 3 runners-up)Edit

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Winner 1. 2010 Players Tour Championship – Event 2   Barry Pinches 4–3
Winner 2. 2011 Paul Hunter Classic   Mark Davis 4–0
Winner 3. 2012 Paul Hunter Classic (2)   Joe Swail 4–1
Runner-up 1. 2012 Antwerp Open   Mark Allen 1–4
Winner 4. 2013 FFB Open   Graeme Dott 4–3
Runner-up 2. 2013 Yixing Open   Joe Perry 1–4
Runner-up 3. 2013 Rotterdam Open   Mark Williams 3–4
Winner 5. 2013 Antwerp Open   Ronnie O'Sullivan 4–3
Winner 6. 2014 Riga Open   Mark Allen 4–3
Winner 7. 2016 Gdynia Open   Martin Gould 4–1

Non-ranking finals: 16 (8 titles, 8 runners-up)Edit

Legend
The Masters (3–2)
Premier League (0–1)
Other (5–5)
Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Runner-up 1. 2006 Masters Qualifying Tournament   Stuart Bingham 2–6
Winner 1. 2007 Warsaw Snooker Tour   John Higgins 5–3
Winner 2. 2008 The Masters   Stephen Lee 10–3
Runner-up 2. 2008 Championship League   Joe Perry 1–3
Runner-up 3. 2008 World Series of Snooker Jersey   John Higgins 3–6
Runner-up 4. 2008 Jiangsu Classic   Ding Junhui 5–6
Runner-up 5. 2008 Premier League   Ronnie O'Sullivan 2–7
Runner-up 6. 2009 The Masters   Ronnie O'Sullivan 8–10
Runner-up 7. 2009 Championship League (2)   Judd Trump 2–3
Winner 3. 2010 The Masters (2)   Ronnie O'Sullivan 10–9
Winner 4. 2011 Wuxi Classic   Ali Carter 9–7
Winner 5. 2012 HK Spring Trophy   Andrew Higginson 7–1
Winner 6. 2013 The Masters (3)   Neil Robertson 10–6
Runner-up 8. 2014 The Masters (2)   Ronnie O'Sullivan 4–10
Winner 7. 2017 Haining Open   Tom Ford 5–1
Winner 8. 2018 Haining Open (2)   Li Hang 5–4

Pro-am finals: 1 (1 runner-up)Edit

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Runner-up 1. 2008 Paul Hunter Classic   Shaun Murphy 0–4

Variant finals: 1 (1 title)Edit

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Winner 1. 2010 Six-red World Championship   Ricky Walden 8–6

Pool careerEdit

In addition to snooker, Selby is also an adept pool player – specifically blackball and Chinese eight-ball. In July 2006, he won the WEPF World Eight-ball Championship, beating Darren Appleton 11–7 in the final at Blackpool.[171] On 2 February 2015, Selby played in the 2015 Chinese Pool World Championship [de], but lost to Darren Appleton 19–21 in the final.[168][172][173]

Pool finals: 2 (1 title, 1 runner-up)Edit

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Winner 1. 2006 WEPF World Eight-ball Championship   Darren Appleton 11–7
Runner-up 1. 2015 Chinese Pool World Championship (de)   Darren Appleton 19–21

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