UK Snooker Championship: Mark Selby glad to be in with a fighting chance

York Press: Mark Selby Mark Selby

MARK SELBY admitted being snooker’s comeback king takes an emotional toll.

The defending champion staged another remarkable recovery in his quarter-final against Barry Hawkins – recovering from 5-3 down to scrape over the line 6-5 following a mammoth deciding frame.

Selby, who described that last eight clash as a “horrible” game to play in, has become renowned for his fighting qualities and took the UK title at the Barbican 12 months ago in similar gritty fashion.

Looking ahead to today’s semi-final clash with Ricky Walden, the world number two said he is his own worst enemy.

“A lot of the time I put it all on myself,” Selby explained when asked if his performances were draining. “I go out there and I keep missing ball after ball and I drag it out. I just wish I could go out there and get century after century like Ronnie O’Sullivan.

“I didn’t perform great but I have to take the positives that I am still in the tournament. I play Ricky in the semi-final and, if I can’t get up for that, there is something wrong – being in the semi-final of the UK Championship and on the one-table set up. Hopefully that will bring the best out of me.”

On his approach to deciding frames, where he has had a lot of success, Selby added: “You just go out and take what the table gives you.

“When you are playing a deciding frame, all you are asking for is one chance. If you get it, and you take it, great. If you don’t, at least you can say you had your chances.

“Sometimes that isn’t always the case. You can break off, they can pot a shot to nothing and can win the frame.”

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