Mark Selby reveals Ronnie O'Sullivan inspiration and World Championship goal

October 3, 2022
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Phil Haigh ✍️  

Mark Selby and Ronnie O'Sullivan
Mark Selby and Ronnie O’Sullivan have won 11 World Snooker Championships between them (Pictures: Getty)

Mark Selby has set himself the goal of winning one more World Snooker Championship title, but knows he is going to have plenty more chances to do it after watching Ronnie O’Sullivan triumph at the Crucible at 46 years old.

Selby has won four world titles, all coming in the last nine years, putting himself among the greatest players to ever pick up a cue.

Still only 39 years old, and with players in their 40s picking up titles on a regular basis, he has time on his side to add to that tally, but says he would be more than satisfied if he added just one more Crucible crown to his collection.

The Jester from Leicester is aware of his place in history and feels like being along on five world titles would be a wonderful place to be.

‘I would like to win it once more. As it stands at the moment I’m tied with [John] Higgins on four, obviously [Mark] Williams is on three,’ Selby told the World Snooker Tour podcast.

‘It would be good to try and win it once more and be out on my own on five. Obviously you’ve got Ronnie and [Stephen] Hendry seven, [Steve] Davis six, so to be out there on my own on five would be good.

‘But to win it four times is more than I ever expected as a young lad growing up, obviously I aimed to try and win it once, so to win it four is incredible.

‘I’ll keep trying, as long as I’m healthy and mentally okay. For me that’s like winning the World Championship.

‘While I’m in a good place, as long as I can keep enjoying it and giving it a good go then who knows?’

The Rocket claimed his seventh world title at 46 years old this year and it would be foolish to say he cannot add to that record-equalling tally.

While O’Sullivan is the best of all time, Selby is one of the finest players in the game’s history, so knowing that his old rival is still at the top of the sport is inspirational stuff for the Jester.

‘He’s the greatest player to ever play our game, for me. To still be playing the standard he’s playing is incredible at his age, and to still be at the top of the game as world champion is incredible,’ said Mark.

2022 Cazoo British Open - Day 3
Selby has looked in good form at the recent World Mixed Doubles and British Open (Picture: Getty Images)

‘The biggest thing for me is the hunger and you need to stay healthy as well. When you get older the hunger can go a little bit, you don’t put so many hours in and you can’t cheat this game, put a couple of hours in here and there and expect to win big tournaments.

‘The hunger’s still there at the moment and I’m healthy. As long as I maintain that aspect then who knows?

‘When you look at someone like Ronnie, that’s inspired me knowing he’s 46 and I’ve got seven years on him to keep playing and know I’m capable of winning more tournaments so fingers crossed.’

Selby hopes for more World Championship success, but specifically more Crucible success, as despite some suggestions that snooker’s greatest tournament should leave the Sheffield venue, he still thinks it is the best arena in the sport.

‘For me it’s the best venue we play in,’ he continued. ‘The history behind the Crucible. I don’t think it’s the best venue when it’s two tables because its quite tight and compact

‘When it’s down to the semi-final one-table set-up with a full crowd, there’s no better venue to play snooker in, for me.’

Selby is in action at the Hong Kong Masters this week, the revived eight-player tournament which begins on Thursday with the Jester taking on local hero Marco Fu in the quarter-finals.

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